1970 Dodge Challenger RT, Go Mango, Fuel Curve

1970 Dodge Challenger R/T – Go Mango Goodness

George Lawrence’s 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T is a well-preserved piece of muscle car history. As you may or may not no, the Dodge Boys came late to the pony car wars. As the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro duked it out in the late-’60s (with Plymouth occasionally throwing a punch with its Barracuda), Dodge’s performance offerings were limited to larger platforms like the Charger and Super Bee, or the compact and boxy Dart. It wasn’t until 1970 that the brand fielded a true midsize long-hood, short-deck pony car, the Dodge Challenger.

1970 Dodge Challenger RT, Go Mango, Fuel Curve

Though late to the fray, the Challenger was a strong contender, with crisp styling and Dodge’s full range of engine options, up to and including the mighty 425hp 426c.i. Hemi. The platform proved competitive on the street, strip and even road courses, and a white 440-powered Challenger R/T even found silver screen glory in the cult classic film “Vanishing Point.” The model peaked early, though, as changes and challenges to the overall performance automotive market resulted in declining sales and performance before the Challenger bowed out of Dodge’s lineup in 1975.

1970 Dodge Challenger RT, Go Mango, Fuel Curve1970 Dodge Challenger RT, Go Mango, Fuel Curve

As a muscle car connoisseur and collector, George Lawrence knows a special machine when he sees one, and he knew he was staring at a significant piece of American muscle car history when he spied this Go Mango Orange 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T a few years ago. Powered by the legendary Hemi backed by a pistol-grip-shifted A833 four-speed, the Challenger had everything you’d want in a pony car – bright color, big engine and three pedals. He wasted no time adding it to his collection.

1970 Dodge Challenger RT, Go Mango, Fuel Curve

Beyond its obvious appeal, this Challenger was also extremely well-documented, with paperwork tracing it back to its original owner, a Connecticut state trooper, and comprehensive coverage of its award-winning restoration at Blue Star Performance. The restoration team was almost maniacal about using NOS parts when the original pieces were missing, right down to a 1970-vintage paper air filter and NOS (not reproduction) Goodyear Polyglas tires on the 15-inch Rallye wheels.

1970 Dodge Challenger RT, Go Mango, Fuel Curve

The inside is just as correct, from the black vinyl bucket seats, to the original radio, to the Rallye gauges in their woodgrain dash panel. It’s like climbing into a time capsule.

1970 Dodge Challenger RT, Go Mango, Fuel Curve

Though late to the scene, one look at George’s Go Mango beauty offers a pretty strong argument that the Challenger was worth the wait. And when you hear him crank up that Hemi and crack open the throttle on those dual quads, there’s no doubt Dodge wanted to do more than just challenge the pony car field; it intended to dominate.1970 Dodge Challenger RT, Go Mango, Fuel Curve

Photography by Steve Bunker

Editor, Goodguys Gazette

Damon Lee began snapping photos at car shows when he was 10, tagging along with his father to events throughout the Midwest. He has combined his passion for cars and knack for writing and imagery into a 20-year career in the automotive aftermarket, writing for titles like Super Chevy and Rod & Custom and, more recently, working for respected industry leaders Speedway Motors and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association.

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