When Dodge finally got a legitimate pony car to race in the Sports Car Club of America's Trans American Sedan Championship in 1970, it built a muscle car version for the street that was even wilder than the competition model. We're talking about the 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A.
SCCA rules required Dodge to sell production editions of the track car, and Dodge responded with the Challenger T/A. The race cars ran a destroked 305-cid version of Mopar's fine 340-cid V-8. It had a four-barrel carb and some 440 bhp. Street T/As stayed with the 340, but upped the ante with a trio of two-barrel Holleys atop an Edelbrock aluminum intake manifold.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Dodge rated the T/A's engine at 290 horsepower, but with Six Pack carburetion the output was probably around 350.
Despite the "Six Pak" carburetion and a host of internal reinforcements, the T/A's mill carried the same 290 bhp rating as regular four-barrel 340s, though true output was near 350 bhp. Feeding it air was a suitcase-sized scoop molded into the pinned-down matte-black fiberglass hood. Low-restriction dual exhausts ran to the stock muffler location under the trunk, then reversed direction to exit in chrome-tipped "megaphone" outlets in front of the rear wheels.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd. The cabin was standard fare for a Dodge Challenger.
TorqueFlite automatic or Hurst-shifted four-speed, 3.55:1 or 3.90:1 gears, manual or power steering were available. Front discs were standard. The special Rallye suspension used heavy-duty everything and increased the camber of the rear springs. The T/A was among the first production cars with different sized tires front and rear: E60x15s up front, G60x15s in back.
The modified camber elevated the tail enough to clear the rear rubber and the exhaust outlets, giving the T/A a real street-punk's stance. Thick side stripes, bold ID graphics, and a black ducktail spoiler joined the visual assault, though the cabin was standard Challenger R/T.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd. An elevated tail, spoiler, and thick black stripes gave the 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A credibility on the street.
As it turned out, the T/A wasn't a consistent SCCA winner, and its street sibling didn't act much like a road racer, succumbing to debilitating understeer in fast corners. But the intensified 340 and meaty rear tires helped production versions claw through the quarter in the mid 14s, a showing that would do any small-block proud.
Return to Classic Muscle Cars Library.
For more cool information on muscle cars, go to:
- Dodge muscle cars were among the fastest and wildest. See profiles, photos, and specifications of Dodge muscle cars.
- Muscle cars came in many shapes and sizes. Here are features on more than 100 muscle cars, including photos and specifications for each model.
- Muscle cars created their own culture. To learn about it, read How Muscle Cars Work.
Check out these profiles of muscle cars, which include photos and specifications for each model:
- Any '71 Chevelle could wear a Super Sport badge, but only the 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 earned the right to display its engine size, too.
- Beep, beep! Make way for one of the baddest muscle cars of all time, the 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Hemi.
- The 1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am combined sports-car handling and muscle car power.
- With three carbs, 406 cubes, and 406 bhp, the 1962 Ford Galaxie 406 proved full-size Fords could fly.
For related car information, see these articles:
- The engine is what gives a muscle car its flamboyant personality. To learn everything you need to know about car engines, see How Car Engines Work.
- Muscle cars wouldn't have much muscle without horsepower -- but what exactly is horsepower? How Horsepower Works answers that question.
- NASCAR race cars embody the muscle car philosophy of power. Read How NASCAR Race Cars Work to find out what makes these charged-up racers go.
- Are you thinking of buying a 2007 muscle car, or any other car? See Consumer Guide Automotive's New-Car Reviews, Prices, and Information.