After a wildly successful introductory year, Dodge elected to change very little with the Challenger for 1971. The convertible body would remain essentially the same throughout its five-year run, though small exterior and interior changes could distinguish different model years.
As in 1970, Dodge offered nine engine choices for 1971. Those engines ranged from the slant six to the mighty Hemi. A wide selection of optional equipment and color combinations allowed buyers to customize their Challengers as they saw fit.
Of those models, the R/T stood out from the rest with a special front fascia and distinctive tape stripes on the doors. It also had a unique instrument cluster known as the Rallye, with a 150 mph speedometer and an 8,000 rpm tachometer, plus oil and coolant pressure gauges. Its 340 Six Pack engine was rated at 290 gross horsepower, but it produced about 185 net horsepower thanks to its dual-outlet exhaust, which sucked in air through a suitcase-sized scoop molded into the pinned-down and hinged matte-black fiberglass hood.
For those who wanted a performance upgrade, there was the R/T Road & Track package. It came standard with a three-speed manual transmission, although TorqueFlite automatic and pistol-grip Hurst-shifted four-speed transmissions were available options. The R/T also got a more aggressive suspension with heavier-duty springs, and its dual-outlet exhausts were positioned to exit in chrome-tipped “megaphone” outlets in front of the rear wheels.
Dodge marketed the Challenger as a race car, and it participated in several professional racing series. The best-known was the Trans Am series, where Challengers scored a few top-three finishes before a lack of funding and short-lived Keith Black 303-cubic-inch Hemi engine led to Dodge pulling out of the series after just two seasons.
This particular 1971 Challenger convertible is a rare example of the R/T Road & Track option. It was restored in 2003 and has been stored indoors since then in a climate-controlled facility. Documentation includes a restoration receipt from that period, as well as original dealer advertisements, an illustrated owner’s manual and an illustrated fact and features manual.
Frank Cole has owned this 1971 Dodge Challenger convertible for nearly three decades and is now offering it for sale. He spent many of his youth watching races at Flemington Speedway and considers this car to be among his fondest memories. It has been carefully maintained and is a stunning example of a Mopar muscle car that will delight any collector or enthusiast. For more information about this 1971 Dodge Challenger convertible or to schedule a viewing, contact the listing agent.