Members Cars

1971 Dodge Challenger
Roger Bettoni
Last Updated: 15/01/2016

The search for Roger's Dodge Challenger shown here, took him the better part of 3 years to locate a good solid, rust-free, ex-California car.

The car has only 61000 miles (original) on her, with original carpets still in tact too. The is optioned with a "bucket/bench" seat, factory air-con, power windows, power steering and additional "chrome-pack".

The Challenger was in a storage shed in Sydney from 1983 when it was originally imported by a fellow who was looking to replace his stolen Mach 1 Mustang. Eventually he lost interest in the car when he couldn't find anyone to do the RHD conversion, so it sat there for 18 years until it's discovery last year by the fellow Roger bought it from.

The owner at the time answered an ad Roger had posted on www.MoparMarket.com in the wanted to buy listings and they discussed the deal over a period of months.

"He didn't want to sell the car at first, but I eventually talked him into it. I flew over to Sydney in January this year, negotiated the deal, spent a couple of weeks sorting the car out and making sure it was road-worthy, then drove her home in the heat of February at a leisurely and pleasant pace. She didn't miss a beat and I had the time of my life."

Roger's now in the process of deciding where to start with the restorations. This winter he hopes to convert the front-end over to disc brakes (currently has the original 11" drums all around) and also install a 4bbl manifold and carby. The cars runs well and the motor is relatively tight, but she needs to flex her muscles a little and the upgrade to 4bbl should help achieve this.

The 318 engine has had some work done - "Waggot Police-grind" cam installed, new lifters and guides, double row timing chain and the old compressor has been updated with a modern rotary Sanden unit. Also installed is a Bosch 85 amp alternator and Hella halogen headlamps and recently the rear leaf springs have been re-set.

Rear end is the ever solid 8.75" running 2.76:1 gears.

Future plans also include a mini-starter to help accommodate the extractors are to be installed, a rear valance with the exhaust cut-outs, chrome exhaust tips, a power-bulge (R/T or T/A) hood and other minor mods too such an upgrade to 360J or 340X heads. The idea of a big block has also been considered but a Lottery win may be required to get that happening...

Also shown below is a Valiant VE Regal (225, 160 HP motor, TF auto-trans) which is another project Roger is building for his daughter's eventual use, once she is old enough and a competent enough driver to appreciate the ol' gal.

Roger and his wife Debbie are the proprietors of the magnificent Karri Valley Chalets family owned and operated business which is situated in the heart of Western Australia's beautiful south-west region. If you're planning some time away in the area be sure to consider a stay at their Award Winning accomodations.

Karri Valley Chalets
PO Box 336, Pemberton WA 6260
Ph/Fax +61 (08) 9776 2018
Email info@karrivalley.com.au
Website www.karrivalley.com.au

 
Note: Larger pictures can been seen by clicking on the thumbnails