Mecum Fetches $640,000 For Survivor Hemi Challenger


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Shaker hood? Nope? High-Impact color? Nope. Rally wheels? Nope. But still, even without these favorite Mopar E-Body options, this unlikely Challenger holds the record for the most-paid-at-auction for a Hemi example, pulling down $640,000 at Mecum’s Kissimmee shindig on January 24th.

Gregorie Hernandez wasn’t thinking about residual value and auctions when he walked into Center Point, Iowa’s Hendryx Motor Co. in late 1970. He wanted one of the swoopy new Challengers stuffed full of Hemi. And stuffed full of cool options like Rallye gauges, console, leather interior, R/T stripes, Super Track Pak and more. That console, by the way, is a 1970 unit, one of a few 1970 pieces often found in 1971 E-Bodies. Ma Mopar liked to use up her inventory on the assembly line.

Greg’s pen struck hardly any of the cosmetic must-haves for modern day Hemi E-Body lovers. Even the color, code GY9 Dark Gold Metallic with a gold vinyl roof is probably the last hue you would pick to make an impression on a buyer in 2015. But it was 1970 and people often ordered their cars in the same color as their kitchen appliances.

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Strangely enough, it’s also what Mr. Hernandez didn’t do that had bidders raising their hands and their bids to get this Challenger – he didn’t drive it. Not much anyway. The car has traveled a scant 1,871 miles in its life. That’s 1-8-7-1. Those Polyglas GTs are the original. The plastic is still on the rear seat belts. The paint, the seat covers, spark plug wires – all of it, original.

In Greg’s words, “I bought a Volkswagen new in 1971 too, and that’s what I drove. So the VW saved the Hemi car.” Well Greg, we’d like to thank you and your trusty ‘Bug for giving us what may be the finest example of an untouched 1971 Hemi E-Body on the planet. With its sale, the water in the Hemi e-body pool just got a little bit higher.

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Des Ryan

Des Ryan has been involved in all levels of Mopar musclecar ownership, from barn finds to drivers to a high-level restored Hemicar. He's also spent over 20 years in the advertising industry as a copywriter and creative director. With pen in one hand and pistol-grip shifter in the other, Des is bringing his two passions together to keep you Direct-Connected.

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  1. Cristi 17 September, 2015 at 21:13 Reply

    The 2011 392 Challenger is basically all about the eignne. After that is sorted, the gearbox is chosen as one that can match the power which isn’t always the best way to go.I find the Challenger great as a GT (or, if you prefer, Muscle) car, it’s not really the sort of sports car that makes you work for your pleasure. It’s just a kick of adrenaline and that doesn’t really need the manual shifter.This is why I prefer the automatic gearbox. With the 392 version I can say it’s pretty much similar in thinking of the creators as the SL 65 AMG. That one is German and even though the straight line speed is amazing, there’s not that much else to say about the car.As for the price comparison it is irrelevant. A Veyron and an Ariel Atom have the same 0 to 60 time yet the price difference is so immense it’s not worth counting.

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