Credit: Original article published by Classic Cars Journal.
It was raining hard in southern Florida recently, and Palm Beach did not escape from the barrage of flooding that you may have seen on the news. However, within the safety of the South Florida Fairgrounds, automotive enthusiast were able to stay dry and enjoy Barrett-Jackson’s 2023 Palm Beach Auction.
Like what seems to be true at every Barrett-Jackson auction, Mopars garnered plenty of attention among the classic car cognoscenti. Unlike January’s Scottsdale extravaganza, the top Mopars at Palm Beach were not restomods — most were classics and late-models speed demons (pun intended). Here’s a look at a few of the top sellers.
1970 Dodge Challenger T/A
Here we have a Challenger T/A, which was built to homologate Dodge’s entry for Trans-Am racing. The only engine available was a 340 Six Pack though, unlike its competitors, Dodge didn’t use a 5-liter engine for street-going cars. The T/A differentiated itself from other Challengers via interesting tidbits like the “N94” fiberglass hood (an option for other performance Challengers), ducktail spoiler, offset tires and side exhaust trumpets. This four-speed, Dark Burnt Orange metallic T/A had been restored to OEM specs so it’s likely one of the finest in the land. For $117,700, someone agreed.
2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
Are Demons obsolete now that the Challenger SRT Demon 170 is slated to be built? Not on your life! The description doesn’t say how many miles of road have run underneath this Destroyer Gray Challenger, but it sets itself apart from other Demons thanks to judicious modifications, such as Kenne Bell dual fuel booster pumps with 1,500cc injectors, Per4Mance Development DIRS differential brace and KW suspension. Sold to the man in back for $220,000!
1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda 383
A decent number of ‘Cuda hardtops were built in 1970, but ragtops are rare: only 635 built. This one has the standard 335-horsepower 383 and optional four-speed (like most cars of the era, a three-speed was standard). High Impact Lemon Twist (code FY1) paired with the front Elastomeric bumper (A21) create a clean look. Someone added the Shaker along the way, but real ones are rarer than Hemi ragtops, believe it or not. To become the coolest guy on the block, it would have cost you $198,000.
1969 Plymouth GTX
More people gravitated to the Road Runner, but the GTX carried the same genes in a more sophisticated package. Standard was the 440 Super Commando — unavailable in the Road Runner — but this one features King Kong himself, the 426 Hemi backed by a console-shifted four-speed with that crazy, twisted Hurst shifter. Restored with plenty of NOS parts, this Ivy Green metallic (code F8) GTX also features the Super Track Pak with 4.10 gears and Dana rear instead of the Track Pak (required with the four-speed) with 3.54s and Dana. For $165,000, you could have owned this Hemi car.
2009 Dodge Viper ACR
Vipers are nuts, but the American Club Racing version was the one for masochists who wanted to drive to the track and back. While the 600 horsepower was no different from the standard Viper, it was the ACR’s tweaked suspension, brakes, and wheels and tires that set the ACR apart. However, it was the carbon fiber rear wing and front splitter, contributing to over 1,000 pounds of downforce (versus 100 for the regular Viper) at 150 mph, that truly made it excel. The new owner paid $156,200 for this 1000-mile ACR.
1970 Dodge Challenger R/T
This car has it all: V-code 440 Six Pack, Pistol Grip four-speed manual, High Impact Go Mango (code EK2) paint with burnt orange interior, Shaker hood, rear spoiler and a luxurious gator grain vinyl top. An enthusiast first spotted this Challenger in a trailer park in Alaska in 1975, believe it or not. In its current state, the car’s detailed quite nicely, so those bent on driving to the local ice cream joint should have chosen another vehicle. When the gavel fell, the Chally brought a cool $236,500.
1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE
Here we have another classic Challenger, but this one adds some elements to the mix. This Plum Crazy code FC7) R/T is also an SE, so it features belt moldings and other fancier exterior trim, plus upgraded interior (in this case, houndstooth) and vinyl top with smaller backlite. It too features a 440 Six Pack, though this one is backed by an automatic with 4.10 gears in a Dana rear. Being reportedly one of 15 produced with a Shaker adds an element of intrigue missing from most Challengers. At $154,000, you could have owned an E-body that seemingly has it all.
2022 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye Widebody “Black Ghost” Tribute
What we have here is the top Challenger of its respective year, complete with the Widebody package, that’s had details added — stuff like white bumblebee stripe, gator grain roof, chrome gas cap and more — that mimic the Black Ghost, the 1970 Hemi Challenger R/T SE survivor street-racer that will be auctioned later this year. Clearly the buyer couldn’t wait for the “Last Call” Black Ghost because (s)he paid $132,000 for this one.
1971 Plymouth ‘Cuda 383
Here’s another ‘Cuda ragtop, this one a Rallye Red 1971, of which 374 were built. Horsepower fell by 35 to 300, but the ‘Cuda could look badder than ever thanks to fancy features like color-keyed grille and optional “Billboard” longitudinal stripes. This car features the Pistol Grip four-speed, dual racing mirrors with driver-side remote, Rallye wheels, Rallye gauges, Go-Wing, and more. The 1971 ‘Cuda has always been the sweetheart of the hobby, and this Plymouth didn’t disappoint, pulling in a high bid of $123,200.
1953 Dodge Power Wagon
Actor Tom Selleck once owned this low-mileage Power Wagon pickup, which was originally a fire truck featuring a PTO winch and water pump system. Selleck had the ‘Wagon restored and modified for use on his ranch, which included wood overlay in the cargo box, redone upholstery and rifle rack. Power comes from a 230ci inline-six paired with a four-speed manual, and the electrical system has been updated for 12 volts. All it took was $115,500 to buy this for your bunker.