Son buys abandoned 1974 Dodge Challenger from dad who didn’t realize he had a real treasure

  • A hand-me-down 1974 Dodge Challenger had been moldering in a garage for 30 years
  • However, the owner’s son decided to revive it
  • After a good clean and an engine replacement, it’s ready to be back up and running

Published on Jun 19, 2024 at 3:09 PM (UTC+4)
by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

Last updated on Jun 20, 2024 at 12:56 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

A hand-me-down 1974 Dodge Challenger parked for 30 years at first seemed like a huge project, but as this son found out – his dad’s gift seriously paid off.

After spending three decades in the same spot, the son simply wanted to see what lay beneath the grime.

However, to his amazement, it was a treasure that had been hiding in plain sight – and now it’s back on the road.

READ MORE! Barn find of the century happens when man finds 1966 Impala SS in great condition

How did the 1974 Dodge Challenger end up there?

One lucky son bought the muscle car from his father.

His father had purchased the 1974 Dodge Challenger for his ex-wife, who is also the mom of its new owner.

Following the divorce, he got the car and she got the house – seemingly a dud deal from his POV.

The iconic muscle car had last been driven in 1994 before being parked and left to molder in the garage.

The son’s mission

Skip forward 30 years and the son of the divorceés decided to resurrect his inheritance.

First, he gave it a good wash, before an all-important heart transplant.

He will insert a HEMI engine from a Ram under the hood of the 50-year-old car.

The renovation started badly, with the winch cable becoming temporarily stuck under the car.

Covered in bird poop and creepy crawlies and four-legged critters, it was labeled ‘horrendous’ by one detailing expert.

An all-purpose clean, followed by degreasing the rear glass, trunk lid, windshield, and hood and a pressure wash.

With the OG engine going to scrap heaven to be replaced, even the engine bay was given a power wash – which is usually off the cards.

However, when that was done it quickly became apparent that the side panels and the body of the car itself didn’t look too shabby.

Opening the doors, the detailer switched his attention to the rodent-riddled seats.

A good vacuum got rid of the droppings, however the vinyl of the upholstery was in shreds.

Reupholstering, while costly, was the only answer.

Turns out that these big-clean projects are the new ASMR with this 1962 Chevy Corvette barn having a nasty secret under the seat that needed resolving.

The history of the 1974 Dodge Challenger

This 1974 Dodge Challenger marked the final year of the first generation model.

It’s not been long since the final chapter of the Dodge Challenger came to a close.

A replica of the Plymouth Barracuda and designed by Carl Cameron, the E-Body muscle car was the epitome of cool.

As well as the mean and rough edges of this 1970s icon, Cameron was also behind the design of the 1966 Dodge Charger.

Originally intended to give the Ford Mustang a run for its money, it came out far bigger.

The Detail Geek

By the time the 165,000 first-generation Challenger units dropped between 1970 and 1974, the pony car segment was on the out.

Production of the 1974 Dodge Challenger halted halfway through the 1974 model year.

This is one of the surviving models, with its uncovered paint and chrome accents looking almost box-fresh.

‘That is insane!’ said the son, with the rest of his response limited to simply ‘wow’ and oh my gosh.

And it could end up being worth the hard work, as this Dodge Challenger costs more than a new Aston Martin.


Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

London-based Amelia cut her journalistic teeth covering all things lifestyle, wellness and luxury in the UK capital. Fast-forward a decade and the experienced content creator and editor has put pen to paper for glossy magazines, busy newsrooms and coveted brands. When her OOO is on you can find her spending quality time with her young family, in the gym or exploring the city she loves.