January 2013

1970 Dodge Challenger R/T

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1970 dodge_challenger_rt_01

• 383-ci Magnum engine 
• 4-barrel carburetor
• Automatic transmission

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Classic Gallery
Dale Novak

DALE NOVAK started his gear head life by assembling and racing Pinewood derby cars for league racing during his early years as a Cub Scout. This graduated into buying and trading Hot Wheels® with friends and neighbors and doing his best to get the tiny car to complete the allusive triple loop.

His first car was a dead 1970 Dodge Challenger 440 R/T that he bought from a local drag racer. Dale returned the car to roadworthiness with the help of a 1960s U.S. Army Mechanical Systems manual that covered just about every machine being used by the Military at the time. Dale still has the manual, albeit fully stained by grease and oil.

The Challenger was already somewhat infamous with local law enforcement, and as luck would have it, Dale had an uncanny resemblance to the previous owner. He got stopped often by local law enforcement for “courtesy checks” or was it the open headers and mini-tubbed real axle with super fat 50s on the rear. We may never know.

Current vehicles in Dale’s stable include a heavily documented Meadow Brook winning 1956 Corvette judged personally by Zora Duntov, a Z-28 factory Pilot car, a 1964-1/2 Mustang Convertible with under 39,000 miles and a documented 1970 “two-tag, Mr. Norm’s” 440 R/T Challenger that was ordered by the dealership as an executive demo.

Dale’s expertise lies mainly in American Muscle cars, Corvettes and a thorough “inside-out” understanding of the occasionally fussy Triumph TR-6. Dale routinely traverses a sea of cars at auction, selecting the perfect mix of pristine investment grade cars down to soiled beaters. Dale tells us “I like learning about cars I have never even seen before, it’s amazing to see them up close and examine them in detail without the owner thinking you’re there to steal some parts. You can never know everything about every car, but I certainly can assess the condition. I’ve grown to love them all, even cars built way before my time. The engineering on some cars is staggering and utterly beautiful and will never be replicated again.”

Dale splits his time between Florida and Wisconsin and is married to Julie who learned quickly that he was a car nut when he picked her up for their first date in a 1967 Mustang GTA 390 Fastback with no air conditioning … it was a sweltering 95 degrees out.

He is a 25-plus-year veteran of the publishing, marketing, and advertising design business. Novak has been picking apart vintage cars as an auction analyst for SCM quite some time.