January 26, 2011

The One I Let Get Away

As you may know from reading Our History, I exported American collector cars and parts to Europe for many years. During the 1980’s, most of the exports were to Sweden. I worked with an importer in Goteborg and often visited Sweden.

Memories fade a bit, but during a visit sometime in the mid 1980‘s, I was looking through computer print-outs from the Swedish car file. These print-outs show year, make, serial number and registered owner. I was looking at the MOPAR listings searching for “J” and “R” codes to see how many Hemi cars had made it into Sweden. Surprisingly there were quite a few and among them was JS27R0B171715, registration number JCN 378. The print-out gave the owners name, address and a phone number. The address was listed as Falkenberg, a small town south of Goteborg. I called the young lady who was pleased to tell me about the Challenger, but sadly she had recently sold it. The new owner lived in Nybro, another small town south east of Goteborg, on the east coast of Sweden.  I was given the new owners name and phone number. A phone call, a pleasant conversation and a meeting was set to visit the Hemi Challenger and the new owner. Sorry I can’t remember the young fellow’s name, but I vividly remember the four hour trip across Sweden. It was a beautiful, sunny day.

1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger

1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger

Arriving in Nybro, I found the address with little trouble and there she was, a not quite original pinkish-purple Challenger convertible. The dash tag read “JS27R0B” and under the hood was the monstrous 426 HEMI coupled to the pistol grip 4 speed. In the rear, besides the traction bars, was the Dana 60. The new owner said the car was primer black when he bought it and the repaint was an attempt at Plum Crazy (the original color?) As you can see in my pictures, under the hood seems to be B5 Blue. The rows of holes along the fenders, doors and quarters indicate that the original side moldings are missing as are the R/T exhaust tips. As the new owner said, “It’s a work in progress”.

In the background of one photo you may observe, our young Swede is more of a Ford fan, having several ‘66-’67 Fairlanes. So the next obvious question, “Would you consider selling the Challenger?”. Well that was not in the plans ‘cause that Hemi is a lot of fun, but “I might consider a trade for a ’66 Hemi Charger”.

It was a very interesting, pleasant visit and as I headed back to Goteborg, I seriously thought about trying to make a deal. Could I find a ‘66 Hemi Charger, at the time for about $5,000 to $7,000. Because of business and other concerns, I never seriously pursued it.

Fast forward to January 2011. Among my e-mail is an announcement from Russo-Steele about the upcoming Scottsdale collector car auction and one of the feature cars is a somewhat familiar Hemi Challenger convertible. One of five 4 speeds, the only with Super Trac Pak. As I look at the various documents and articles accompanying their auction listing, there it is: the export document from Sweden to England showing registration number JCN 378. The one I let get away!

Link to Rosso-Steele auction info page:

1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger

It will be interesting to see what it brought on the auction block January 22, 2011.

Tell us about your experiences and the ones that slipped away.

25 Comments 25 Responses to “The One I Let Get Away”
  1. 38 austin bantam coupe traded for motorbike neverun- 39 crysler business coupe section so low couldnt see over hemi-35 willys coupe sold between wifes-28 chandler day late 35 dollars junked tourch in pieces -50 like new crosley soldfor drag body-57 chevy wagon motor into 50 stude pickup-60 chevy sedan delivery? 68 chevy rusted away -64 lemans wrecked-50 cars in 50 years. one25 years others 1 to 15 years .20 years of hot rod all gone because of wifes and kids.could have been rich now alone but happy for all the memories

    lester pace on March 9th, 2011 at 11:34 am
  2. Well think about this. My stepfather buys me a ‘40 Ford Delux coupe when I’m 14. tells me we will build a “hot rod” together. it never happens. this thing is all ORIGINAL, has the stock interior with the jump seats, on the frame. yahoo before, cut the cross member and floor pan to install a Olds engine-trans, didn’t work. bought for 75.00 in 1968, sold for 75.00 in 1971. do I wish I had it back, YOU BET I DO!!!! now I’m trying to find a ‘37 slant back 2 door sedan that I can make a DD out of.

    Dan C. on March 23rd, 2011 at 2:20 pm
  3. There were a few but the one that is a standout is the 1969 Camaro Indy Pace car I used to own. White convertible with Hugger orange stripes and Hugger orange interior. I lived in Jersey but moved to Hollywood to pursue other avenues and unfortuntely I did not have a way to get the car cross country. My brother sold it for me, it makes me sick thinking about that one.

    Bob Herrmann on April 15th, 2011 at 11:23 am
  4. I’m buying this car and I’m 14 :)

    Brittany Snyder on June 3rd, 2011 at 9:55 am
  5. Mine was a ‘69 Charger. It was about 1980-81. I was 15ish and had a full time job. I rode a (blush) moped as it was the only motorized vehicle I could legally ride on the road that went over 15mph. It was my transportation to work and leisure, so it was ok.

    Well… one day I was off work and school, “cruising” the back roads of southern Franklin County, Ohio near Rickenbacker AFB. I went up a hill and around a bend on Noe-Bixby road and there she sat: An all-original 1969 Dodge Charger. The lighter drab green paint was faded but there were no dents or rust. It was in a side yard, partially under a tree.

    There was no “for sale” sign, but I was instantly thunderstruck and determined to ask. The place wasn’t what you would call “high-class” and the guy who came to the door reminded me of Bonnie and Cylde’s driver’s father; wife beater and all, allowing about 3 inches bloated lower torso to be proudly displayed. He seemed sociable enough though and was happy to show me the car.

    He said he hadn’t thought about selling it, but probably would for the right price. It didn’t run and he had no idea why. It had sat for a few years like this, in this exact spot.

    I was drooling at this point. Every little detail added fuel to my passion. The awesome shifter on the automatic console, the dash, the bucket seats, the headlights and even the “on-deck” gas cap; they all burned their images in my mind and I still see them today as clear as ever.

    After some conversation, he finally said that he would take $400 for it. I shook his hand and told him that it would take me (on my moped at “light-speed”, remember) about 2 hours to get home and back and since it was a weekend day, I would have to get a check from my father. If he wanted I would bring the check today, leave the car and come back Monday with cash, just hold the car! He was agreeable to just the check and I was so excited that I think I could have ran home.

    So when I get home I called my father and he said just get a check from his drawer and write it out. I had money in the bank, myself in (savings) and could cover this but you all probably recall that in those days we were far from ATM’s and weekend or online banking. M-F 8-5 was the norm, but this was gonna be ok!

    I carefully folded the check into my shirt pocket and set off to close the deal. It seemed to take forever.

    As I went up the hill something seemed wrong. A premonition or maybe a glimpse, I don’t know but I suddenly felt a little ill. Rounding the corner, the nightmare came true. The car was gone.

    The guy said that a relative came with a tow-bar while I was gone. He had told his wife he was going to sell it and she said “cousin Roy” or some (explicative) kin had always wanted that car and would be mad if it was sold to someone else (me!). So she called “cousin Roy” and sold it to him for $200! ARGH!

    Kicked in the teeth, that was how I felt! 30 years later and I still kick rocks over this! haha Oh well, you win some, you lose some… I just wish I hadn’t lost that one and often wonder about the “what if’s” around that car and memory!

    Ed Yaekle on October 3rd, 2011 at 2:28 pm
  6. I had just turned 16 had a job at pizza hut and had been saving paper route money for a few years.One day a buddy of mine tells me that the ford dealership that he is a porter at just got a 70 mustang trade in for about $600 that looks in good shape. I had more than enough cash so that night we borrow my dads car, go up there and take a look at it Sure enough it looks nice {to a 16 year old anyway} Maaco type paint Cragars, side pipes air shocks Big O 50 series tires and all! I ask the salesman that came out if I could test drive it He asks how old I am and when he finds out that i’m 16 he tells me to come back with an adult because this is “alot of car for a kid” I bring back my dad the next day and he looks it over asks a few questions about the hood scoop and several other things like are the side pipes going to get me a noise ticket Is it jacked up in the back for a reason The salesman suggests the two of them should go for a ride first without me in the car and he would explain a little about the car. While leaving the dealer lot the salesman IGNITES the tires thru the first two gears {bias ply} stays in the throttle for about 300 yards further, makes a U turn comes back idling and parks the car in the same spot. My dad gets out looking a little pale looks me straight in the eye and says I don’t know what the hell Boss 429 means but you ain’t buying that car because you wouldn’t live thru the weekend! We eventually snuck the car out one evening for about a half hour and looking back I’m pretty sure he was right about not letting me buy it. I never found out if it was an original Boss but I’ll never forget the sight of those huge valvecovers under the hood!

    Bob on October 11th, 2011 at 1:39 am
  7. In June of 1970 I purchased a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T Hemi from an executive at Chrysler for $3,750.00. It was 6 months old with 4,000 Miles. Plum Crazy, Slap-stick auto, black vinyl interior 4:10
    Dana rear-end, Am-FM Stereo with 8-track and rally wheels. Had the plate number 426-425. I was 24 yrs. old and always wanted a Vette. I had this car 2 yrs. and then I gave a guy $1,500 and this car for a ‘69 Vette Coupe, 350 automatic. Do I ever wish I could go back in time on this one! Oh well!

    Carl Kirk, Ontario, Canada on October 16th, 2011 at 11:46 pm
  8. Saw an ad in the late 1970’s, maybe early 80’s, for a Dodge Daytona, (you know, the one with the big wing and nosecone, cousin to the Plymouth Superbird)

    Remember thinking they couldn’t give me one of those ugly Coronets in Talladega-drag, I laughed at the asking price of $900 obo (or best offer) and thought good luck with that one, I wouldn’t give ‘em even $500 for it.

    Don’t need to tell you how much I now wished I’d have bought that one!

    Also passed on my neighbor’s 1965 and 1/2 Mustang 2+2 Fastback for $1,700 in 1967, buying an AMC 1968 Javelin instead.

    Man, those were the days!

    CJ Martin on October 17th, 2011 at 10:13 pm
  9. will check into this for you. No one has reported a problem previously

    Nancy on December 25th, 2011 at 10:21 pm
  10. It was the summer of 1973, I had just graduated from High School and I had my eyes on a used 1968 Acapulco Blue Convertible with a beautiful roll bar. All I knew at the time was that it was a GT350 with Stripes and black interior with a 4 speed manual transmission. Since it was my first car my dad was going to cosign the loan for me. I was supposed to find something I liked and then let him know so we could go test drive it and he would dicker with the salesman. When we walked on the Chevy lot to look at the used cars there was the car I was dreaming about. Dad and I looked at it and then he looked under the hood. The first words that came out of his mouth were; “NO F’ing way am I letting you buy this car. You’ll either kill yourself or get a thousand tickets.” Regardless of how much I pleaded he was not letting me buy the Acapulco Blue convertible because it had a supercharger. I said “Dad, it’s only $4400 and I have half of that saved for my down payment”. The old man refused to budge and he started looking at the hardtop fastback Mustang sitting right next to the convertible. He looked it over pretty closely and checked the sticker price. He said “Here, this one is a hardtop and doesn’t have a hot rod engine and the price is only $3900. If you want to buy this one I’ll cosign for your loan to help you build your credit”. It was a 1969 Mustang Mach 1, Black Jade with Black interior and a black vinyl top. I was somewhat disappointed as it was an automatic but Dad convinced me that it would be cheaper to run and it would not attract tickets like the bright blue convertible with the supercharger on the engine and a 4 speed manual transmission.

    To this day I will never forget the Acapulco Blue, 1968 Shelby Mustang GT350 Convertible with a Paxton Supercharger and a 4 speed Toploader transmission. They only built 404 Shelby Mustang convertibles in 1968 and had it not been for my Dad I would have bought the Shelby for $4400. I would have been the second owner and I ended up keeping the Mach 1 until about 1987 when it had seen too many miles and since it did not have a 428 Cobrajet it really was not considered collectable. There were far too many Black Jade Mach 1’s with a factory 351 Windsor engine.

    Ben Warner on March 19th, 2012 at 1:37 am
  11. Glad to see the someone final gave it the proper paint job that car deserves. Plum Crazy should not be that pink!

    Automobile Transport on April 11th, 2012 at 12:55 pm
  12. I bought an all original “63 Chevy II, inline 6 with a powerglide in 1972 from a friend who had plans to hot rod it. The car had already been primed and the body was perfect and ready for paint. I bought the car for $150.00 and had plans to put a small block in it with a 4 speed.

    I was fresh out of high school and was working that summer out of town doing pipeline work. I came home one weekend and my dad asked me to move the car from the front driveway to the rear of the house since the car didn’t look all that great in primer. I told him I would move the car but didn’t get a chance that weekend I was home.

    The following weekend I came home intending to move the car, but it was gone. I asked my mom where the car was and she told me I would have to ask my dad when he came home. When he arrived, he told me he had the car towed to a salvage yard.

    I immediately called the salvage yard, but, well…………you know the rest of the story.

    Kurt Wagner on September 1st, 2012 at 3:30 pm
  13. i had one just like the challenger rt / conv/ 426 hemi 4 spd back in 1974 / fastest id ever drovt it was 185 mph in californa cost 800.00 ticket but it was fun fun fun / i traded it for a mustaing 350 calf style fastback with a 429 jc
    no compearson
    give it to a friend when i went over sea – vietnam in 75 sure do miss it ..!

    john on January 27th, 2013 at 12:34 am
  14. i don’t have a story…most of the cars i’ve bought/owned weren’t future collectables. “the one that got away”? some of them i’ve wished they would get away, far away. i recently purchased a 1975 Buick Regal 2 door Landau. it’s red with a white top and has this odd grey/light greenish corduroy fabric interior. 60/40 split bench seat, deluxe seat belts. the interior is in pretty descent shape for a 38 year old car. it has the Buick Rallye wheels and the HD suspension with sway bars and the Buick 2 Bbl. V 8 motor. has sport mirrors and the owners son said it has 67,000 miles, has the paperwork and the twenty nine year old tires on the front so i guess it does. i’m gonna’ drop this raised compression 350 Buick 4 Bbl. motor i had redone out of my ‘79 Le Sabre into it, and have the diff. changed out to a posi, maybe 3.08. put some BFG T/A’s on it and i think it ought to be a descent daily driver. cars are cool : )

    sonic_boom on June 20th, 2013 at 9:19 pm
  15. I was 15, it was 1978 I used to ride my bike to 4 miles work everyday after school (Up Hill Both Ways lol) I was saving all my money for a hot rod ! I used to cut through this back yard everyday. In the middle of the yard there was a big junk pile. Looked like old bikes tires and car fenders.One day I took a closer look at this pile. There was a rotting car cover under all this. I removed enough things to find under the pile was a 1955 Chevy Convertible !!!!!!!!!
    It was all tricked out ! costume door knobs chrome everywhere. Small block with a 4 speed. Red and white !!!!!
    This old woman came out of the house and asked me if I wanted to buy it !!!!!!!!!!!!
    She told me this was her son’s car. He went to Vietnam and never returned.
    She said what do you think it is worth ?
    I said I am not sure but what I saved and what I was getting paid tomorrow I will have $400
    She said GREAT ! Take it !
    I had $20 and asked her to take it as a down payment and I would be back with the rest tomorrow. She said hold onto to my money cause the car has been sitting here for years and it will still be there tomorrow.
    I DIDN”T SLEEP that night !
    I flew on my bike the next day, only to find the big lump under the pile GONE !!!!!!!
    She said you would never believe what happened. 15 minutes after I left yesterday another gentleman offered her $400 also. He had all the cash. She said she wasn’t sure if I was going to return !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ken on June 27th, 2013 at 5:13 pm
  16. It was the summer of 1968 and I was working on a road crew putting a layer of blacktop over a bad cement hi-way. It was during semester break, so i had no money saved up for anything else except for college expenses. I was driving a 1955 Studebaker Speedster that ran pretty good but was pretty dead as for as doing any racing was concerned.
    I was staying in a small town 150 miles from my home town, and in this small ‘one horse town’ there was a used car lot. To my surprise it had a 1963 Chevy Biscayne 2 door post with a 409 paired to a 4-speed tranny. It was in mint condition with maroon paint and I wanted it, because I had always dreamed of having a 409.
    But I also wanted to finish my college education, so I passed it up. If another one comes along, I’ll buy it, but, I’m sure, not for the small price they wanted for that beautiful 409!

    Dennis Mather on August 15th, 2013 at 11:08 pm
  17. We’ve transported so many cars that we’ve wanted to own ourselves – it’s like you’re letting it “slip away” every time you see one of those beauties go :(

    The upside is that we get to see so many awesome rides on a regular basis!

    Cobalt Car Shippers on March 25th, 2014 at 1:28 pm
  18. I write with reference to the 1970 hemi challenger convertible from Sweden.
    I am the eldest son of Peter jordan (the guy who imported it here from Sweden in the late 80’s.
    I remember going down the local dual carriageway in this thing with my dad at the wheel. I remember him selling it to milt robson and arranging the Deal in the family dining room! One day, I’m sure my dad will get round to telling his chapter in this amazing cars history……
    For those who don’t believe me, my dad was also theman responsible for amassing the carlos monteverde hemi collection. But that’s for another day…..

    Kevin jordan on June 8th, 2014 at 4:02 pm
  19. In 1991 I bought 2 cars. A 1968 Dodge Charger and a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda. The Charger has a 383 magnum, 727 trans, with A.J.Foyt mags, 60000 miles.I paid 2500 for it. It is yellow with black vinyl top. I also got a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda gran coupe.A]C, auto,318 vintl top for 1500. Neither car has rust.The charger runs perfect.The barracuda needs a rebuild on the engine. There still are deals out there, just keep looking!

    Lee Wyatt on August 6th, 2014 at 11:13 pm
  20. When I was little I would always ask my brother if I could go with him to his friend’s house, just for the ride. We took the same way every time and the only reason I would go was because we passed this one house with two huge trees in their front yard that shaded their driveway and two stall garage. Sitting outside their garage every time was (I just recently researched to get a correct year/make/model) a 1973 Dodge Charger SE in a dusty, aged, faded, Yellow with the rear spoiler, Hood decal and scoop, and on top of the roof towards the front was a vinyl top but it stopped a little in between mid way and the rear window and the rest was painted towards the back. I have drooled over this car for a little over 11 years now (I’m only 19 and I still have time) but have never gathered up the courage to talk to the owner. I don’t want it to be the car that got away!

    Simeon on September 9th, 2014 at 9:25 pm
  21. This one didn’t get away & is an interesting story. One day I’m over with my friend at his buddies house. All of a sudden his friend wants a keg of beer. He says I have 1956 chevy in the yard. I don’t know how to get it to run because my brother took out the distributor.
    I told I can do that it is easy. He says you want the car, I say how much? He says a kegger is $40 dollars with the deposit on the keg. So I said you want $40 bucks for this car then? He thinks a minute and says, yes ok, I’ll take that for it. Unknown to me was this chevy 210 was special. It had a Weber racing clutch and flywheel, but it was worn out. I called Weber they say bring it to our factory and we will replace it as there is a lifetime garentee on all of our racing clutches. 3 days later here it is brand new setup for $18 bucks C. O. D. & had a Muncie 4 Speed and the original 265 cu inch engine
    At home with the next day I set up the timing put in the distributer and she fired right up. All for $40. Oh the one that got away my childhood bud, Bill, purchased a 1967 Corvette Stingray you guessed it a 427 Tri-power set up 450 horsepower…….L88 engine…….Muncie four speed. After about a year he says to me I’ll sell it to you for $1700.00 dollars. I had a 1971 Cevelle SS 454….so that vehicle went on to sell for over a quarter of a million dollars. Oh well I got $400 dollars for my wrecked Chevelle in 1978.

    richard moore on September 10th, 2014 at 9:03 pm
  22. My dad would not permit me to purchase with my money a 1965 silver Corvette convertible with a 327 CI, 4-speed Muncie transmission, and fuel injection for $1200 in 1973 because I was 16 and did not need a fancy car. So in 2012 without his permission I bought a 1967 silver Corvette convertible 327 CI for $70k. A liitle boy’s dream car remained a big boy’s dream car.

    Kelly Lucas on September 29th, 2014 at 9:57 pm
  23. I have owned and loved many Corvettes during the past fifty years.Not even a flirtation with a Ferrari Daytona cooled my ardor.In 1983 I acquired my current pride and joy ,an all original 1967 Goodwood Green 350 hp air coupe, fully optioned.In 1988 in a moment of weakness I sold it to my cousin Dennis.Years
    later, filled with remorse,I implored him to sell it back to me. He finally relented just in time for my 60th birthday.I still have it.I shall be forever grateful.
    Ah, but the one that really got away..I built it during my college years in the mid sixties.It was a 1961 two top”sleeper”. Except for a non-standard paint job,pale green/white hardtop, it looked
    all stock. But inside was a tweaked 1965 327/365 hp screamer, coupled to a special flywheel and clutch , a 2.20 Muncie gearbox and a 4.56 posi rear end. Traction bars, h d suspension, off road mufflers, and a Sun 10,000 rpm tachometer rounded out the package.
    This car literally breathed excitement !
    Together with fellow C 1 owners Louie Melchior and Pete
    Wysocki we joyously ignored the traffic regulations of Bergen County , New Jersey.What great fun.
    But then came graduation and a letter of acceptance from the Peace Corps.The car had to go. I saw no other choice.
    In recent years I have tried to trace the “sleeper” without success.My ‘67 coupe is a keeper,but I still dream about the ‘61 and the joy of my youth.
    Rob Iannucci Brooklyn Heights , N Y Nov 25 ,2014

    Rob Iannucci on October 26th, 2014 at 2:14 am
  24. 1966 Chevelle convertable 327 4 speed
    1969 427 Mach 1 shaker hood with drag pack
    1974 Buick GS
    To add insult to injury to first two were only $600.00 but my money was tied up custodial account

    Howard Moore on January 15th, 2015 at 4:45 pm
  25. In 1974 while stationed in Guam with the Air Force my family and I had just has Sunday brunch at the Hilton Hotel on Tumon Bay. I turned and drove up the hill to take a little drive through the neighborhoods above the bay. I turn a corner and sitting in a backyard is a 1960 Corvette with the hardtop. The car was up on blocks and from appearances had been there a while. I started to stop but, then thought about it for minute and decided I didn’t need to buy another car with only five months left on my tour. In those days to place a car on the ship it had to be running or the cost went up significantly. When we were staying the temporary lodging just prior to leaving Guam I was talking to a fellow car guy and told him about the Corvette and where it located. The next day he hunts me up and thanks me profusely for the information on the car. He then tells me that he went to look at it and asked the man who answered the door if it was for sale. The owner told him it didn’t run and he said he was going to fix the engine if he was able to buy it. Whereupon the owner went and got the title and gave it to him and said he would have to put the fence back after he removed the car. I was sick all the way back to the mainland.

    Jan Hoffman on May 5th, 2015 at 5:43 pm

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