Archive for January, 2011

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.