RIGHT MOVER The Age of Aquarius Came Alive with Panther Pink in 1970

70 FM3 440-6 Charger

Museum Masterpieces by Geoff Stunkard

VEHICLE: 1970 Dodge Charger R/T

Restored by: Dale Gyorvary

Engine: Dodge 440 Six Pack Magnum

Transmission: 727 Torqueflite

Rearend: 8.75 banjo-type with 3.23

SureGrip Interior:  black hound’s-tooth/white insets

Wheels: Magnum 500

Tires: Goodyear Polyglas G70-14

Special Parts: FM3 Panther Pink paint plus standard equipment for R/T package (believed to be one of two FM3 440-6 Charger R/Ts built).

Owned by The Wellborn Musclecar Museum

Musclecar paint schemes grew more and more crazy in the late 1960s, and Chrysler’s legendary foray into the world of HIP (High Impact Paint) began in 1969, when five special paint colors debuted. These paint hues were actually an extra cost option, so such colors can add to a car’s collector value today. Things got even more extreme in 1970; the Charger here is painted code FM3, known as Panther Pink.

Other Dodge HIP colors in 1970 were EK2 Go-Mango (yellow-orange), EV2 Hemi Orange (or red-orange), FC7 Plum Crazy (purple), FJ5 Sublime (light-green), and FY1 Top Banana (yellow), with FM3 Panther Pink and FJ6 Green-Go (a deeper green than Sub Lime) both added at mid-year. For Plymouth, the corresponding colors were EK2 Vitamin C Orange, EV2 Tor-Red, FC7 In-Violet Metallic, FJ5 Limelight, FY1 Lemon Twist, with FM3 Moulin Rouge and FJ6 Sassy Grass Green added later.

Indeed, it appeared that all of Detroit had gone psychedelic by then; colors plus wild graphics and styling options abounded from the Big Three – scoops, blisters, wheels and wings. And the displacement wars were waging – the 440 was joined in 7+ liter territory with GMs 454” and 455” inch plants in the midsize body range that year. Chrysler did not add cubes for 1970, choosing instead to add more carbs, a package Dodge called the Six Pack.

After showing up in a handful of Road Runners and Super Bees in 1969, the 440 Six Pack was the newest mill for the Dodge line-up in 1970, available in the B-Body and E-Body performance lines and rated at 390 horses. It featured heavy-duty internals and the trio of Holley two-barrels just like the 1969 version, and its main benefit was more fuel throughout the RPM range. Indeed, it was a better street choice for many than the Hemi, since it achieved quicker peak horsepower on a lower torque curve than the 426 ‘elephant’ did. The Six Pack in this Charger R/T is coupled to a Torqueflite and a highway happy 3.23 SureGrip 8 ¾ differential.

Outside, this particular car was optioned with the white vinyl top and the longitudinal sport stripes that were new for 1970 (you could still get the Scat Pack rear-wrap stripe as well). Though it was an R/T model, it did not get a deck wing, and there was no ‘sport hood’ available yet for the Charger (that year’s Road Runners, GTXs and Coronet R/Ts, on the other hand, offered several variations). It also left the St. Louis assembly line with both left and right outside sport mirrors, tinted windshield, and front and rear bumper guards. Magnum 500 road wheels (code W23) and Goodyear Polyglas tires were part of the mix as well. . The F70 tire was the largest available from the factory on this model, but this example now uses the wider G70-14 replacements.

Inside, our Charger came with the scarce hounds-tooth buckets, covered with black vinyl featuring white cloth insets, plus the console with floor mount, woodgrain appliqué  dash with the standard Rallye cluster design (but no clock or tach), AM radio, and the black steering wheel with lower ½ horn ring.

So, who ordered it that way? Believe it or not, this was a sales bank car. These were models built by the factory for general distribution, and sales bank cars helped keep the assembly line busy and helped assure that a ready supply of cars was on hand for the dealerships. It was built very late in the 1970 year, July 10 being the scheduled production date, and may well have been done to help clean up what was laying around the plant since the Charger would undergo some serious restyling the following model year (which would actually begin a little more than a month later).

Tim and Pam Wellborn spotted it at the Mopar Nationals in 2004, and Pam knew it fit her outlook on life to a ‘T.’ Owner Dale Gyorvary had decided to sell it, and it is believed to be one of just two FM3 Six Pack Chargers built that year; the price was reasonable and Pam wanted something that could be driven around. The Six Pack fit that final requirement perfectly.

“What I like best is the color obviously, and I love ‘70 Chargers, unlike my husband, who’s crazy about the ‘71s,” she says with a grin. “The car was done, we didn’t have it do anything to it, and the white accents make this car a standout. It also has that hounds-tooth interior, and it was the only 440 Six Pack in our collection at the time. Those are all the reasons I gave Tim when I said ‘we need this car!’ that day.”

There was one other important reason: she and Tim had first dated in a 1970 440 Charger many moons ago. That car, unrestored and painted Jamaica Blue, is still in their collection as well.

This car has been featured in Musclecar Review and Old Cars Weekly magazines