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Ever since Hollywood began incorporating cars into the plots of movies, several iconic models have become eternally linked to certain characters and settings, further cementing their history to the point where some vehicles have been known to increase in value simply because they were featured in a popular movie.
From Mr. Bean and his Leyland Mini 1000 or James Bond and his Aston Martin to the wide array of legendary models portrayed in The Fast And Furious franchise, many cars and their movie configurations end up generating cult-like followings and fandoms. In 1971, when the movie Vanishing Point hit the cinemas, the Dodge Challenger R/T that was chosen as the protagonist’s car would end up becoming a fan favorite for its role in the action-packed car chase.
5 cream white Dodge Challenger R/Ts were used during the filming of Vanishing Point, which was about the challenge to get from Denver to San Francisco in less than 15 hours, hence why producers selected the 1970 Dodge ‘Challenger’ as the main vehicle. Nowadays, people still wonder what happened to the 5 units after the events, and their murky fates might just surprise you.
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What Happened To The Challengers Used In Vanishing Point?
Unfortunately, the legendary muscle car Dodge Challenger R/Ts that were originally used in Vanishing Point didn’t survive to tell the tale. All 5 units were sold at a salvage auction in 1971 shortly before becoming nothing but scrap, and they were never heard of again, breaking the hearts of countless enthusiasts that would have gladly paid big bucks to get their hands on one.
On a happier note, for the remake of Vanishing Point in 1997, producers didn’t make the same mistake as before, and they decided to save all 5 units of the Dodge Challenger R/T that had been used for the second movie. A man called Ted Stephens – who owns the garage Stephen’s Performance in Alabama, approached the producers of the Vanishing Point remake and ended up buying all five units, which he still owns to this day.
Ted fully restored the main unit or ‘unit one’ that had been used during the making of the movie, but he left all the others exactly as they were when they came out of filming, which just adds an even higher degree of desirability to the untouched units.
Specs Of The 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T
The 1970 Challenger R/T came in a couple of different versions, but the main one featured in the Vanishing Point remake was the 426 Hemi with a 4-speed manual. The beastly muscle car’s 6.9-liter V8 Hemi could put down 425 horsepower and 490 pound-feet of torque. It could go from 0-60 mph in just 4.7 seconds and was able to run the ¼ mile in a very impressive 13.3 seconds.
Needless to say, the 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T was a beast of a muscle car in its own right, and the fact that it featured in such a legendary movie as Vanishing Point and its respective remake only added to its legendary status. The originals may be lost forever, but it’s good to know that the 5 units from the remake are in good and safe hands.
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