Restoration Complete!

The day had come to collect Lucy up from the restoration shop. I had mixed feelings. From being nervous about driving her for the first time in 3 years to being excited beyond words. I uplifted the Challenger from the resto shop on the 23rd of December 2005, 2 days before Christmas. I've said it the past but this time, without a doubt, it was true. This was by far the best Christmas present EVER haha!

Lucy was cleaned, polished and given her final seal of approval by the restoration shop. We had a 30 min discussion about oil, fluids, GPS tracking alarm functions, etc before finally been given the keys. OK... key in the ignition...the starter whines... BROOOOM. The restoration is over. She's all mine. What. A. Feeling! The drive was fantastic. It was so tight and firm on the road, I loved it. So many looks and thumbs up even on her maiden voyage. When I eventually returned home haha, it was time to drive my family around first. Mum, Dad, my sister then my cousins. After that, it was first in, first served. 

For New Years 2005/06 I took Lucy up North for our maiden voyage together. We clocked up around 2,000km (1,200-miles) driving time. She drove superbly, not a single problem, she never missed a beat. I was over the moon. The handling was surprisingly fantastic, as let's face it, muscle cars aren't the greatest corner lovers ever made. 

We got plenty of thumbs up, waves and people coming over to have a closer inspection of the car. One guy who followed had one hand on the wheel and the other trying frantically to take footage on his cellphone. Hard-case. I even had one girl at a petrol station say, "Whoa, that's a cute little car!" Little!?!? haha. Anyhow, Lucy deserved all the attention she had received and I was one very proud Mopar owner to say the least.

I hope you enjoyed viewing he restoration. It was a very long 3 years. But, the money, stress and time have all been worth it. Now it's time to enjoy the car as this is what she was built to, drive. A very special thank you to Adam who built the Challenger and now works at the Upper Hutt VTNZ. With his help, he meticulously restored Lucy to what she is today. We worked together to build and restore Lucy to my tastes and needs. I couldn't have gone through a build like this without Adam or more importantly, my Mum, Dad, Sister and family support. Keep safe everyone.... see you on the blacktop. 



The shop owner on the left and Adam, the main builder on the right. 

A make shift ribbon we found near by, thrown on the hood as a joke... but it works haha. Note the blacked out plate? This was done because back in 2005 the public could still track the address by the plate and I used to post photos of her online.

Up the driveway at home, finally. So worth the wait. Sex on wheels.

The Rallye wheels, front fender and emblems on display.

Stopping down at the local park / river during one of my first drives. 

Love that body line. Makes for a real distinct colour / shade change in the light. From a brighter white above to a shady light grey below. It really helps define the famous coke bottle shape and lines. They don't make them like this any more! Sad but true. 

Down at the local horse racetrack. 

A close up of the grille. All the hours were totally worth it. That thing is immaculate!

The rear end sitting pretty. The black and white plates are her original tags since she came here on July 7, 1971. They have since been replaced by the famous Colorado "OA-5599" Vanishing Point plates. It was hard to get rid of the black plates but given what the car is.... the OA-5599 plates are better suited. By a long shot. 

Trunk lid emblems and taillight moldings looking perfect.

The completed 440ci Magnum engine bay. Very clean, very tidy but due to the A/C setup, very crowded. Still... for an A/C engine bay, it'd be hard to have beaten that setup for cleanliness and condition.  

The "pie tin". 

The completed interior. NZ safety belts keep it safe, R/T mats, tilt pistol grip shifter and a Valentine One radar detector. Clean and simple. Love it. 

From more of a drivers view.

The "tic-toc-tac" (Rallye Gauge Cluster) and A/C controls.

The custom made Gear Vendors over drive light display in the top corner of the instrument cluster (dash board). Such a nice touch. Green for on, red for off. When it come stop splitting the gears, very handy. 

The tilt-pistol grip shifter controlling the "Slap-Stik" shifter. I very cool "drag racing" shifter from the factory. Looks basic and is, but it's very clever. Shift back to [1] and floor it... bang up as hard as you want (no buttons) and it will only go up one gear. Same again for [2] gear and [D]. When it shifts up, it drops back a few mm by itself ready to be shifted again. I now run a Hurst Promatic-2 shifter which can be seen in the Hemi Conversion. This gives me great control and is a ratchet (up/down) shifter... it's bad ass.

The door panel with nice chrome touches including the wooden door insert with the "Fratzog" emblem in the centre. Three arrow shapes pointed inward to form a three-sided star. Not knowing what else to call the imaginative design, a Dodge designer made up the whimsical name. Yes... it has zero meaning. Mopar are amazing. Big engines, beautiful shapes, bright cartoon named colours. So unique. 

A Little Video I Put Together To Celebrate! 

The Electric Exhaust Cutouts in Action