Citron Yella Stunner: 1971 Dodge Challenger R/T Flexes Rare Factory Option


Introduced for the 1970 model year, the Dodge Challenger was the last muscle car to emerge in the golden era. And some say it arrived a bit late to the party because Chrysler discontinued its high-compression V8 engine after the 1971 model year.
Alongside the 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) Six-Pack and 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI, the Challenger also lost the R/T trim and the convertible body style for 1972. All told, even though the first-gen nameplate remained in production through 1974, the 1970 and 1971 versions are by far the most desirable.

The HEMI Challenger takes the top spot due to its impressive performance figures and scarcity. With only 356 built in 1970 and just 71 delivered in 1971, the HEMI Challenger is a six-figure collector’s item. The convertible version, produced in nine units, is pretty much a unicorn.

However, the engine (or drivetrain combo) is not the only feature that can make a Dodge Challenger rare. In the case of this 1971 hardtop, the culprit is a feature you will probably miss at first glance.

A stunning restoration sporting its factory-original Citron Yella over white color combo, this Challenger is already rare thanks to its R/T trim and model year. While 1970 R/T production reached 18,512 units, Dodge sold only 4,892 range-topping models for the 1971 model year.

Although it doesn’t include the highly desirable 440 Six-Pack or 426 HEMI, the drivetrain combo narrows that figure even more. Documents show that only 2,450 examples got the 383-cubic-inch (6.3-liter) big-block V8, of which 1,985 were paired with the three-speed automatic transmission.


Rated at 335 horsepower, the 383 was the base R/T engine that year. It wasn’t the least powerful, though. That position went to the 340-cubic-inch (5.6-liter) small-block, which Dodge treated as a more fuel-efficient performance option.

Granted, 1,985 units are far from impressive compared to other muscle cars from the golden era, but this is where the factory option I mentioned earlier comes in. This Challenger sports a sunroof, which makes it one of only 31 units fitted with such an item. Yup, Dodge was offering a sunroof on various models at the time, but they weren’t exactly popular.

It’s unclear if this figure applied to the entire R/T production run or just 383-equipped cars. According to the Mopar Sunroof Registry, Dodge sold 63 sunroof Challengers in 1971, 27 of which had the R/T package. It’s close enough, I guess, and the discrepancy is too small to affect the vehicle’s status.

In addition to the sunroof, this Mopar still has the original broadcast sheet and twin fender tags, which make it a highly documented collectible. Not surprisingly, the Challenger crossed the auction block for $93,500 in early 2024, a notable amount of dough for a 383-equipped R/T. You can see it sitting pretty in the video below.