Collector creates a limited run of rare die-cast challengers


One of 12 1970 Dodge Challenger T/As in Panther Pink crossed the Mecum auction block in January of this year and sold above pre-event estimates at $198,000. Wrapped in a bold pink hue with black accents, the car would never be accused of sneaking up on anyone, whether by sight or sound; a 340-cubic-inch Six-Pack engine roars under the distinctive hood.

Only one person won this example, but you can console yourself with a limited-production model version of the 1970 muscle car for less than a tenth of one percent of that price. The 1:18 diecast of Cherry Bomb Collectibles is faithfully painted in the bright panther pink hue, which was offered for a brief time during a 1970 promotion for the Challenger. This miniature even has a small motor labeled “Six Pack” under the shaker hood.

Created by Al Iwaniek and his son Anthony, the 1970 Dodge Challenger is the first collaboration under the Cherry Bomb Collectibles name, but Iwaniek is a die-cast construction veteran. About fifteen years ago, the appliance repair contractor and builder made a series of 1970 Buick GS models, and he says you can still find them on eBay. Iwaniek is a Dodge guy, though: He has a full-size 2013 R/T Challenger with a Hemi in his garage.

The Chicagoland resident tells me there aren’t as many collectibles makers as there used to be and thanks his son Anthony for bringing him back to create a set. An avid collector, Iwaniek owns thousands of models and says he would own more if he had more room in his home. The immersion in the world of collectors allowed him to know which models were already well represented, and he looked for a rare model to reproduce on a small scale. This extremely rare version of the 1970 Challenger caught his eye and moved on to production.

In addition to the spectacular pink Challenger die-cast, Cherry Bomb Collectibles offers 300 examples of a 1970 Challenger R/T in bright red. The red Challenger sports color-matched “dog dish” rims and a rim-blown wheel that was popular at that time. Both cars have Go Wing spoilers and black interiors with a tiny shifter inside, a four-speed manual (which you can’t even get on the current Hellcat) in the pink Challenger and an automatic in three gears in the red.

Deliveries are scheduled for June/July of this year. Not all of us can buy a $200,000 Challenger, so maybe having a 1:18 scale one on our shelves is the next best thing.

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