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Dodge Charger

What can I say about this car, it is just awesome.

A nice 73 Charger

1965 Dodge Chargers!

Mike Sealey and Jeff Chong wrote that there was a 1965 Dart produced in small numbers with the "Charger 273" name. 180 were actually made at the LA factory, and 300 kits were dealer-installed. It was based on a Dart GT either as a hardtop or convertible and all of them were yellow with a black top and interior, with the Hi-Po 273, 13X6 Cragar mag wheels, and special Charger emblems.

1966 to 1967 Dodge Chargers

The centerpiece of Dodge's 1966 efforts was the Charger, based on the Coronet's body shell, but with a fastback roofline. The grille resembled the Coronet, but had retractable headlights, giving the car a sporty look.

There were 37,344 1966 Chargers sold, only 468 with the 426 Hemi engine. The Charger came standard with a sturdy 318 V-8, then still new. The 2bbl 361 and 4bbl 383 were also options; the Hemi came in mid-year. The 318 Charger came standard with a 3 speed manual, and the bigger engines came with either a 4 speed manual or the Torqueflite automatic.

The Charger did very well on the NASCAR circuit, winning the manufacturer's championship.

The 1967 version was essentially the same except for minor trim changes. The 361 was replaced with the 2bbl version of the 383 and the 375 hp 440 Magnum joined the option list. The Hemi was still available, but only 118 were produced With sales down to less than 15,000 units, the fastback wasn't a big hit in the marketplace.

 1968 Dodge Chargers

Totally restyled with the new "Coke bottle" look, the Charger is thought by many to be Chrysler's best looking muscle car of 1968 and the best looking performance car of the 1960s.

The model line up expanded to include the Charger R/T, equipped like the Coronet R/T - it came with a 440 Magnum, heavy duty suspension and brakes, and the bulletproof Torqueflite 727 3 speed auto with a 4 speed manual optional. The rear bumblebee stripes were a deletable option.

The base Charger came standard with the corporate 225 slant 6 or 318 V-8, neither of which was a performance engine.

The Charger was a huge success on the street with 90,000 sales, but did not do as well on the NASCAR circuit.  Ford had been working on aerodynamics, and the Charger's top speed was not good enough.  They addressed that a year later with the 500.


 1969 Dodge Charger

The Charger was left virtually untouched. They added a center grille divider, and recessed taillights. The backup lights moved to below the rear bumper. The options remained the same, except there was a SE package that was available on the base and R/T's the package included leather front seats along with simulated wood on the dash and steering wheel.

The Charger 500, with a Coronet grille and a flush rear window, was built by Creative Industries; 500 were sold in accordance with NASCAR rules. It was a match for Ford's new aerodynamic racing models, but was not overwhelming. Chrysler had an ace up their sleeve, though: the product of extensive wind tunnel testing, the Charger Daytona included a massive rear spoiler and an aero nose. No other car could match it on the track (in top speed), with its standard 440 and optional Hemi. However, its looks, notable today, were not appreciated in 1969.

Dodge Chargers of the 1970s

In 1970, a front loop bumper and a new taillight treatment was added. The R/T got simulated scoops on the door, and a longitudal stripe instead of  the rear bumblebee stripes.

The engine options remained the same except a 440 6 pack (3 2 barrel Holley carbs mounted on an Edelbrock intake manifold) was added.

The 500 was now a dressed up base model with the 318 as standard equipment. The SE package was still available, but only with the redesigned (optional) bucket seats. Unlike other Chrysler intermediates, the Charger did not have 15" wheels.  

1971 brought an attractive restyled Charger that lacked the punch of its predecessors. With a Pontiac-like grille and high beltline, it look even bigger than it was. The wheelbase was 2" shorter and the length was decreased by 3".

The six charger models in 1971 included a base, hardtop, 500, SE, R/T, and Super Bee.

The Charger Super Bee became Dodge's street racer. It replaced the Coronet Super Bee with a standard 300HP 383 and floor mounted 3 speed manual. Optional engines were the 440 six pack and the 426 hemi.

Top of the line was the Charger R/T with its standard 440 Magnum V8 rated at 370 HP. Optional was the 440 six pack and 426 hemi. The R/T  used the same hood and tape side treatment as the Super Bee, but two additional stripes on each door simulated vents.

1971 proved to be the last high performance Charger.  From 1972 to 1974 the performance model was the Rallye, with a detuned 440 engine available.





 440 Magnum V8


The most famous 69 Charger The General Lee

Turbo-UK 2002

Copyright R E Phillips