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Dodge Charger

Although Dodge was already well-established as a manufacturer of cars and trucks, it was its record-breaking achievements on the Bonneville Salt Flats in the 1950s that really got America sitting up and taking notice. Beneath a scorching sun the company smashed no fewer than 196 speed records in a single year, but it was the 1968 launch of the awesome, V8-engined Dodge Charger that really got things moving for the marque.

BY OFFERING BUYERS of an otherwise standard production car a choice of several powerful V8s including the near-legendary 426 Chrysler Hemi, Dodge dealers found themselves with a fast yet eminently practical machine that appealed to ordinary customers.

Already a street racing legend, with its signature, semi-fastback styling, the Charger’s role as the General Lee in the hit US TV series, Dukes of Hazzard, secured the Dodge’s place in pop-culture history. The R/T (Road/Track) version gave Dodge the halo model it needed to succeed in the increasingly competitive muscle market, and formed the basis of the more aerodynamic, race-winning Dodge Charger Daytona.



ModelDodge Charger, 1967-70
ConstructionSteel monocoque
Engine5,211-7,206 cc, V8
Power output290-375 hp
Transmission3- or 4-speed manual, 3-speed automatic
SuspensionFront torsion bars, rear leaf springs
BrakesDrum with optional front discs
Maximum speed126-150 mph (203-241 km/h)


Clean, swept lines, dynamic styling, pillarless window apertures, and a sleek, complex profile gave the semi-fastback Charger a dominating presence, and made a powerful statement about the direction in which Dodge was heading.

Charger badge

The Charger was from an era when Dodge models tended not to carry a corporate emblem, their identity being individually designed for each model; hence the dramatic typography and meaningless graphic motifs on the Charger.


With only modest sales outside North America, it is easy to underestimate the significance of Dodge and to ignore the many highlights of its century-long history.

Huge, fast, and with a brutal personality, for lovers of Americana there is little to beat the appeal of the muscle car. None could rival the sophistication and charisma of a European thoroughbred, but the US cars were just as fast (at least in a straight line), and still offered quite extraordinary levels of bang for your buck.

Large and lazy V8s drink fuel but they are durable and relatively easy to maintain. Mammoth sales at the time, and components shared with lesser models, also mean that Charger spares are usually readily obtained from US suppliers.

Twin headlamp—uncovered

Retractable plastic headlight covers

Styling details on bonnet

Sporty hubcaps featuring Dodge logo

Opening quarterlights

Rear roof buttress covered in black vinyl

Ornamented chrome fuel filler cap

Purposeful black and chrome dashboard

Auto-shifter is centre-mounted

Head-restraints are an unusual safety feature for the time


It is a quote. The Classic Car Book – The Definitive Visual History 2016

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