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1968 Dodge Charger

1968 Dodge Charger (Cars)

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Dodge Charger (B-body)

The Dodge Charger was a model of car produced by Dodge. The 1966 (52 years ago) to 1974 (44 years ago) Chargers were sporty models based on the Chrysler B platform that could be ordered with high-performance options. The 1975 (43 years ago) to 1978 (40 years ago) Chargers were based on the Chrysler Cordoba. The Dodge Charger R/T was one of the largest muscle cars available in the 1970 (48 years ago).

History 1968

It was clear after the sales drop of the 1967 (51 years ago) Charger that a restyle was in order. Dodge was going to restyle their entire B-body lineup for 1968 (50 years ago) and decided that it was time to separate the Coronet and Charger models even further. What designer Richard Sias came up with was a double-diamond design that would later be referred to as coke bottle styling. From the side profile the curves around the front fenders and rear quarter panels look almost like a Coke bottle. Front and rear end sheet metal was designed by Harvey J Winn. The rear end featured a "kick up" spoiler appearance, inspired by Group 7 racing vehicles. On the roof a "flying buttress" was added to give the rear window area a look similar to that of the 1966-67 Pontiac GTO. The Charger retained its full-length hidden headlight grille, but the fully rotating electric headlights had been replaced by a simple vacuum operated cover, similar to the Camaro RS. The full length taillights were gone as well. Instead, dual Corvette-inspired taillights were added at the direction of Styling Vice President, Elwood P. Engel. Dual scallops were added to the doors and hood to help accent the new swoopy lines. Inside, the interior shared almost nothing with its first generation brothers. The four bucket seats were gone, the console remained the same as the '67. The tachometer was now optional instead of standard, the trunk and grille medallions were gone, the carpeting in the trunk area was gone, replaced by a vinyl mat, the rear seats did not fold forward and the space-age looking electroluminescent gauges disappeared in favor of a more conventional looking design.

In order to further boost the Charger's muscle car image, a new high-performance package was added, the R/T. This stood for "Road/Track" (no 'and' between Road and Track) and would be the high performance badge that would establish Dodge's performance image. Only the high performance cars were allowed to use the R/T badge. The R/T came standard with the previous year's 440 "Magnum" and the 426 Hemi was optional. The standard engine was the 318 2bbl the rest of the engine lineup (383-2, 383-4) remained unchanged.

In 1968 (50 years ago) Chrysler Corporation unveiled a new ad campaign featuring a Bee with an engine on its back. These cars were called the "Scat Pack". The Coronet R/T, Super Bee, Dart GTS and Charger R/T received bumble-bee stripes (two thin stripes framing two thick stripes). The stripes were standard on the R/Ts and came in red, white or black. They also could be deleted at no cost. These changes and the new Charger bodystyle proved to be very popular with the public and helped to sell 96,100 Chargers, including over 17,000 Charger R/Ts.

A famous Charger was the four-speed, triple-black 1968 (50 years ago) Charger R/T used in the movie Bullitt. The chase scene between Steve McQueen's fastback Mustang GT and the hitmen's Charger R/T is popularly regarded as one of the greatest car chase scenes ever filmed. During filming of the scene, the Charger proved to be extremely durable. When performing the various jumps over the hills in San Francisco, the Mustang GT encountered several suspension problems, while the suspension of the Chargers used never failed once.


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