Sunday 8 May 2016
The Dodge Charger is a brand of automobiles marketed by Dodge. The first Charger was a show car in 1964. There have been several different production Chargers, built on three different platforms and sizes. In the U.S., the Charger nameplate has been used on subcompact hatchbacks, full-sized sedans, and personal luxury coupes. The current version is a four-door sedan.
The 1971 model year introduced a new third generation Charger that was characterized by a new split grille and more rounded "fuselage" bodystyle. The interiors were like those of the E-body and were now shared by the Plymouth B-body, the Plymouth Satellite Sebring and Road Runner. The hidden headlights were now optional. A rear spoiler and a "Ramcharger" hood were new options. This hood featured a pop-up scoop mounted above the air cleaner controlled by a vacuum switch under the dash. On Plymouth Road Runners it was called the "Air Grabber" hood, and it was previously used on the Coronet R/T and Super Bee.
Dodge also merged its Coronet and Charger lines. From 1971, all four-door B-bodies were badged as Coronets and all two-door B-bodies as Chargers. Thus for one year only, the Charger Super Bee became part of the Charger lineup. From 1971 to 1974, Charger models used the Coronet's VIN prefix of "W".
The Dodge Super Bee made the move from the Coronet line to the Charger line for 1971 only, after which this model was discontinued. Several other models were carried over from 1970, including the 500, R/T, and SE. Sales of the R/T declined due in part to higher insurance costs. A total of 63 Hemi versions were built, and 2,659 were built with other engines that year. Increasing insurance rates, combined with higher gasoline prices, reduced sales of most muscle cars and 1971 was the last year of availability for the 426 Hemi "Elephant engine" in any car. The 1971 model year was the last for the 440 Six-Pack engine (although some early Dodge literature (August 1971 press) stated that this engine was available for 1972. However, a few factory installed six-pack Chargers and 6BBl Road Runners were built early in the production run). In the Super Bee's final year, the 340 became a $44 option over the standard, low-compression 383 .
The "Hi-Impact" colors were discontinued after the 1971 model year; with a 1971-only "Citron Yella".
The 1972 Charger introduced a new "Rallye" option to replace the R/T version. The SE was differentiated from other 1972 Chargers by a unique formal roof treatment and hidden headlights. The 383 engine was replaced with a lower compression 4-barrel 400, while the 440 engine were still available, rated at net 280 hp (209 kW; 284 PS) rating instead of the previous 350 hp (261 kW; 355 PS) gross values. The ratings went down as the net horsepower measure was more realistic. Also beginning in 1972, all engines featured hardened valve seats to permit the use of regular leaded or unleaded gasoline rather than leaded premium fuel as in past years due to tighter emissions regulations. Though the 440+6 (designating a triple 2-barrel carb setup and 310 bhp (231 kW; 314 PS) was listed in the early 1972 sales literature, it was found in the August 1971 testing that this engine would not meet the new and more stringent 1972 emissions laws. The low-compression 4-barrel 440 Magnum 280 hp (209 kW; 284 PS) with a 4-barrel carburetor became the top engine, and the optional Pistol-Grip 4-speed Hurst manual shifter could be coupled to the 340, 400, and 440 Magnum engines. The Ramcharger hood scoop was discontinued, as well as elimination of optional lower geared performance rear axle ratios and extra heavy duty suspensions. It was also the final year for the Dana 60 differential, and was available only in combination with the 440/4 speed, heavy duty suspension, and the 3.54:1 rear axle ratio.
The only remaining "Hi-Impact" color choices were "Hemi Orange" (EV2) and "Top Banana" (FY1), the latter was available under different names through 1974.
For the 1973 model year, Chargers received new sheet metal (though at first glance only the rear roof "C-Pillars" looked different) and were in fact longer, wider, and slightly taller than the 1971-72 cars. Also new were vertically slatted taillights and new grilles. Hidden headlights were dropped, even as an option. The 318 was still standard, with the 340 (available only on the Rallye), 360 (2-barrel only), 400 (low power 2-barrel/single exhaust and high performance 4-barrel/dual exhaust) and 440 remaining as options. The SE models had a new roof treatment that had a "triple opera window" surrounded by a canopy-style vinyl roof. All other models had a new quarter window treatment, discontinuing its AMC Gremlin-style window in favor of a more conventional design. Total sales this year were around 108,000 units, the highest ever for the 1971-74 Charger generation, though more than 60 percent of the cars had the non-high performance engines. The 1973 Chargers, and all Chrysler products, were equipped with 5 mph bumpers, front and rear.
The 1974 model year saw only minor changes that included new color choices, a softer grain pattern on interior surfaces, and a slight increase in the size of the rubber bumper tips. The 340 option was dropped and the 360 4-bbl replaced the 340 as the small block performance engine. All other engine options remained the same. Several performance rear end ratios, including a 3.23 "Sure Grip" rear end were still available. A four speed transmission was still an option except with the 440 engine. Emphasis now turned to luxury instead of performance with higher sales for the SE model. The Charger, was no longer considered a performance model as it turned into a personal luxury car. The muscle car era came to a close, and the 1974 Dodge Charger would be the final year. The 1974 also came with a 360 cu in (5.9 L) 2-bbl V8, with a K in the fifth symbol in the vehicle identification number.
- engine: V8
- capacity: 5900 cc
- horsepower: 195 HP
- gearbox: 4+1
- top speed: 190 km/h