Sunday 10 July 2016
The Dodge Charger (B-body) is a mid-size automobile that was produced by Dodge from 1966 to 1978, and was based on the Chrysler B platform.
The entire B-body lineup for the 1968 model year was redesigned and the Charger was further differentiated from the Dodge Coronet models. Designer Richard Sias developed a double-diamond coke bottle profile with curves around the front fenders and rear quarter panels. 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-width hidden headlight grille, but a vacuum operated cover replaced the electric motor rotating headlights. The previous full-width taillights were replaced with dual circular units at the direction of Styling Vice President, Elwood P. Engel. Dual scallops were added to the doors and hood.
Inside, the interior was new with a conventional fixed rear seat replacing the folding bucket seat design. The conventional trunk area included a vinyl mat, rather than the previous model's carpeted cargo area. The center console in the front remained, but there was no center armrest. The tachometer was now optional instead of standard and the electroluminescent gauges disappeared in favor of a conventional design.
The standard engine was the 318 cu in (5.2 L) 2-bbl V8, until it was replaced in mid-year with a 225 cu in (3.7 L) slant-six. The 383-2 and 383-4 remained unchanged. A new high-performance package was added, the R/T ("Road/Track" with no 'and' between Road and Track). The R/T came standard with the previous year's 440 "Magnum" and the 426 Hemi was optional.
In 1968, Chrysler Corporation began an ad campaign featuring a cartoon bee with an engine on its back featuring models 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, but could be deleted at no extra cost.
The 1968 model year Charger sales increased to 96,100, including over 17,000 Charger R/Ts.
In 1968, the NASCAR inspired Charger R/T failed to beat the Ford cars (the Ford Torino Talladega and the Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II) on the high-banks oval-tracks. Wind tunnel tests showed the tunneled rear window caused lift and the gaping mouth induced drag. As a result, Dodge made the rear window flush with the rest of the roof and put a 1968 Coronet grille in the front.
The original Charger 500 prototype was a 1968 Charger R/T with a 426 Hemi and automatic transmission. The prototype was painted in B5 Blue with a white stripe, as well as a white interior. The Charger 500 was one of three models introduced in September 1968. Standard engine was the 440 Magnum, but factory literature claims the 426 Hemi was standard. The Charger 500 had the Torqueflite standard and the same equipment standard as the R/T.
A total of 500 Charger 500s were made, of which only 67 had the 426 Hemi engine; 27 with a 4-speed and 40 with an automatic transmission.
- engine: V8
- capacity: 6300 cc
- horsepower: 330 HP
- gearbox: 4+1
- top speed: 210 km/h