When we settled down in our suburban Tokyo neighborhood a good ten years ago, one of the things I was most looking forward to was a good, leisurely walk where I could indulge all my JDM desires; searching out first-gen Mazda Cosmos, Isuzu 117 Coupes, and Nissan Fairlady Z’s… Well, I’ve seen a few of those, but what has surprised me most was discovering a significant a number of cars that would have been right at home in my central Ohio high school parking lot circa 1974.
After finding Kenny’s MOPAR Service a few weeks ago, another Sunday walk in the opposite direction turned up this second generation Dodge Charger, decked out in what looks like some true period-correct JC Whitney accoutrements. Actually, this picture got me thinking, I imagine most folks under 40 may not know what the phrase “jacked up” means; at least in automotive terms. “Jacking up” your car was a favorite trick in the late ’50’s thru late 70’s – the rear spring shackle was extended, raising the back end so you could fit oversize tires, usually slicks, to give your car that “Pro Stock” appearance. The resulting ill effects on handling were usually overlooked. Ahh, youth…
Just like those in my ‘70’s high school parking lot, this one has aftermarket Centerline wheels and a set of “Mickey Thompson’s” in the back. No engine call-outs, so not sure what’s under the hood – engine choices in 1970 were plentiful; from a 225 Slant six to a brace of V8’s – 318, two 383’s, a 440 Magnum or Six Pack, and the infamous 426 Hemi.
Looks like a toolbox on the passengers side so more modifications may be on the menu…
The chrome rectangular grille surround with no center divider and full-width taillight marks this as a ’70, and the badging (or lack of) make it the base model. Chargers for ’70 could be had in three versions; base, sporty R/T, and luxury-themed SE. Unfortunately, the wedge-nosed, high wing Daytona model was no longer available.
As I’m sure CC’ers know, this generation B-Body Charger is regarded as one of the most evocative and attractive designs to ever come out of Highland Park/Auburn Hills – and I agree.
1974 Dodge Charger SE – example from internet
This is another car I’ve had some experience with – in 1977 I bought a used third-gen ’74 Charger, base model, 318 with Torqueflight. I thought the second-gen was better looking but the ’74 was newer and when you’re 21 years old, newer has a unique appeal. Not a bad car – but probably the worst winter car I’ve ever driven – even with snow tires it would just spin its wheels.
Back to the ’70 – here’s why I wouldn’t drive this one to the Fraternal Police Ball…at least the owner was thoughtful enough not to translate it into Japanese…
More Charger love: