Here’s a rare variety for you Charger fans, provided to us courtesy of Chris Green. While the Charger SE was not new in 1972, the roof treatment was. It may also have the distinction of being the largest C-pillar on an automobile.
The 1971 Chargers were all new, and this year they were the only option in mid-sized Dodge coupes. While in the 1968-70 period the Charger was essentially a Coronet with special sheetmetal (but what sheetmetal!), in 1971 Coronets were limited to sedan and station wagon models.
As a result, you could get a plain-Jane Charger with hubcaps, a bench seat, and fixed B-pillars. At the other end of the spectrum was the SE, which, as before, was the fanciest model. It included hidden headlights in a special grille and a flossier interior, among other niceties. The Charger R/T and Super Bee rounded out the two door lineup, and the Hemi made its last appearance.
In 1972 the SE received a unique roof treatment, with an extremely wide C-pillar and a tiny vertical quarter window. As insurance premiums were taking the wind out of the sails of the muscle car era, the Broughamized Charger sold better in its formal roofed version, with 22,430 ’72 SEs compared to 15,811 ’71s.
I had forgotten about the one year only ’72 until I saw this very nice example on the Cohort. One thing that impressed me was its originality. These days, you rarely see a Charger that isn’t in a High Impact color, and although this color may be more suited to a Monaco four door hardtop, I’m sure it is the original color.
With its new roof, the SE looked an awful lot like a 3/4 scale Thunderbird or Mark IV. But this is a Mopar, so they were probably thinking Imperial, right? Inside, high back bench seats were standard, but you could still get buckets and a console. Somewhat contrasting with the formal roof and pinstriping were standard Rallye gauges and optional Tuff steering wheel. But that’s not all! On top of the SE package, you could get a Brougham interior package, shown in the brochure picture above. Why? Because it was the ’70s, that’s why!
One thing I found neat was the building behind this car; it’s approximately the same vintage as this Charger. If it wasn’t for those pesky modern cars in the lot, this could have been taken from an episode of The Rockford Files.
As the Seventies waded ever deeper into the Great Brougham Epoch, those wild and crazy Chrysler landau roof engineers came up with an even more Broughamful top treatment, although the nifty hidden headlights disappeared for 1973.
The Charger SE would continue in this form until 1975, when Dodge dropped all pretense of sportiness and changed the Charger into a carbon copy Cordoba, complete with opera windows and velour seating. The Charger would never be quite the same.