(first posted 6/6/2013) This has to be one of the best CC Cohort finds ever, by ActuallyMike. I’ve lived in hope of just finding any street-side Charger of this vintage, never mind an R/T. And with such a superbly developed case of patinitis acute. I can just imagine Mike seeing this, getting out of his car, walking towards it, and realizing what he’s found.
Has this car got some stories to tell, or what? If only it could speak, with that great, big mouth. 1970 was the last year of this generation Charger, which started in 1968. We’ve done the previous generation here, and the subsequent one, but have yet to do a proper CC on this generation, which is most likely the one that comes to mind upon hearing or reading its evocative name.
The newly-styled 1968 Charger must have been somewhat of an unexpected hit for Dodge. The ’66-’67 was a sales dud; this one exploded on the scene with its bulging sides and tunnel-back roof. Its styling was obviously very much influenced by GM’s Coke-bottle 1965 fulls-sized cars and their ’66 tunnel-back intermediates. But the Charger somehow carried it off in a way that was both derivative yet original enough.
The Charger tunnelback roof was more exaggerated than the GM A-Body cars, and made it iconic. GM had already moved away from that with a whole new direction with its 1968 A-Bodies, which might just have helped the Charger for those that hadn’t had enough yet.
My Encyclopedia oddly doesn’t have 1968 Charger production numbers, but the 1969 sold over 100k, and I suspect the ’68 was even somewhat higher. But it was a short-lived boom; by 1970, sales were down to some 50k, of which some 10k were the R/T model, both in its regular form as here,
and of course the legendary Daytona, with its long beak and high tail, in order to gain an advantage on the high-speed NASCAR tracks. It looks rather silly in stock configuration, with that nose so high.
That crack on the C Pillar is undoubtedly the joint between the steel roof panel, and the sail panel. Was that sail panel made of fiberglass?
Charger R/Ts came standard with the 375 (gross) hp 440 cubic inch RB V8, about as an ideal performance engine for the street as it got during the classic muscle car era. Gobs of torque, but with a decent top end too; much less peaky than the optional 426 Hemi. In the hands of typical drivers, the tractable 440 was a better choice, and typically quicker in getting off the line, and could stay ahead of the hemi for some time, until it really got its head. Of course, if this were a hemi version, then it really would the ultimate street-side find, given the shape this one is in.
As it is, this R/T ranks sky high in my book. Now how about finding a 1964 GTO in this kind of shape?