The 1967 Dodge Charger is a prominent example of the Chrysler empire, produced in the heyday of the muscle car era – from the mid-60s to the early 70s.
Source: The Coolector
When the high exterior styling and performance intersect, a truly special vehicle is created. The Dodge Charger was one of those. In 1966, when a brand new design car came out, the motoring world grasped. The new model was a leap forward in the 1960s auto design and boldly did what other cars rarely did and muscle cars didn’t do at all – delivering stunning performance combined with exceptional luxury. Before this particular model, Chrysler’s vehicles were a little boring. They were fast, thanks to an impressive range of engines, but when it came to coolness, there was a lot to be desired. The newest sportscar solved this problem with a wave of a magic wand. Its roofline was the most radical of any mid-size car on the market, trim as chic as a Chrysler. Its name came from an English “warhorse”, which was immediately justified when the gas pedal was pressed. No wonder: it was produced for racing.
Dodge was a special division built for stock car racing. When the model appeared in 1966, it was the first attempt by a major manufacturer to create a vehicle whose main feature was racing aerodynamics from bumper to bumper. The year was 1966 and the big game was NASCAR. No other race car could match the “24 hours of speedway survival” at Daytona. And the Charger, with its new aerodynamic styling, was a serious threat to the big tracks. Nevertheless, David Pearson won NASCAR in 1966 making this racing monster the winner in its first season.
In the 1967 release, the winning combination (1966) was left almost unchanged. It was the most progressive style at that time. From the all-over grille with chrome lettering and hidden headlights to the position lights – the automobile was an eye-catcher. So far, the car’s most attractive design feature had been the roof – fully aerodynamic, from the windshield to the parking lights, and including a small rear window that looked more like a sunroof. The exterior of the vehicle was also impressive. The owners of this model were surrounded by a chic and bright interior: four individual bucket seats, a full-length console, and a control panel with either racing car or spacecraft equipment. Among other innovations were folding rear seats, which allowed to fit a lot of luggage or hide a couple of friends when driving in to watch an open-air movie. The racer was built as a luxury hot rod and it was great. Much of the exclusive equipment, such as the wood-rimmed steering wheel and a floor-mounted automatic or 4-speed transmission was standard. Even though the Charger targeted the luxury market, Dodge did not forget to strengthen the 440 with a Magnum engine.
Chrysler originally released it for big cars, where it put out 350 hp at low speeds. The Magnum just pushed all the competitors out of the way with their whirring accessories. It squeezed out 375 hp at 4600 rpm and gave 480 pounds per foot of torque at 3200 rpm. The 440 was a really good street engine. Most believed that it was even more suitable for the street than the 426 Hemi (for the 1966 model). Even though the 440 Magnum was very powerful, it also cost $300 less than the Hemi. Therefore, the new 1967 model became a real American street monster. Unfortunately for Dodge, it wasn’t as popular on the streets as it was on the NASCAR tracks. In 1967, battles for the hearts and minds of muscle car enthusiasts were fought. The smaller Firebird and Camaro were considered the most serious rivals. The Charger was already bigger and more expensive than most mid-range muscle cars, and these new road rockets only made it worse. Compared to the previous 1966 year, sales fell by 16,000 units, so in 1968 the model went through restyling.
As the brightest of its generation, the Dodge Charger has earned itself a reputation as one of the coolest muscle cars on both highways and on the movie screen. No wonder, in addition to a racing career, this car also made an extensive film career. Whether it’s driving on the highway or chasing on-screen, it made a memorable appearance. Different years’ releases can be found in dozens of movies, but the highlight of the 1967 release is the movie Big Fish (2003), which tells about the life events of the protagonist Edward Bloom (Ewan McGregor) and his iron friend – the red 1967 Charger.
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