The idea about the Dodge Charger RT automobiles were hatched in the early ’60s when Chrysler, who was slow to enter the muscle car market, went to the Dodge Division to pursue that idea. The result was the 1966 and 1967 Dodge Chargers, fastback vehicles and which shared a chassis and front-end sheet-metal with the mid-sized Dodge Coronet.
The first generation Charger came out on January 1, 1966 with features like a fastback roofline, pot-metal “electric shaver” grille, color choices that included Plum Crazy, Go Mango, and Top Banana, hazard warning lights and remote-controlled mirrors.
The 1967 model year Charger received minor changes that included a new fender-mounted turn signals and a vinyl roof.
In 1968, Chrysler Corporation unveiled a new ad campaign featuring a Bee with an engine on its back. These cars were called the “Scat Pack”. The Coronet R/T, Super Bee, Dart GTS and Dodge Charger RT 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.
The R/T (“Road/Track”) was a new high-performance package and came standard with the previous year’s 440 “Magnum”. The 426 Hemi was again optional. It was a bid to cater to the muscle-car crowd who wanted the 440 Magnum V8 and the power that came with it.
Bill Brownlie, Dodge’s chief of design created the Dodge Charger RT’s clean, voluptuous lines, considered by many as one of the most handsome shapes of the day. These cars came with standard clock, heater, and cigarette lighter.
Collectors all over rank the late ’60s Dodge Chargers as one of the best-styled and fastest muscle cars of its era. These second generation muscle cars came several years before the oil crisis, a time when you could buy gasoline for a dime per gallon. The 7.2 liter engine which came with the Charger was hugely powerful thereby making this car a street racer. Only 17,000 Charger R/Ts were made in 1968.
A black, big-block ’68 Dodge Charger RT was the villain’s car chasing Steve McQueen around the Mission district of San Francisco in the film Bullitt for nine minutes, one of the best pursuit ever put in a film.
The black, big-block car above was the villain’s car which chased Steve McQueen around the Mission district of San Francisco in the film Bullitt for nine minutes, one of the best pursuit ever put in a film.
Dodge Charger RT Specs
Body Style Two-door, four-seater.
Construction Steel monocoque body.
Engine 7.2 Liter V8
Power Output 426cid Hemi 425 bhp.
Transmission Three-speed TorqueFlite auto, or Hurst four-speed manual.
Suspension Front: heavy duty independent; Rear: leaf springs.
Brakes Heavy duty, 11 in (280 mm) drums, with optional front discs.