Market Watch: Dodge Charger 1966-74

By: Cliff Chambers, Photography by: Dodge

Pontiac is credited with starting the Muscle Car movement, but Dodge took it to the Nascar ovals before finding the fastback Charger was too slippery for its own good.

Market Watch: Dodge Charger 1966-74
Dodge Charger 1966-74

With its Hemi 426 engine and 330kW, the mid-size Charger was fast, but the shape generated insufficient downforce when the cars needed to turn. Not even an optional ‘ducktail’ spoiler, which was available to road car buyers as well, did enough to improve high-speed handling.

Two years later, the Charger had grown into the broad, elongated shape that viewers of the Bullitt cinematic chase scene and Dukes of Hazzard on TV will recognise. 

These cars, incredibly, were offered with a basic 3.7-litre six-cylinder engine, although the vast majority had V8s. Most used Mopar’s long-serving 5.2-litre 318 cubic inch, but a lot were 6.3 litres or larger.

Top of the range R/T versions had the 383 cubic inch engine as standard plus the options of a 7.0-litre Hemi or 7.2-litre ‘440’. These used a single four-barrel carburettor, however the 440 could be optioned with the famous ‘Six-Pack’ array of triple dual-throat Holleys. 

Charger sales soared during 1968, reaching 96,000 and staying near 90,000 for 1969. The 1970 and later Chargers are less common due to market competition from Mopar’s own Dodge Challenger and Plymouth ’Cuda.

Chargers weren’t common in Australia when new and most in the market have arrived since the 1990s. These quite likely won’t have had their authenticity ruined by a RHD conversion. 

The torsion-bar front suspension was difficult to tune for handling without wrecking the ride, and understeer is the dominant handling trait. Graceful, tail-out slides in a standard Charger could prove way more difficult to provoke than tricked-up TV stunt cars might suggest.

Chargers at around $100,000 are attention grabbers and easily accommodate a family of five headed to the weekend’s car show. And you won’t need to climb in through the windows.

Rare Hemi and 440-6 Pack versions rarely escaped the USA, where outstanding examples of currently sell above USD$150,000. Such prices encourage vendors here to seek $250,000 and above. 

Charger Coupe 1966-67 $16,500 $32,000  $45,000 
Charger Coupe 1968-71  $18,500  $35,000  $48,000 
Charger R/T Coupe 1968-71  $24,000  $48,000  $65,000 
Charger R/T 6-Pack 1968-71  I/D  $65,000  $90,000 
Charger Coupe  1972-73  $10,000 $24,000  $32,000 
Charger Coupe 1966-67 $16,500 $32,000  $45,000 
Charger Coupe 1968-71  $18,500 $40,000  $55,000 
Charger R/T Coupe 1968-71   $27,000 $50,000  $72,000 
Charger R/T 6-pack 1968-71   I/D  $62,000  $100,000 
Charger Coupe 1972-73  $10,000 $26,000  $40,000 
Charger Coupe 1966-67 $22,500 $48,000  $80,000 
Charger Coupe 1968-70  $26,500 $60,000  $90,000 
Charger R/T Coupe 1968-70 $37,000 $90,000  $125,000 
Charger R/T 6-Pack 1968-70  I/D $115,000  $175,000 
Charger Coupe 1971-73 $16,000 $42,000  $70,000 
Charger Super Bee/SE 1971-72  I/D $55,000 $85,000 
Charger Coupe 1966-67 I/D $78,000  $115,000 
Charger Coupe 1968-70  $32,000 $67,000  $105,000 
Charger R/T Coupe 1968-70   I/D $120,000  $165,000 
Charger R/T 6-Pack 1968-70   I/D $175,000  $235,000 
Charger Coupe 1971-73 $25,000 $55,000  $88,000 
Charger Super Bee/SE 1971-72  I/D $70,000  $112,000 

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