Archive for August 15th, 2016|Daily archive page

50 Years of Charger: Part 1 of 5 | The 1968 Dodge Charger

Strap on your safety belts and prepare to be pressed back into your seat.

The 1968 Dodge Charger: Interior, Exterior and Engines

The 1968 Dodge Charger built on the reputation and successes of the 1966 model, maintaining the soul and inspiration of the vehicle while introducing new design and performance upgrades. Perhaps most notably, the 1968 Dodge Charger was the first to feature the eye-catching Coke Bottle styling, with a curvier front fender and rear quarter panel.

Designer Richard Sias was the mastermind behind the 1968 Charger’s groundbreaking Coke Bottle styling, and Harvey J. Winn was responsible for the front- and rear-end sheet metal. The 1968 Charger replaced the electric motor rotating headlights with a vacuum-operated cover, while staying true to form and retaining the full-width hidden-headlamp grille. Dual circular taillamps replaced the full-width versions, and dual scallops were added to the doors and hood.

Not to be outdone by the Coke Bottle exterior, the interior of the 1968 Charger saw its own upgrades and changes. For starters, the center armrest was removed, along with the rear bucket seats, which were replaced with fixed rear seats. The tachometer was no longer a standard feature, and conventional gauges were added, as well as a vinyl mat in the trunk.

Of course, power is the thing, and the 1968 Dodge Charger had that in spades, featuring a standard 318-cubic-inch (5.2-liter) 2-bbl V8 engine, and later that year, a 225-cubic-inch (3.7-liter) slant-six engine. For those who opted for the high-performance package, the 1968 Dodge Charger R/T boasted a 375-horsepower 440 Magnum or the optional 425-horsepower 426 HEMI engine.

1968 also marked the introduction of the “Scat Pack” and its cartoon ad campaign. The Charger R/T came to be recognized for its bumblebee stripes, not to mention its powerful engine. Even Hollywood took notice; the 1968 Dodge Charger R/T 440 Magnum was featured in one of the big screen’s most iconic car chase scenes.

With plenty of power under the hood and an updated design, the 1968 Dodge Charger found its way into movies, auto shows and driveways all across America. The gauntlet was laid, and the most formidable competition would prove to be the following year’s model. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post on the 1969 Dodge Charger.

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