While the Dodge Charger was actually introduced as a show car in 1964, the 1969 Dodge Charger featured in this article was among the second generation of the Charger brand. The car shown here, a 1969 Dodge Charger SE, is a classic Dodge Charger.
These were in production from 1966 to 1978 and were all built on a B-Body. The B-Body is a reference to the overall size of the vehicle. The Dodge B Body was considered a mid-size car body. To give you an idea of some of the automobiles built with the B Body, they included in addition to the first generation Dodge Charges, they included the 1975 to 1978 Plymouth Fury, the 1967 to 1972 GTX, the 1965 to 1976 Dodge Coronet and the 1968 to 1975 Road Runner.
Many contend that the Dodge Charger was Dodge's answer to the Plymouth Barracuda and the Ford Mustang 2+2. The first of the Dodge Chargers caught the public's attention when advertisements were aired on the January 6th 1966 Rose Bowl football game. The car was also featured on the cover of Motor Trend Magazine that year. Dodge used slogans for the Charger introduction such as "Watch out for the fastback that's full sized" ... "Styling that swivels heads" and "The Dodge Rebellion's hot new leader".
The Dodge Charger was for all intents and purposes considered to be a "Muscle Car". Some call it a "Performance Car". With sporty and sleek styling and a lot of power under the hood, the Dodge Charger was built to get attention. The car offered great styling with the power to match. Total Dodge Charger production numbers for the first four years look like this...
1966 37,344 vehicles
1967 15,788 vehicles
1968 92,590 vehicles
1969 85,680 vehicles
Dodge Charge vs Ford Mustang
Both the Dodge Charger and the Ford Mustang entered the market during the 1960's and both were and are performance cars. The Mustang, built and promoted during the time of Lee Iococca at Ford Motor Company, was introduced in 1964 with a long hood and a short rear deck.
The car was competing in grand prix races and performed quite well. First year production was north of 400,000 vehicles which far surpassed sales projections by four times. Ford knew quite well they had a winner with the stylish Mustang. Styling changes by 1967 had the Mustang as a larger car than the first 1964 model. The 1967 Ford Mustang came with a 290 cid V-8. A larger engine, a 390 cid 6.4L V-8 was optional that year which delivered 320 horsepower and a top speed of about 115 MPH. The 290's were discontinued after the 1967 model year.
As an apples to apples comparison, the 1967 Dodge Charger came out with a 383 cid 6.3 engine. This would be relatively comparable with the optional engine Ford offered that model year. Dodge's 383 cid delivered 325 horsepower. The Charger also had as an option in 1967 a 426 cid Street Hemi which could put out 425 horsepower. Based on these comparisons the Dodge Charger and Ford Mustang both offered superior power during the 1967 model year with perhaps a bit of an edge going to Dodge. Both the Charger and the Mustang competed head to head in NASCAR events.
1969 Dodge Charger Specifications
The 1969 Dodge Charger offered a 383 cid, 440 cid and a 420 cid engine. Horsepower ranged between 290 and 375 for these V-8's. Dodge also offered a 225 cid Slant Six.
Transmissions offered were a four speed manual and a Torque Flite automatic.
1969 Dodge Charger wheelbase was 117.0 inches and a weight of just under 3,700 lbs.
New car price averaged about $4,700. Many Dodge Charger enthusiasts will tell you that the 1969 model was the best looking one ever built. You might also hear the same regarding the 1968 version. I think it can be said that both the 1968 and 1969 Dodge Chargers are some of the most popular classic Dodge's among collectors today.
The links below are for two additional AutoMuseumOnline photo articles you'll enjoy:
The Dodge Charger Generations
The first generation of Dodge Chargers covered the 1966 and 1967 model years. The second generation covered 1968 to 1970. The third generation were the years 1971 to 1974. The fourth generation included the 1975 through 1977 models.
The next generation of the Charger brand would not come until 1982 as the fifth generation. It seems that sales fell so low that the brand was discontinued after the 1977 model year.
The car was replaced by the Dodge Magnum in 1978 which used the Charger body but with substantial design changes. Even though the fourth generation cars didn't live up to sales expectations, the first through third generation automobiles retained their popularity. The sixth generation of Dodge Charger's came out in the 2006 model year and continues as of this writing.