1969 Dodge Charger: One of the Most Iconic Muscle Cars Ever
In our second installment this week of August 2016’s Ride of the Month we feature the 1969 Dodge Charger presented by nominee George Martinis. Here is some general information about the vehicle.
Note: This is not information about the actual vehicle nominated for August’s Ride of the Month, just general information on the vehicle itself. Please check the link at the bottom of today’s article to view all the actual vehicles nominated for this month’s Ride of the Month.
When one conjures up an image of the classic muscle car, they’re likely to imagine something that looks a whole lot like the 1969 Dodge Charger. One of the most iconic models ever to roll off the Motor City’s assembly lines, the Charger has become a legendary part of American automotive history.
From its long, broad stance and sharply angular nose to its wide, flared rear lines, the Dodge Charger is widely viewed as one of the most attractive muscle cars of its era. The 1969 Charger sported a few aesthetic changes, beginning with the addition of a chrome center divider in the front grille and a set of reworked longitudinal taillights to replace the older rounded style. A new trim level – the Special Edition (SE) – was also added, which featured leather front seat inserts as well as chrome exterior trim and wood grain accents throughout the interior.
A True Muscle Car
Coming near the peak of the muscle car movement, the 1969 Dodge Charger was not short on engine options. A pair of 383 V8s featured prominently, with the two-barrel producing 290 horsepower and the more aggressive four-barrel putting out 330 horsepower. The venerable 440 Magnum produced 375 horsepower, while the powerful 426 HEMI was a popular choice among performance-oriented drivers thanks to its conservatively rated 425 horsepower and 490 pound-feet of torque. The HEMI, painted a distinct Street Hemi Orange, remains a sought-after engine among collectors and enthusiasts today.
A Lasting Legacy
Frustrated with repeated losses to rival Ford, Dodge set to work in 1968 and 1969 to produce a revised, more aerodynamic racing platform capable of competing at high-speed tracks like Daytona. The result was the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona, which featured a distinctively elongated nose cone and a massive rear spoiler. Though its racing days were short-lived, its influence on both racing and street style were immediate. However, it’s the world of television that produced the most famous iteration of the 1969 Dodge Charger. The General Lee, a centerpiece of the hit show “The Dukes of Hazzard,” featured an iconic paint scheme including a large Confederate flag, “01” block letters on the doors and, ironically, a paint color that was actually Corvette Flame Red. The General Lee is perhaps the most famous television car of all time, and the iconic allure of the 1969 Charger is a big reason why.
From success on the race track to serving as the basis for one of the most famous cars in television history, the 1969 Charger boasts a rich legacy that still appeals to enthusiasts today.