Dodge Charger R-T 1968


Dodge Charger R-T 1968


Dodge Charger R-T 1968

  • Origin United States of America
  • Engine 5,211 cc, V8
  • Top speed 113 mph (182 km/h)

"Dodge Fever" arrived with the restyle for 1968 as the marque saw record sales, helped by the new, super-smooth "Coke bottle" styled Charger V8. Two totally redesigned lines shared the spotlight at Dodge dealers this season: the all-new mid-size Coronets and Chargers. While still sporting boxy front and rear end treatments, everything in between was a little more rounded.

Side lines of both models featured the Coke-bottle styling that GM had been using for several years now. The Charger was no longer a real fastback, instead using what was termed a "semi-fastback" roofline. This was a handsome look for the Charger and the 1968-1970 models were probably the best looking Chargers ever offered. For that matter, so were the Coronets, especially in Hardtop or Convertible models. Judging from the sales charts, most of the buying public must have agreed.

The new Mopar intermediates had to compete with equally new and goodlooking mid-size models from General Motors, and the loser in the battle would be Ford. In fact, Ford would never be a really big factor in the mid-size market again until the Taurus in the mid-eighties. Unfortunately for Dodge (and Plymouth), this would be their last success in the mid-size market until the mid-eighties also, as General Motors would own the mid-size market for the next 15 years. Under the hood, both Coronet and Charger offered a full array of powertrains from the famous Slant Sixes (Coronet only) up to the powerful Magnum 440s and Hemi 426s.

Interior trim was also updated and upgraded in these Dodge models to better compete in the mid-price range. A new budget-priced muscle car was also introduced this year. Known as the Super Bee, it was initially offered in only a 2-Door Coupe variation. The lightweight coupe, combined with minimal accessories and a powerful engine, made it a return to the original muscle car concept at an affordable price. Compact Dart and full-size Dodge models received new grille treatments and other trim revisions, both having been new designs for 1967.

A new high-powered 275-horespower, 340 cubic inch V8 was added to the lineup for the Dart models. This new engine was standard equipment in the new top line GTS 2-Door Hardtop and Convertible models. Lacking a pony car model to compete with the Mustang and Camaro, the idea was to create a small muscle car from an existing line. The Dart GTS certainly looked the part, with bumblebee stripes at the back, hood louvers, and special Rallye wheels. And there was no denying it could act the part, with the 340 CID V8 under that hood. Full-size model offerings remained relatively unchanged, although the Polara 500 was officially a separate model this year, versus the option package status of 1967.