A concept version of the Dodge Charger II* was unveiled at an auto show during the 1965 season. A streamlined two-door fastback bodywork with concealed headlights and full-width taillamps characterized this vehicle.
Adding to the car’s performance credentials were four bucket seats inside. Production Dodge Chargers* were available within a year, and they looked virtually similar to those bucket seats that were seen in the display vehicle only one year before.
V8 engines were available to support the desire for speed and style. The 318 cubic inch engine produced 230 horsepower, while the 361 cubic inch engine produced 265 horsepower. However, the 335bhp of the 383 would prove to be the most popular option, offering buyers enough power for their money.
Are you wondering how much horsepower does a 426 Hemi have? This famed race-bred, road-tuned powerplant was officially rated at 425 horsepower, but that was a deception. Actually, the true power of this incredible engine was nearer to 475 horsepower. This enabled the Charger* to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds and complete a quarter-mile in under 14 seconds, from a standing start.
So although Dodge Chargers* were flying off the lot quicker than they could be built, very few were equipped with the Hemi’s $650 price tag.
“Hydraulic flat-tappet camshafts were used in early Hemis. AMSOIL Z-Rod® Synthetic Motor Oil has high quantities of ZDDP to protect wear-prone components such as cams, lifters, rockers, and others. Splash-lubricated parts need additional wear prevention, and this formulation’s high zinc/high phosphorus content delivers.”
For individuals who needed a lot of power, Dodge* in 1967 came up with a less expensive solution. As part of the R/T package, the 440 Magnum engine was installed. It was indeed Chrysler’s* most powerful engine, producing 375 horsepower. Performance-wise, it was on par with the Hemi, but the 426 was still an option for die-hards.
The Dodge Charger 426* Hemi had its first significant facelift in 1968, which included a redesigned grille that concealed its headlamps and a reworked tail. Bumblebee stripes were added with the Scat Pack option.
In 1969, the NASCAR-derived Charger 500* and Daytona hit the streets and racetrack. The ’68 Charger* remained almost unaltered. It’s perhaps the most renowned, given to its role as General Lee in The Dukes of Hazzard. During the shooting, 309 automobiles were utilized, most of which were damaged, leaving any remaining 1969 Dodge Charger 426* Hemi the most coveted.
New taillights and a chrome loop front bumper were added to the 1970 Dodge Charger 426* Hemi model year’s makeover. This time around, the four-speed shifter had a sleek pistol grip and new colors including Plum Crazy and Go-Mango.
The 440 Six Pack option was added to the engine compartment. Three Holley two-barrel carburetors replaced the regular four-barrel carburetor in this engine. The increase in horsepower went from 375 to 390.
In the early 1970s, many were dejected and pessimistic about the future. Engine outputs were lowered, although not to the level of rival muscle cars, when the Dodge Charger* was reworked in 1971. Despite Chrysler’s* best efforts, the Hemi was ultimately phased out in 1971.
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The year 1973 brought with it another redesign. Concealed headlamps were removed from the list of available choices, and the style was simplified. The suspension had been changed as well, resulting in the Charger* now barely being a true street racer.
Those of us who are genuine enthusiasts of the Dodge Charger* muscle car knows that the automobile that sported the Charger* nameplate from 1975 to 1978 was nothing but a rebranded Chrysler Cordoba*.
The 440cid V8 engines produced 375 horsepower and could reach 60 mph in less than 7 seconds. With 475 horsepower, the super-powerful 426cid Hemis could do 0-60 in about 5 seconds. The 426 V8 engine weighed in at an astonishing 765 lbs.
When idling, the 426 Hemi engine’s torque was enough to sway the vehicle side to side. The 426cid Hemi unit was just $650. Technical data for the 1968 DODGE CHARGER R/T* was as follows:
- 96,100 Chargers were made.
- The body style was a four-door fastback.
- The body and chassis were made of steel.
- The 440cid and 426cid V8s were used.
- The power output was 375–475 horsepower.
- Three-speed automatic or 4-speed manual transmission.
- Torsion bars in front, leaf springs with a live axle in the rear.
- Front and rear drum brakes.
- The 0-60 MPH time was 4.8–7 seconds and the fuel efficiency was 12–15 mpg.
Chrysler*, on the other hand, restored the Charger* brand and ethos for the 2006 model year. An aerodynamic four-door concept vehicle had been revealed in 1999, but this was a long time in the making. Its teardrop design was developed in a wind tunnel, but it lacked the boldness necessary to carry the Dodge Charger* emblem proudly.
The Charger* from 2006 had a far more aggressive appearance, with a blunt nose and stepped-up flanks. The Charger’s* high sides and low window area gave it more of a coupe-like appearance, given the fact that it had four doors.
Dodge Charger* aficionados had been dissatisfied with this choice, as well as the fact that, below the exterior style, the new Charger* was practically identical to the Chrysler 300C*. However, keep in mind that the first Charger* was built on the Coronet, demonstrating that platform sharing has a long tradition inside the Chrysler* organization.
The engine of the Dodge Charger 426* Hemi was lauded by everybody. The 3.5-liter (214 cid) High Output V6 engine with 250 horsepower was offered, but Charger* aficionados were more thrilled about the revived Hemi.
The 5.7-liter (347 cid) Hemi engine developed 340 horsepower and sped the Charger* to 60 mph in only six seconds. Power was supplied to the rear wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission with Chrysler’s* Autostick manual override technology. Not only that but the SRT-8 featured a 6.1-liter (372 cid) Hemi with 425bhp – a power output reminiscent of the late 1960s.
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However, the redesigned Charger’s* all-around performance abilities set it apart significantly. Although the classic Charger could accelerate quite fine, it struggled mightily in corners and in braking.=
The Performance Handling Group option for the 2006 Charger* provided a stronger steering feel, improved grip, and superior road-holding. It was only available on 18-inch performance tires with tweaked dampers.
There was also a Brembo brake upgrade for the SRT-8. A 1969 Hemi could equal the 2006 vehicle in a straight line, but not through the turns. The 2006 Charger* wasn’t exactly the original, but things changed, and that Charger* was a 21st-century muscle vehicle.
Earlier we answered the question how much horsepower does a 426 Hemi have? It was close to 500HP, but that number will pale to what Mopar has in the works. Recently the 426 Hellephant*, which pays tribute to the legendary 426 Hemi while also incorporating a supercharger, will be available for purchase in the near future. It will be capable of producing an amazing 1,000 horsepower and 950 pound-feet of torque on the street.
“For the modern 6.2L and 6.4 Hemi 426 stroker hp Mopar versions use a 0W-40 motor oil. AMSOIL Signature Series 0W-40 is ideal for these powerful engines.”
We’ll just have to wait and see what Mopar has in store for it in the long run, despite the fact that it’s currently only a crate engine.
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