Classic 1970s Dodge Challengers

Classic 1970s Dodge Challenger cars

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The Classic 1970s Dodge Challengers were introduced with the 1970 model, and the new sports compact created quite a stir.

The first models were advertised in 1969 as being available with a choice of 9 engines — 3-speed, floor shift, 4-speed, and automatics — in two-door hardtops, formal roof hardtops, and convertibles.

It was created to compete alongside Mustang, Firebird, the Mercury Cougar and other similar muscle cars and pony cars — filling a gap between the Plymouth Barracuda and Dodge Charger.

“We wanted a space-age capsule feel for the driver and passengers,” said W. M. Brownlie, executive stylist for Dodge, in the Paterson, New Jersey Morning Call on October 15, 1969.

Reflecting further on the new car’s design, Brownlie added, “The anticipatory thinking of a stylist is predicated on market research and sound engineering, coupled with some hallucinatory trips.”

Dodge Challenger… The sports car that knows how to treat a lady. (1970)

If you didn’t know better, you’d almost think Challenger had been designed by a woman.

Who else would have made it low and sporty-looking, but still big enough so you don’t get that squashed feeling when you’re inside? Aren’t things like the sports-type steering wheel and color-coordinated carpeting women’s touches?

Who but a member of the female sex would be smart enough to combine looks with practicality? Take those flush door handles. They aren’t just for looks, you know.

They’re safer, too. And those thrifty standard six- and eight-cylinder engines. Both use regular gas. Speaking of thrift, Challenger’s price is pretty nice, too.

If Challenger was designed by a man, I bet he talked to his wife first.

1970 Dodge Challenger advertisement

Warning, sports compacts… there’s a Challenger in town. (1970)

Here it comes, the only new entry in the sports compact field.

Gripping the road with a stance that says solid. Engine choices that run from a thrifty Six up to the incomparable 426 Hemi. Nine models in all, priced to compete with the pony cars. Challenger’s wider stance gives you greater stability and security on the road.

You can carve corners with exacting precision and sureness. Thicker, deeply molded doors offer more side-impact protection. Door handles, inside and out, are flush. Neat, don’t you think?

Three tops available. Standard (shown), a Special Edition (SE) with vinyl-covered formal roof hardtop, and convertible. All nine models feature concealed wipers, locking steering-wheel column, plush carpeting, and dual headlights.

Now, isn’t this your kind of car?

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May 1970 Dodge Challenger classic cars

Challenger. Good looks can get you anywhere. (1970)

Anywhere you want to go with a car that’s long, low, and tough.

Dodge makes no apologies for Challenger’s wide stance, good looks, and roomy interior. Or for the fact that the standard interior includes such unusual extras as simulated wood-grained trim and instrumentation. Then there are the bucket seats with the one-hand seatback release.

At one time, it was thought that the specially compact was the ideal car for everybody. It’s not.

Challenger is built for the guy or gal who seeks an extremely personal attachment with his or her car. Who tikes the extra firmness and control of honest torsion bars up front. For a person who drives alone… of with one very close friend.

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1970 Dodge Challenger blue

Challenger. Watch it! (1970)

Dodge Challenger is the kind of sports compact you buy when you don’t want one like everybody else’s.

When you’d like a little more living room in the back seat. When you’d appreciate a wider stance that carves curves with extra authority. When you want a look a little cleaner, a door a little thicker, and a choice of engines that starts with a new, livelier, thrifty Six and runs all the way up to the 426 Hemi.

The new Dodge Challenger is the kind of car you buy when you want a choice of standard hardtop, formal hardtop, or convertible. When you want a model choice of the standard Challenger or the R/T. (The R/T offers a special hood and a Rallye Instrument Cluster with simulated walnut dash as standard equipment. Optional on the Challenger.)

New Dodge Challenger is the car you buy when you decide you don’t want to be like everyone else. There’s a big difference between good and great.

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1970 Dodge Challenger cars

Challenger Rallye. It speaks softly, but gives you a big kick. (1970)

The way things are today, maybe what you need is not the world’s hottest car. Maybe what you need is a well-balanced, fully instrumented road machine.

One with a highly individualized style, a well proportioned balance between acceleration, road-holding, braking — you know the bit.

This is it. Challenger Rallye. Inexpensive to buy, to run. About as quick in the legal range as anything its size. And a lot more thoughtfully done.

The Rallye Instrument Cluster is standard. So are the heavy-duty Rallye Suspension, performance hood and slick three-speed full-synchro floor shift. Urge is supplied by the envied optional 340 V8. My, it’s nice to have a goer that’s not a guzzler.

1970 Dodge Challenger Rallye in yellow

Challenger ’70. The sports car with the big difference. (1970)

1970 Challenger. Take a studied look. Let all the differences start happening.

The stance. It’s wide for greater stability and security on the road. The doors. Deeply molded and indented. Thicker, with side-impact protection. Flush door handles, inside and out. The unusual-but-comfortable bucket seats with built-in head restraints.

Challenger comes nine different ways. You can order the Challenger R/T and power it up with a race- ready 440 Magnum V8 or the new 440 SixPack V8. Or go formal and drive ”the little limousine” — Challenger SE — with rich touches like vinyl-covered formal roof, rich, vinyl bucket seats, and matching door trim.

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No matter which Challenger gets to you, it’s designed to compete with the pony cars. And Challenger’s list of mills runs up to nine. Count ’em: the 225 Six, 318 V8, 340 4-bbl. V8, 383 2-bbl. V8, 383 4-bbl. V8, 383 Magnum V8, 440 Magnum V8, the 440 Six-Pack V8, and the Hemi. 1970 Challenger.

The only new entry in the sports compact field. Nine models, nine mills. Three roofs. Very change-able. Very different.

This year, if you don’t want another same old brand-new car… you could be Dodge material.

1970 Dodge Challenger sports car

The 1973 Challenger. Everything its name implies.

Here’s a personal sports compact that lets you go your own way. Its looks alone are enough to tell you Challenger isn’t for everyone.

But if you’re that rare driver who really appreciates a firm-handling, responsive sports car, get behind the wheel of a ’73 Challenger. Settle into Challenger’s bucket seats and get the job done with Challenger’s three-on-the-floor stick shift.

Or get a lot more mean-looking with the Challenger Rallye Package, including a Rallye Instrument Cluster, fender scoops, and the black-out painted grille.

’73 Challenger and Challenger Rallye — two ways to assert your personality.

Buckle up in a ’73 Challenger, and decide if it’s more exciting to drive one or watch one.

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The 73 Dodge Challenger cars

Introducing the new Dodge Challenger (1978)

Challenger. A beautiful new GT import from Dodge.

  • Standard power front disc brakes.
  • Standard five-speed manual transmission.
  • Standard overhead console with pivotal reading lights and digital clock.
  • Standard tilt steering wheel.
  • Standard interior trunk release. 
  • Standard plaid cloth interior with carpeting.
  • Standard lighted door locks (outside).
  • Standard side-striping.

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Second generation Dodge Challenger (1978)

Challenger. The total GT import from Dodge. (1979)

For 1979, Dodge brings you a total GT from Japan. And includes all of the following as standard equipment.

  • 1.6 litre Silent Shaft MCA-Jet engine
  • Cast aluminum road wheels
  • 195/70HRx14 steel radial-ply tires
  • Five-speed, console-mounted manual transmission with overdrive
  • Reclining bucket seats with adjustable lumbar support
  • Overhead console with pivotal reading light, digital clock, and dome light
  • Electric rear window defroster
  • Tinted glass all around
  • Unique “memory” seat adjuster that returns driver’s seat to upright position after loading or unloading rear seat passengers
  • Quad rectangular head lamps
  • Dual electric remote-control, body-colored side mirrors
  • Resettable trip odometer
  • Day/night inside rearview mirror
  • Chimes instead of buzzer for ignition key and seat belts

Now, you can spend a lot more for a GT, but you still won’t get this kind of equipment standard. In fact, we don’t know where you can get more thoroughbred road car for your money than at your Dodge Dealer. 

1979 Dodge Challenger

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