Heatstroke – 1968 Dodge Charger

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To many people, the term “muscle car” and the Dodge Charger are synonymous and in particular, the late ‘60s models. At its Chicago unveiling, the ‘68 Charger was labeled as having “jet-age aerodynamic styling” by then Dodge GM Robert B. McCurry and was a dramatic styling departure from the proceeding model years which had seen dismal sales. With its Coke-bottle profile, flying buttress c-pillars and rectangular front grill, it walks a fine line of being simultaneously elegant and aggressive.

This particular ’68 Charger began life as a 318 car and was painstakingly converted to this stunning 440 Magnum following a complete rotisserie restoration.  During the restoration the owner performed a number of both mechanical and cosmetic customizations, including bodywork lowered over smoothed and tubbed rear wheel wells to make room for its massive 20×15” Budnik Spark wheels and 29×15” Mickey Thompson R/S radials giving it a substantially more imposing stance.

While the power and performance are almost always important and a big part of what makes a muscle car a muscle car, these cars are primitive, heavy, soft and aren’t going to keep up with modern sports cars without an enormous amount of reworking.  That’s part of the reason that to me, muscle cars are all about presence.  And this is where the Charger really excels.  With its clean visual changes, this R/T has presence in spades and it’s clear why the Charger quickly became an icon of American muscle.

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