While we normally associate vintage fashions with today’s era – as the current music, clothes and products all seem to nod to a certain part of the past – the process of digging in the attic for long-lost inspiration has long been part of the American tradition. This was no different in the 1960s, when carmakers were looking to take elements of the century’s earlier engineering creations in order to craft pony cars that could help them win the business of serious car fans.
The 1966-67 Dodge Chargers are some of the better examples of this kind of borrowing, as they took their signature Fastback Body style from the coupe’s of the 1930s. In doing so, these models brought back the style that had been killed off in part by GM’s introduction of the hardtop convertible, which How Stuff Works says “replaced the fastback coupe as the glamour car” of the late 40s and early 50s.
But, while the cars were notable for their style, they also packed power. With a 318ci V-8 engine as the base offer – and the option to upgrade to a 440ci magnum V8 – the 1967 model also offered lighter B-body shells, a longer duration camshaft and low-resolution manifolds that made the car ideal for street racing. However, all this power may have caused problems, especially for those who wanted to take the car for a ride to test out its maximum capabilities, had it not been for the work of the company’s engineers.
At high speeds, the 1967 Dodge Charger’s rear end originally went airborne, an issue that was later fixed with the addition of a small but stylish spoiler that helped keep all the car’s tires on the road. The rest was history, with NASCAR racers using the model to win circuit victories and stock-car championships.
Today, these cars are still coveted by collectors like Seth Wagner. In the April edition of Popular Hot Rodding, the recently retired Wagner talked about how his ’67 hemi Charger helps him pass the time, but the true appeal of this classic is perhaps best summed up by writer Stephen Kim when he said in his piece, “See this car up close, and it will be one of the few instances in life where you want to trade places with someone far more elderly than yourself.”
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