Dodge Muscle Cars

DODGE DISCOVERS MUSCLE CARS
Like everyone else in the business, Dodge was caught flat-footed in 1964 when the big “one-two punch” hit. First Ford launched its stunning new Mustang, kicking off the Pony Car Wars, then Pontiac debuted its GTO starting up the Muscle Car Era. Dodge didn’t have either. They were sitting on an inventory of stodgy “old mans’ cars”. What they did have was a long history of engineering excellence in the form of powerful, sophisticated engines, transmissions, running gear. “The Dodge Boys” (as they became known in 1960s-era TV commercials) had always been forced by limited capital to be resourceful, so they quickly mobilized to create their own fleet of muscle cars from the hardware they had on the shelf.
DODGE MUSCLE CARS EVOLVE
The Coronet was quickly spruced up and a big block V8 installed to create the Coronet R/T (short for Road & Track) and they sold well. By 1966, a new fastback roofline and custom grille was grafted on, creating the first-generation Dodge Charger. Throughout the late 60s, the Coronet platform continued to work hard for Dodge, morphing into the Superbee. By about 1968, Dodge had hit its stride with the introduction of the highly-successful second-generation Charger. But still no Pony Car. But that all changed in 1970 with the drop-dead-gorgeous Dodge Challenger in coupe and convertible, with everything under the hood from a lowly Slant Six to the fire-breathing Hemi. Unfortunately, the muscle car market peaked in 1970 and was collapsing by 1971 under the combined pressure of new smog regs, the introduction of low-lead/low-octane fuel (which forced a reduction in compression ratios, greatly reducing engine performance), and rising insurance costs. By about 1973 it was over, and the new ‘big market’ was personal luxury cars, not muscle cars.
DODGE MUSCLE CAR ENGINES
What made Mopar muscle cars unique was the staggering array of engines that could be ordered, and that the best of them were among the fastest, most powerful engines on the planet! Their V8s fell into 2 basic families: The small blocks (aka: LA-series), which included the 273, 318, 340 and 360; the big blocks (383, 413, 426 Wedge and 440), and in a class by itself, the 426 Hemi. The small blocks were sturdy and made good power. There was even a 340 Six-Pack. The 440 Magnum big block V8 was already a bruiser at 375hp with a single 4-barrel carburetor. So what did they do? Put on three 2-barrels on a special Edelbrock aluminum manifold and boost it to 390hp. And at the top of it all was the “Elephant Motor”, the one-and-only, the almighty 426 Hemi, conservatively rated at 425hp. It was probably more like 500. Today, Dodge has resurrected the Hemi name for a whole new family of modern engines. They are not otherwise related to the classic 426 Hemis.

Dodge Muscle Cars MODEL-BY-MODEL


CHALLENGER

Dodge's first true Pony Car arrived in 1970 just as the Muscle Car market began to die. But what a car! Today it's one of THE most sought-after collectors cars on the market.


CHARGER

When the Mustang came out in '64, Dodge hastily grafted a clunky fastback onto their Coronet, creating the first Charger. It wasn't until '68 that it really came into its own & remains one of the quintessential muscle cars of all time.


DAYTONA

Dodge found that the Charger wasn't aerodynamic enough to win at NASCAR, so they grafted on an enormous bullet nose & high wing & they broke 200mph. They had to sell 500 (homologate), they built 503.


DODGE CORONET


Dodge's workhorse B-body was not only the basis for the Charger & Super Bee, in R/T trim, it was one heckuva Muscle Car in its own right. 440 Six-Pack & 426 Hemi optional.


SUPERBEE




DODGE DEMON


The direction of the American Muscle Car was changing. The Demon was smaller, lighter, and had small block-only power. The lighter chassis & engine made up for much of it & they were quick.



DODGE VIPER
1992 to present, Mopar's wicked modern-day Cobra. But this one has a whopping-big V10!

Check out these MOPAR BOOKS

MOPAR VINTAGE 2017 Calendar, by Mopar



DODGE CHARGER 2017 12X12 Calendar



MOPAR MUSCLE: THE COMPLETE STORY


COMPLETE BOOK OF DODGE & PLYMOUTH MUSCLE


MIGHTY MOPARS 1960-1974


MOPAR PERFORMANCE


HOW TO BUILD MAX-PERFORMANCE MOPAR BIG BLOCKS


BIG BLOCK MOPAR ENGINES


HOW TO HOT ROD SMALL BLOCK MOPAR ENGINES


HOW TO REBUILD THE SMALL BLOCK MOPAR


HOW TO BUILD BIG-INCH MOPAR SMALL BLOCKS


MOPAR B-BODY RESTORATION, 1966-1970


MOPAR B-BODY PERFORMANCE UPGRADES, 1962-1979


DODGE 100 YEARS


MOPAR HEMI & WEDGE V8 CASTING NUMBER & CODE GUIDE


MOPAR SMALL BLOCKS: HOW TO BUILD MAX-PERFORMANCE


HOW TO REBUILD THE BIG BLOCK MOPAR


MOPAR SIX-PACK ENGINE HANDBOOK


MOPAR: THE PERFORMANCE YEARS


BIG BLOCK MOPAR PERFORMANCE


MOPAR MAGNUM ENGINES


HOW TO MODIFY YOUR MOPAR MAGNUM


MOPAR MUSCLE: FIFTY YEARS


MOPAR SUSPENSIONS


TORQUEFLITE A-727 TRANSMISSION HANDBOOK


MOPAR MUSCLE CARS 1968-1971


MOPAR PARTS LOCATING GUIDE


HOW TO REBUILD MOPAR MAGNUM V8 ENGINES


HEMI: HISTORY OF CHRYSLER’S ICONIC V8


SIX PACK: MOPAR STREET MUSCLE IN THE 60s


MOPAR BROADCAST SHEET DECODER


MAXIMUM PERFORMANCE: MOPAR SUPER STOCK & DRAG RACING


DODGE CHALLENGER & CHARGER: HOW TO BUILD & MODIFY


DODGE DYNASTY: THE CAR & FAMILY THAT ROCKED DETROIT


DODGE BROTHERS: THE MEN, THE CARS, THE LEGACY


DODGE DAYTONA & PLYMOUTH SUPERBIRD


PLYMOUTH 1946-1959


DODGE, PLYMOUTH & CHRYSLER POLICE CARS 1956-1978


PLYMOUTH MUSCLE CARS 1966-1971


DODGE CHALLENGER & PLYMOUTH BARRACUDA: CHRYSLER’S PONY CARS


TOP SPEED: DODGE & PLYMOUTH STOCK CAR RACING


ILLUSTRATED DODGE & PLYMOUTH MUSCLE CAR BUYERS GUIDE


CHRYSLER, PLYMOUTH & DODGE STOCK CARS




DODGE, PLYMOUTH & CHRYSLER POLICE CARS, 1979-1994


DODGE & PLYMOUTH MUSCLE CARS, 1964-2000


DODGE DART & PLYMOUTH DUSTER


CHARGER, ROAD RUNNER & SUPER BEE: 50 YEARS OF B-BODY


CHRYSLER, DODGE & PLYMOUTH MUSCLE


PLYMOUTH FURY LIMITED EDITION EXTRA 1956-1976


CHRYSLER’S TURBINE CAR: THE RISE & FALL


STANDARD CATALOG OF CHRYSLER 1914-2000


CHRYSLER CLASSIC CARS





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We are growing as fast as we can, gathering and taking eye-popping photos of awesome Classic American Muscle Cars, doing research on specifications and history, and writing content. We all love these great cars, so it’s not like work, in fact, it’s a blast. But it does take time. If you see that we’re lacking in some area, we just don’t have the photos and/or content yet to finish. Give us some time and as we get more eye-popping photos, we will continue to flesh out the site. Join us as we grow, but please be patient with that growth.

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Last updated 12/31/16
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