Classic Cars

Dodge Charger 1st gen. (1966-1967)

July 20, 2015

Dodge Charger 1966Charger was the Dodge brand’s first production fastback, high-speed street racer. The first generation Dodge Charger was introduced on Jan. 1, 1966.

Dodge Charger was built on Dodge Coronet’s chassis but had its own body. The production model featured many styling cues from the Charger concept car, like a fastback roof design and full-width tail lamps. The interior featured four bucket seats and a full-length center console.

The first-generation Dodge Charger came with a standard 318 cubic-inch V8 engine that delivered 230 horsepower. Other available engines included a 361 cubic-inch V8, which delivered 265 horsepower or a 383 cubic-inch V8 that delivered 325 horsepower. However, it was the availability of the massive 426 cubic-inch “Street” HEMI V8 engine that provided 425 horsepower and 490 lb.-ft. of torque that forever defined Dodge Charger as a performance car.

The HEMI V8 engine was already a legend in the mid-1960s as Chrysler Corporation cars dominated Nascar. However, in 1965 Nascar banned the HEMI engine, as it did not follow the new guidelines mandating that engines had to be available for serial production. The company boycotted the racing season.

Minor updates were added to the Dodge Charger in 1967, including the addition of small front fender turn indicators and a vinyl roof option. Underneath the crisp two-door styling, a collapsible steering column and dual-system master cylinder became standard equipment to meet the arrival of U.S. Federal Safety regulations.