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1969 Dodge Charger R/T

Despite lower sales than the Mustang, the 1969 Dodge Charger must be one of the recognizable and beautiful muscle cars of the late 1960s. The hidden headlamps and recessed rear window really add to the look.

Standard Charger equipment included; all-vinyl bucket seats, deep-pile carpeting, heavy-duty suspension and a choice of 18 exterior colors.

Charger had grown in size with its revamp for the 1968 model year and sales had really started to take off from the relatively slow start with the first generation. The 1969 Charger saw very few changes. The body remained the same but at the front there was a new split grille and to the rear the round taillights were replaced with elongated lenses.

Rear view of an immaculate 69 Dodge Charger R/T
rear view

Using Chrysler’s B-body it has attractive ‘Coke bottle’ styling.

The charger dash has an interesting instrument layout and offers (from left to right), a clock, speedometer, fuel gauge, oil pressure gauge, ammeter and temperature gauge.

Interior of the 1969 Dodge Charger R/T version
Basic but functional Charger interior

Under the hood the standard Charger came with a 225 cubic inch, six-cylinder engine producing 145 horsepower.  For an extra $106 you could get the base V8, a 230 horsepower, 318 cubic inch block, There were three 383 options starting at $176.

However, the R/T came with a 440 Magnum V8 as part of the package. It’s been the subject of a highly detailed restoration costing in the region of $114,00

1969 Dodge 440 V8 Magnum
440 V8

The 1969 Dodge Charger leaped to fame (literally) in the television series The Dukes of Hazzard. The bright orange car with a Confederate flag painted on the roof, really drew the public attention to this car. Despite somewhere between 250-350 cars being destroyed during filming it probably did a lot to ultimately increase the Charger’s value. This, in turn, has arguably led to a lot more cars being saved.

If you wanted a Charger back in 1969 the base price was $3,020 with the R/T starting at $3,592.

Dodge made a total of 20,100 R/T Chargers.

Factory options on this car include: air conditioning ($358), power steering ($100) and power brakes ($49).

This ’69 Dodge Charger is currently for sale on eBay. (follow the link for even more photos)


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1969 Dodge Charger

1969 Dodge ChargerWho would have thought that when the 1969 Dodge Charger R/T debuted that it would sell 85,000 vehicles and make motor vehicle history? If you were into Dodge Chargers you knew something was just right about the 1969 but you couldn’t put your hand on it.

The design seemed balanced. It wasn’t overly conservative and it wasn’t overly chromed. It didn’t have hugely flared sides and it didn’t have all of the other design tricks that the masters of the 1969 design teams had up their sleeves.

Smooth Lines

The wind-cheating 1969 Charger – for that was what the design actually was, if you looked at it closely from the side – had a nicely rounded, dual oval front that was split in the middle by a bright piece. The blacked out grille worked well with the piece of bright trim work and it looked like a whole piece. You had to look again to see that just below the small bumper was a sweeping section that worked nicely with two real cooling scoops and the license surround.

From there the eye was drawn up to the clean lines and slightly raked hood and the very slightly ridged front fenders. If you then looked across the R/T you saw that the designers had included a very slight rounding that worked back to the A-pillar and front door. The lines seemed to culminate with the A-pillar until you looked again and saw that the design team had repeated the same ever-so-slight rounding through the rear quarter panels. The rear decklid was straight and the multi-oval bright rear just worked nicely so that the whole design was easily worth the $4,380.

The engines, although advertised as hemis, were not true hemis (hemispherical combustion chambers pioneered by Chrysler from 1951 to 58 and which must have made their appearance in the M series of the time) were really semi-hemis that enjoyed being used. Although the few “real hemis” made – about 500 – were advertised as having 425 horsepower and 490 pounds-feet of torque. Few Chargers sold in that configuration, though. More likely, the engine that was burbling under the hood was either the 375 horsepower engine and a deuce or a four-barrel 390-horsepower 440-cubic-inch.

Buyers had a choice of a four-speed standard, equipped with the Charger signal pistol-grip shifter, or a three-speed automatic and a console separating bucket seats. A special option that was continued for 1969 was the SE that offered buyers power steering, a sliding roof.

Flexible Powerplant

One thing to note about the Charger was the flexibility of its engine. Some commentators have mentioned that you could easily lug the engine down to a low rpm level and just sit, like a spider waiting patiently for an insect and that when you hit it, the engine spun up and lit up the 4.10:1 rear end, leaving other cars in the proverbial dust.

One last note, of the 500 or so real “hemis” offered, they were for racing purposes and were never really taxes that way. The “hemi” or hemispherical combustion chamber made its appearance in 1951 and made was for change in 1958. It was likely used in Chrysler’s performance car of the time, the M.