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Challenger R/T 340
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  Dodge Challenger R/T 340

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Country of origin:United States
Produced in:1971
Numbers built:3907 (all engines)
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:Before December 1st, 2004
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Click here to download printer friendly versionWith the introduction of the Ford Mustang, a whole new sub-genre was added; the Pony Cars. General Motors' answer to the Mustang was the Chevrolet Camaro. Although these cars differed little from pure muscle cars, they were slightly cheaper and did not feature the immensely powerful engines that made muscle cars legendary. The affordable price and quite powerful engines made the Pony Cars very popular.

Dodge finally joined General Motors and Ford with the Dodge Challenger, launched for the 1970 model year in August of 1969. The mechanics for the Challenger were borrowed from the Plymouth Barracuda, but it was bigger in every aspect compared to its Plymouth sibling. Three bodystyles and a whole series of the engines, ranging from a 145 bhp 'six, to the 425 bhp HEMI V8, were available. Of the bodystyles the regular coupe was the preferred choice.

Together with the 'regular' Challenger, Dodge offered the high performance Road and Track or R/T version. The range started with the featured 340 ci V8 engine, that produced a decent 275 bhp. Top of the line engine was the HEMI unit conservatively rated at 425 bhp, available as an extra at $871. A truely race inspired option was the Trans Am or T/A package, which was fitted to very few R/T Challengers.

When the Challenger was launched it was superior to its Pony Car rivals, but unfortunately the genre was losing its popularity quickly. In its first year the Challenger was quite a success, but in the following years the sales quickly dropped. The R/T Challenger remained in production for two years only.

The pictured Challenger R/T 340 is seen here at the 2003 MOPARfest, an annual celebration of Chrysler performance vehicles in Canada.

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