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Old 12-12-2005, 09:48 PM
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1966
The Charger made its debut in mid-1966. Sharing its chassis and front-end sheet-metal with the mid-sized Coronet, the Charger "still looked a lot like a Coronet or AMC’s conceptually similar Rambler Marlin ... [and] substantially more expensive than either. The Charger with a $3,100 base price "was immediately paired up in the automotive press with American Motors' year-old Marlin, another fastback specialty machine that came in at around $2,850" and some called the Charger "a good-looking Marlin." The Charger's interior was different from all other cars with its pseudo-bucket back seats folded down to interior space accessible via the rear hatch. "The Charger didn't begin with the performance/ muscle car image, though you could get a Hemi with it." The Charger evolved into possibly the top Chrysler-made muscle car. On January 1, 1966, viewers of the Rose Bowl were first introduced to the new "Leader of the Dodge Rebellion", the 1966 Charger. The Charger's debut also followed by a half model year the introduction of a new street version of the 426 cu in (7.0 L) Chrysler Hemi engine. With the Charger, Dodge had a new model to build a performance image to go along with this engine.

Designed by Carl "CAM" Cameron, the Charger introduced a fastback roofline and pot-metal "electric shaver" grille, complete with fully rotating headlights, a feature not seen on a Chrysler product since the 1942 DeSoto. In the rear the fastback design ended over a full-width six-lamp taillight with chromed "CHARGER" lettering. Inside, the standard Charger featured a simulated wood-grain steering wheel, four individual bucket seats with a full length console from front to rear. The rear seats and rear center armrest pad also folded forward while the trunk divider dropped back, which allowed for generous cargo room. Numerous interior features were exclusive to the Charger including door panels, courtesy lights, as well as premium trim and vinyl upholstery. The instrument panel did not use regular bulbs to light the gauges, but rather electroluminescence lit the four chrome-ringed circular dash pods, needles, radio, shifter-position indicator in the console, as well as clock and air conditioning controls if equipped. The dash housed a 0 to 6000 rpm tachometer, a 0 to 150 mph (240 km/h) speedometer, as well as alternator, fuel, and temperature gauges as standard equipment.

Engine selections consisted of only V8s. 1966 transmissions included a three-speed steering-column mounted manual with the base engine, a console mounted four-speed manual, or three-speed automatic. In 1966, four engines were offered: the base-model 318 cu in (5.2 L) 2-barrel, the 361 cu in (5.9 L) 2-barrel, the 383 cu in (6.3 L) 4-barrel, and the new 426 Street Hemi. Only 468 Chargers were built with the 426. Total production in 1966 came to 37,344 units for the mid-model year introduction.

In 1966, Dodge took the Charger into NASCAR in hopes that the fastback would make their car a winner on the high-banks. However the car proved difficult to handle on the faster tracks because its body generated lift. Drivers would later claim that "it was like driving on ice." To solve this problem Dodge installed a small lip spoiler on the trunk lid that improved traction at speeds above 150 mph (240 km/h). This was made a dealer-installed option in late-1966 and in 1967 because of NASCAR rules, making the '66 Charger the first U.S. production vehicle to offer a spoiler. (Small quarter panel extensions were added in 1967.) David Pearson, driving a #6 Cotton Owens-prepared Charger, went on to win the NASCAR Grand National championship in 1966 with 14 first-place finishes.

Source: Wikipedia
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1966_Charger 426 Hemi-1.jpg (272.8 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg 1966_Charger 426 Hemi.jpg (289.2 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg 1967_Charger 426 Hemi Coupe-1.jpg (289.3 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg 1967_Charger 426 Hemi Coupe.jpg (266.8 KB, 18 views)

Last edited by Man of Steel; 08-21-2019 at 09:49 PM.
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