For the past 50 years, since the first Dodge Charger took to the streets in 1966, Americans have enjoyed an obsession with power, performance and style. The ‘66 Dodge Charger was a flat-out menace on the asphalt, and a game-changer in a hyper-competitive segment and era. With the foundation firmly in place, Dodge Charger continued to grow in size and stature, year after year, always striving for cutting-edge design, awe-inspiring interiors, and performance and capability that broke boundaries with each new iteration of the iconic vehicle.
In this five-part series, the Redline Dodge Blog is looking back at five landmark models in the Dodge Charger’s 50-year history. We started with the 1968 and 1969 Dodge Charger, and today we’re focusing on the 1970 Charger, with blog posts to follow on the 2006 Charger and 2016 Charger SRT® Hellcat.
Strap on your safety belts and prepare to be pressed back into your seat.
The 1970 Dodge Charger: Interior, Exterior and Engine
The 1970 Dodge Charger stands apart from the other model years in large part due to its distinct design elements. The grille is completely encircled with wraparound chrome, and the headlamps were hidden from view, in conjunction with the removal of the center divider from the ’69 model. The 1970 R/T model remains easy to identify thanks to its rear-facing scoops mounted on the doors. New colors were also available in 1970, including Top Banana, Panther Pink, Sublime, Burnt Orange, Go Mango and Plum Crazy.
On the interior, several notable changes and updates helped make the 1970 Charger one stunning muscle car to behold. High-back bucket seats were added in leather or vinyl and the ignition switch was moved to the steering column. In the 1970 Charger SE edition, interior features included a woodgrain steering wheel and instrument panel, new pistol grip shifter, pedal trim, turn signal indicators in the hood and, a first for the Charger, a bench seat. The 1970 Charger R/T also stood apart with 14-inch wheels with raised white letter or white-sidewall tires, and a red bumblebee or longitudinal stripe on the rear.
The 1970 Dodge Charger R/T roared down the road with a standard 440 Magnum V8 with a four-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust, and included an R/T suspension package and heavy-duty brakes. Other available options for under the hood were the 390-horsepower 440 Six Pack engine (a first for Charger) and the earth-shaking 425-horsepower 426 HEMI® engine. Neither of these behemoths came with an air conditioning option, as the focus was on power and power alone. The standard 1970 Charger also included a Slant Six engine as an option.
The 1970 Dodge Charger: Racing and Reception
The 1970 model continued to build on Charger’s prowess on the racetrack. Ten stock car racing victories earned the No. 71 Charger Daytona the championship title that year, and helped bolster nationwide notoriety for the already famed Charger.
The 1970 Dodge Charger, particularly the SE model, is widely considered the most luxurious of that year’s Scat Pack, and it’s not hard to see why — with wood accents, shifter and bench seat. Production in 1970 was just under 50, 000 total vehicles.
Learn more about the history of the Dodge Charger at the Redline Dodge Blog, and check out the current lineup at dodge.com.