1968 DODGE CHARGER – NEW DESIGN
While still based on the Dodge Coronet platform, this new 2nd-gen Charger used completely different sheetmetal throughout, even forward of the A-pillars (the part that was previously shared by the Coronet and the 1st-gen Charger). The curvaceous new body had a double-diamond “Coke Bottle”-shape to it, with a flying buttress rear roofline that took on a semi-fastback look from the side. The trailing edge of the rear deck kicked up slightly forming a small spoiler. Faux scoops or scallops were sculpted into the doors and hood. The full width, fine-toothed front grille was retained with its hide-away headlights. But now instead of the electrically-operated fully-rotating units as on the 1st-gen Chargers, now they were more conventional vacuum-operated covers. The grille still went full width in one unbroken form, as before, creating a gaping opening up front. Out back, it now had 2 round tail lights on each side.
1968 DODGE CHARGER ENGINE OPTIONS
At the beginning of the 1968 model year, the standard engine for the new Charger was a 318 small block V8 with 2-barrel carburetor. But by mid-year, the 225ci slant-six became the base engine, and the 318 became optional. There were the same two 383 big block V8s as before, one with a 2-barrel, and the other with 4-barrel and making 325hp. The 440 Magnum big block V8 with 375hp and the 426 Hemi with two 4-barrels and 425hp were also optional.
1968 DODGE CHARGER OPTION PACKAGES
The Charger R/T was introduced for the ’68 model year. R/T stood for Road and Track, and were considered the top performance versions, similar to Chevy’s Super Sport (SS) line. Besides special striping and badging, the Charger R/T came standard with the 440 Magnum, with the only optional engine being the might 426 Hemi. Dodge also introduced the “Scat Pack” this year, an option package that could be applied to the Charger, Superbee, Coronet R/T or Dart GTS, and included a “bumblebee-stripe”. These were actually the exact same stripes that came on the Charger R/T, but they were now made available, at extra cost, on these other models as well. And/or they could be deleted at no cost from your Charger R/T, if you were so inclined.
1968 Dodge Charger INTERIOR
1968 DODGE CHARGER – A TURNING POINT
It’s hard to emphasize just how important this car was to Dodge at the time. Caught flat-footed at the beginning of both the Pony Car Wars and the Muscle Car Wars, Dodge had struggled to make do with the hardware they had on the shelf. No new Pony Car for Dodge. They tarted up the Coronet, called it the R/T, and they melded a questionable fastback rear end onto the same car and created the first Dodge Charger with less than exceptional results. The new “Youth Market’s” hormones were racing, and Mustangs, Chevelles, Camaros and GTOs were flying off the shelves, and Dodge dealers had very little to offer them. I’m sure there was plenty of talk of “Wait until next year…” Everything hinged on this new Charger being the car that Dodge needed to draw these young buyers into their showrooms. The 1968 Dodge Charger was just that car. It was stunning to look at, and could be ordered up with as much power as you could possibly want.