1971 DODGE CHALLENGER GETS FEW CHANGES
1971 was mostly carried over from the very successful 1970 model. The body received only minor changes, the basic sheetmetal remaining intact, but front and year facias modified slightly. A new bargain-priced model called the Challenger Coupe was added, that cut costs by decontenting the cars, including fixing the rear quarter windows in place instead of the roll-downs. It was planned to do another year with the Challenger T/A, but using a 340 with a single 4-barrel instead of the Six-Pack setup, but Dodge had since pulled out of the SCCA Trans Am racing series that had inspired the original car, so the idea was dropped.
1971 Dodge Challenger CONVERTIBLE
1971 DODGE CHALLENGER R/T CONVERTIBLE ON PICTURE DAY
I caught this beauty at the Good Guys Car Show in Pleasanton CA in March 2014. The owner left the hood half-open to give folks a view of that gorgeous engine. Unfortunately, he was nowhere in sight when I was shooting his car. And I DO NOT touch anyone’s car without their permission. So this is what we’ve got, for now. Maybe I should say “No muscle cars were injured in the making of this site!”
1971 Dodge Challenger INTERIOR
1971 Dodge Challenger ENGINES
1971 DODGE CHALLENGER ENGINE OPTIONS
Of course base Challengers could still be had with the lowly Slant-Six. But the real sizzle was on the other end of the spectrum with the R/T series (short for Road & Track). Here, the standard engine was the big block 383 V8. In 1970 it produced 335hp, but for 1971, low-octane/low-lead gasoline forced Dodge to reduce compression ratios, so the power dropped to 300hp. The 440 Magnum still made 375hp with single 4-barrel, and 390 with its own Six-Pack setup (three 2-barrel carburetors on a special aluminum manifold). And as before, the top-rated engine was the mighty 426 Hemi, in its last year, still making 425hp. How did they do it? What was it like on the new gas?