1972 DODGE CHALLENGER BACKGROUND
The party was over, the muscle car party, that is. 1970 is considered the peak of the classic muscle car era, and the end of the Horsepower Wars. By 1971, crushed federal regulations mandating sweeping safety and emissions changes, along with the elimination of leaded gasoline, spelled the end of the classic American muscle car. Compression ratios were dropping fast, cams were getting milder, carburetors were shrinking, and big engines were going away altogether. Dodge and sister-company Plymouth managed to soldier through the 1971 model year with a few big block 383 and 440 Magnums, the awesome 440 Six-Pack, and the ultimate muscle car motor, the 426 Hemi, still mounting twin 4-barrel carbs and making an under-rated 424 horsepower (it was probably more like 500). But, that was 1971, and this was 1972. By this time, the new rules had caught up to Detroit, and the 1972 Dodge Challenger was neutered, just like everyone else. Gone was the Six-Pack and the Hemi, along with all the big blocks. Nothing but small blocks from now on. Like I said, the party was over.
1972 DODGE CHALLENGER CHANGES & IMPROVEMENTS
While the basic body shell remained unchanged from the 1970 and 1971 Challengers, the 1972 Dodge Challenger received a new front grille and front facia, and new tail lights and rear facia, that gave the car a different look. The Convertible option was now gone, so the only body style the 1972 and later Dodge Challengers came in was the 2-door Hardtop. Gone also was the R/T-option, now replaced by the “Rallye” performance package (‘performance’ being said with tongue-in-cheek here) which came with the powerhouse 150-horse 318 V8 standard. Numerous detail and trim changes were made, and many government-mandated safety features were added in.