'71 CHARGER R/T History

  • In 1971 the third generation Charger debuted. Dodge merged its Coronet and Charger lines. For '71, all four-door B-bodies were badged as Coronets and all two-door B-bodies as Chargers. Six Charger models where introduced for '71, the base Coupe, Hardtop, 500, SE, Super Bee and the top of the line the Charger R/T.

    The styling was different from the previous generation. The Charger now sported a split front bumper design. The windshield wipers are now hidden, ventless side windows for the first time, and new, virtually flush out-side door handles. The interiors now looked more like the E-body's and was now shared by Plymouth B-body's.

    New options for the '71 Charger R/T: A RamCharger hood, this could be opened or closed from inside the car. It boosts power with cool air being directed into the carburetor. The RamCharger was standard on the HEMI. This was used on the Coronet R/T and Super Bees in the past, but this would mark the first time it was used on the Charger. Body color bumpers, Hood hold-down pins, a front and rear spoilers gave the car a more sporty look. Concealed headlights are also an option. Also is a little device that washes them with a brush. Not seen often was the Sun Roof, available on all models.

    The Charger R/T came standard 440 Magnum V8 rated at 370 HP. Optional were the 440 Six Pack and 426 HEMI. The R/T used the same hood and tape side treatment as the Super Bee, but two additional stripes on each door simulated vents. A 150 mph speedometer, oil pressure gauge, simulated wood grain on the doors and dash, high rate torsion bars, heavy-duty shocks, extra heavy duty rear springs, and sway bar.

    The R/T popularity was on the downslide because of higher insurance, and fuel costs. Emissions regulations also caused new restrictions on companies to "water down" their engines. Chrysler would not do that to the HEMI, so '71 was the last year for the HEMI and the end of other high performance engines.

    Based on the steep decline in the sales of performance models and trimlines, 1971 would mark the final year for the Road & Track package on the Dodge Charger.