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 Dodge Charger, and today we’re focusing on the 1969 Charger, with blog posts to follow on the 1970 Charger, 2006 Charger and 2016 Charger SRT® Hellcat.
Strap on your safety belts and prepare to be pressed back into your seat.
The 1969 Dodge Charger: Interior, Exterior and Engine
The 1969 Dodge Charger was distinct in appearance from the 1968 model, most notably because of the new center divider on the front grille, and on the back, longitudinal taillights that replaced the circular design from the previous year. In addition, a new Special Edition (SE) trim line offered chrome rocker moldings and an available sunroof, as well as leather front seat inserts and woodgrain interior details on the steering wheel and dash. On the R/T, the bumblebee stripes were still available as one wide stripe and two smaller stripes.
Under the hood, a 290-horsepower 2-barrel 383 engine and a 330-horsepower 4-barrel 383 engine were available, as well as a 335-horsepower 383 Magnum painted Chrysler high-performance orange in the Super Bee model. In addition, the Six Pack, introduced in 1969, took the 440 Magnum and added a high-rise manifold capable of moving over 1, 200 cubic feet of air per minute to accommodate three Holley two-barrel carburetors (thus the number six). The Six Pack produced a roaring sound and was rated at 390 horsepower at 4, 700 rpm and 490 lb.-ft. of torque at 3, 200 rpm. Additional Six Pack performance features included HEMI® engine valve springs and a recalibrated ignition distributor with dual breaker points.
The Six Pack performance was close to that of the 426 HEMI engine, and at approximately half the cost. To introduce the new high-powered engine, a special 1969 Dodge Super Bee model was developed with a flat-black fiberglass hood and matching black wheels sans hubcaps.
Fame on the Racetrack
The 1969 Charger was a huge success in the showroom and on the roadway, and also made a splash in American motorsports with the introduction of the original Dodge Charger Daytona, known as the “Winged Warrior.” The speedster broke tradition with its unique front end, engineered to help reduce drag, and bested the competition with speed and stability that was unmatched in stock car racing.
Learn more about the history of the Dodge Charger at the Redline Dodge Blog, and check out the current lineup at dodge.com.