A detailed look back at the 1975 Dodge Charger

Cleverness is best known for its Charger and Challenger models dating back to the 1960s and that iconic muscle car era. These two models are currently in their impressive seventh and third generations, offering several exciting trim levels for the 2023 production year. But it is also true that the brand is discontinuing both the Charger and Challenger as we know them in an effort to transition to a more environmentally friendly production.

With the Last Call lineup of the latest Charger and Challenger, Dodge basically makes us all sentimental about the first versions that hit the market nearly 60 years ago. The Charger has an even longer and richer history than its Challenger brother, having been in production since 1966. It is therefore not surprising that we wanted to review one of his models again.

While most people and magazines (including us) often talk about the Charger units that made it to famous movies (like “Bullitt” or “Fast and Furious”), we also wanted to take a look at less-favorite years of production. For example, the 1975 Dodge Charger is a handsome powerhouse, but was overshadowed by its more successful siblings. Let’s take a closer look, to even the score a bit.

RELATED: How the Dukes Of Hazzard’s “General Lee” Charger Became So Iconic

A look at the history of the lineup and the birth of the 1975 Dodge Charger

Via: Wikimedia Common/Greg Gjerdinger

In the 1960s, Dodge faced one major problem that required immediate attention: General Motors. While cars like the Chevelle, GTO, and 442 were already operational, Dodge struggled to put out its big muscle car. When it finally arrived in 1966, the Dodge Charger was too late to the party. Nevertheless, thanks to high engineering and performance that thrilled the masses, this car quickly attracted a lot of attention.

With a two-door fastback body, four bucket seats, and a handful of V8s powering up to 425 ponies, the first-generation Dodge Charger positioned itself well in the marketplace. However, it was the second generation Dodge Charger that stole the show and remained the most influential up to date.

Between 1968 and 1970, the Dodge Charger had an unmistakably round, long body with a undivided grille that hid the headlights. In addition, Dodge split its line-six and two V8 offerings and introduced two special homologation cars: the Charger 500 and the Charger Daytona. These dominated the track to such an extent that NASCAR eventually restricted their engine power and then banned them from participating.

Anyway, the third-generation Dodge Charger from 1971 to 1974 was short-lived, even though it was quite popular with customers. Along this generation’s lineage, the oil crisis and federal regulations hit the muscle car market, and it was clear that an era was coming to an end. So Dodge came up with a new design for its fourth-generation Dodge Charger.

RELATED: Here’s What Gearheads Forgot About the Dodge Charger Shelby

What you should know about the 1975 Dodge Charger

The rear of the 1975 Dodge Charger.
Via: Wikimedia Commons/Greg Gjerdinger

Between 1975 and 1978, the Dodge Charger was intended to meet the needs of an increasing number of customers seeking luxury over performance. The muscle car therefore became a personal luxury coupe. The 1975 Dodge Charger was much more luxurious than its predecessor from the start, offering premium materials for seats and imitation wood all around.

On the outside, the 1975 Dodge Charger (and its variations through 1978) had a new front fascia with two pairs of large and small headlights. The long hood and short rear also gave the impression of a car more suited to long distance driving, which is primarily the direction Dodge wanted to take its new Charger.

When it comes to power and performance, the 1975 Dodge Charger (and the entire generation) was far below its predecessors. While several V8s were still in the picture, Dodge limited power to 240 horsepower for the top trim. The more inferior versions started at 180 hp with a V8, and the most standard versions had a straight-six that could make an uninspiring 100 hp.

Obviously, all of these engines were far from those of the muscle car era, but admittedly, customers were in the mid-70s and beyond looking for more comfort and luxury.

Price and availability of the 1975 Dodge Charger

The 1975 Dodge Charger on display.
Via: Wikimedia Commons/Greg Gjerdinger

If after reading this article you find yourself wanting to look for the 1975 Dodge Charger on sale, you may be disappointed with its availability. This production year doesn’t hit the used car market as often as the 1968 Dodge Charger.

Still, unlike its better-known predecessor, the 1975 Dodge Charger is much less expensive. If you’re willing to wait to get it on sale, you can expect to pay around $10,000-$20,000, which is a pretty good bargain for a classic car.

sources: Dodge, Stellantis, Hemmings

Leave a Comment