MotorCities National Heritage Area
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By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Chrysler Archives, Barrett-Jackson Auto Auctions and the Robert Tate Collection
Published 8.17.2021

1970 Dodge Charger brochure cover Chrysler Archives RESIZED 11970 Dodge Charger brochure cover (Chrysler Archives) 

The 1970 Dodge Charger was introduced to the public during the fall of 1969. The year 1970 became a great success story for Chrysler Corporation’s Dodge Division.

A great advertising campaign was launched to promote the new Dodge Charger models for 1970. The models were available with either a six or eight-cylinder engine, along with new grilles, tail lamps and other new features that the public really admired. Dodge also promoted the popular 500 name plate series along with the Charger name plate, and both were made in two-door hardtop models.

1970 Dodge Charger interior 21970 Dodge Charger interior

The 1970 Dodge Charger R/T was one of the performance leaders for the line that year. This model was available in either a six-cylinder or a popular V-8 engine.

The 1970 Dodge models were designed under the direction of Elwood P. Engel, vice president of design, and led the way in muscle car sales during the decade. The 1970 Dodge Charger models carried the same body style introduced in 1968-1969, and many younger drivers and car enthusiasts enjoyed its great styling.

1970 Dodge Charger RESIZED 31970 Dodge Charger

Chrysler called the 1970 Dodge Charger models the division’s luxury-sports-personal car entry. Dodge introduced a special exterior and interior trim package for both the Charger R/T and 500 models. Many automotive historians have said that the 1970 Dodge Charger models had a new massive bumper that completely encircled the front grille and those popular hidden headlights. Another great feature was the Charger’s aerodynamic rear end styling.

1970 Dodge Charger rear view RESIZED 41970 Dodge Charger rear view

The 1970 Dodge Charger R/T sold for $3,711 and had a production run of 10,337 units for the model year. The 1970 Charger 500 was priced at $3,139. The Charger was based on the Dodge Coronet, and the engine selection was the same. New features added to the Charger for 1970 included a shaker hood and electric headlight covers that replaced the previous vacuum units on earlier models. Most importantly, a 440 Six Pack engine option was made available. The Charger’s interior featured new high and stylish back bucket seats, and the ignition was moved from the dash to the steering column. The styling department also introduced an all-new pistol grip shifter. In addition, consumers in 1970 had many great colors to choose from when ordering a new Dodge Charger, including Sublime, Go Mango, Banana and Orange.

1970 Dodge Charger magazine ad Chrysler Archives RESIZED 51970 Dodge Charger magazine ad (Chrysler Archives)

During the 1970s, the oil crisis and stricter government regulations took effect that would severely impact the American muscle car market for years to come.

Dodge Charger race car with driver Bobby Isaac 6

In 1970, driver Bobby Isaac took the wheel of a Dodge-sponsored Hemi-powered car at the Riverside 500 NASCAR race. The 1970 Dodge Charger racer logged a total of ten wins on the circuit.

1970 would be the final year of the second generation Charger. The 1971 model would feature an all-new body design.

1970 Dodge Charger PPG paint colors Robert Tate Collection 71970 Dodge Charger PPG paint colors (Robert Tate Collection)

Many automotive enthusiasts ask how much a 1970 Dodge Charger is worth today. The answer would depend on the condition and mileage, however, other maintenance features would also be a factor. The price would be between $15,000 to $30,000, however, some body styles would bring a higher cost.

1970 Dodge Charger advertising Chrysler Archives 81970 Dodge Charger advertising (Chrysler Archives)

In 1970, Dodge had great advertising with slogans like the “1970 Dodge Charger stands out with the in crowd” or “If you ever finished first, you could be Dodge Material.”

In conclusion, the 1970 Dodge Charger models were great looking designs and have a place in our automotive history and heritage.

Bibliography

McPherson, Thomas A. “The Dodge Story.” Crestline Publishing, 1975.

Kowalke, Ron. Standard Guide to American Muscle Cars: A Super Source Book 1960-1995.” Krause Publications, 1996.

Langworth, Richard M. “Encyclopedia of American Cars 1930-1980.” The Auto Editors of Consumer Guide, 1984.