50 Years of Charger: The 1968 Dodge Charger

The 1968 Charger was changed yet again and gone was the split grille that was introduced the previous year.

New front fenders and a new lower-priced version with bench seats and a more modest trim package were added to the mix. The 500 returned as an intermediate between the base model and the R/T. A new 440ci V8, the “Six-Pack,” was offered as an option and produced 390 hp. The Special Edition (SE) package was available to Charger 500s and Charger R/Ts. Besides a new variety of colors including Top Banana, Panther Pink, Go Mango, and Plum Crazy, a new HEMI hood cutout was an option for the ’70 Charger in which 440 or HEMI lettering was spelled out in block letter with silver reflective tape on either side and hood scallop inserts were painted black. The R/T added the Magnum engine but also the special handling package, auto trans (although manual could be had at now additional cost), and the Dodge “Bumble Bee” racing stipe.

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.

The 1968 Dodge Charger stands apart from the other model years in large part due to its distinct design elements. The grille is completely encircled with wraparound chrome, and the headlamps were hidden from view, in conjunction with the removal of the center divider from the ’69 model. The 1968 R/T model remains easy to identify thanks to its rear-facing scoops mounted on the doors. New colors were also available in 1968, including Top Banana, Panther Pink, Sublime, Burnt Orange, Go Mango and Plum Crazy. On the interior, several notable changes and updates helped make the 1968 Charger one stunning muscle car to behold. High-back bucket seats were added in leather or vinyl and the ignition switch was moved to the steering column. In the 1968 Charger SE edition, interior features included a woodgrain steering wheel and instrument panel, new pistol grip shifter, pedal trim, turn signal indicators in the hood and, a first for the Charger, a bench seat.

The 1968 Charger R/T also stood apart with 14-inch wheels with raised white letter or white-sidewall tires, and a red bumblebee or longitudinal stripe on the rear. The 1968 Dodge Charger R/T roared down the road with a standard 440 Magnum V8 with a four-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust, and included an R/T suspension package and heavy-duty brakes. Other available options for under the hood were the 390-horsepower 440 Six Pack engine (a first for Charger) and the earth-shaking 425-horsepower 426 HEMI® engine. Neither of these behemoths came with an air conditioning option, as the focus was on power and power alone. The standard 1968 Charger also included a Slant Six engine as an option.

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