The other Dodge

Pry

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2005
Messages
656
Location
Finland
Car(s)
97 993 TT, 94 Viper, 68 Hemi Charger, 59 C1 Fuelie
Also known as the Caravan. :p

This is my and my brother?s car we shipped last year from California.

It?s a 1968 Dodge Charger R/T with a 426 Hemi.
It?s a numbers matching car so the engine and driveline are all original.
The car has been restored a couple of years ago to be exactly like it came from the factory so the colors are original and the equipment are original.
The only thing I?m not sure are the wheels which shouldn?t have been available for the Hemi and obviously the tires are modern too.

It?s the first year of the second generation Chargers with the round tail lights and full-width hidden headlight grille. It has the optional high performance R/T package with heavy-duty suspension and brakes, wider tires, dual exhaust and the bumble-bee stripes. The R/T came standard with a 440 Magnum and the Hemi was an optional extra.
They made 96,100 Chargers overall in 1968 467 of which were with the Hemi.

The reason for the low sales of the Hemi (425 hp) was mainly the high price which was $605 more than a 440 Magnum (375 hp).
For a comparison a 383 big block (290 hp) was a $70 option over a 318 (220 hp).
A base Charger was $3014 and the R/T (with the 440) was $3480.
In addition the Hemi wasn?t available with stuff like an air con, trailer-towing package and cruise control and it had a worse waranty.

The 426 Hemi was developed for NASCAR racing and it debuted in 1964. It dominated the races finishing Daytona 500 1-2-3-4. This caused NASCAR to introduce stricter production rules for the engines and Chrysler had to start selling the Hemi?s in ordinary production cars. The slightly detuned street Hemi went to production in 1966 allowing Chrysler to return NASCAR racing.
In addition to NASCAR the Hemi has dominated top drag racing classes since then.
The magic of the Hemi are its hemispherical combustion chambers which allow the use of larger valves and better breathing heads. It also makes the valve train more complicated and larger causing the huge heads.
The engine was nicknamed the elephant engine because of the large dimensions and heavy weight. The Hemi is 382 kg (843 lb) while the Ford 427 was 290 kg (640 lb). The modern Dodge cast iron truck V10 weights 379 kg (836 lb).

The Charger has the Hemi mated to a heavy-duty three speed A-727 TorqueFlite automatic transmission. To my knowledge the Hemi has a bit harder shift kit than other engines using the A-727 making the gear changes faster.
Sure it?s an automatic but this has to be one of the few which really have some attitude. It can withstand all kinds of beating and it kicks the new gear in like an animal. It easily lights up both of the rear tires when changing to second gear.

It has an 8 ?? SureGrip limited slip differential. The even tuffer Dana 60 was only available with a 4 speed manual.
The 8 ?? had a longer gear ratio making it much more usable on the street.

Other options I can remember are:
center console
vinyl roof
AM-radio
tinted glasses
and standard options for the Hemi are:
larger radiator
front power disc brakes
15? wheels
three speed windscreen wipers (the standard electric motor can?t fit under the hood with the Hemi)

For some reason Hemi Chargers came with two extra resonators at the back and the sound was a bit too muffled for our taste. We replaced the resonators temporarily with straight pipes to make it sound better but we are planning to put the shells of the resonators back on the straight pipes to make it look stock.

It?s actually quite good to drive. It doesn?t have a power steering so parking is ?a bit? hard with the huge engine sitting on the front wheels. Other than that it has much better driving feel than the cars with a power steering.
It feels quite strong even on todays standards. The Hemi pulls like hell all the way up to the red line thanks to the free breathing heads, Other V8?s from the period have all the power down low.
It doesn?t have as much low end torque as the 440 Magnum but still it?s even a bit too easy to light up the rear tires leaving the lights.
The throttle has two stages because of the two 4 barrel carburetors. The first half of it is quite light because it opens only the first two of the barrels and after that it starts to open the rest six of them. The engine really turns in to life when on full throttle and it screams like hell. So what you need to do when the lights turn green is to kick the throttle all the way to the floor, immidiately opening all of the 8 barrels, hold on and enjoy the music. :)

The pics:













forgot to take new pics from the engine and it was pretty dark out when I got back so this old one will have to do:


 

NotLaw

Active Member
DONOR
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
443
Location
Cedar City, UT
Car(s)
'90 Saab SPG, '84 K5 Blazer, '67 Fairlane 500
Sweet car dude.
I always loved the Chargers.

The Mag 500's may not have been factory for the Hemi, but they look damn good, and suit the style of the car (although they look a little narrow on such a large car)
 

sjwort

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Messages
70
Location
Boston
Absolutely gorgeous car Pry, I love it. Those wheels suit it quite well, and what is not to love about that Hemi?
 

Viper007Bond

Chicken Nugget Connoisseur
STAFF MEMBER
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Messages
31,051
Location
Portland, Oregon
Car(s)
2008 Dodge Viper, 2006 MB CLS55 AMG
Awesome!

Your car collection is growing fast!
 
Last edited:

nicjasno

BMW Perfectionist
DONOR
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
5,821
Location
Maribor, Slovenia, Europe
Car(s)
'89 BMW E30 325iT, '95 BMW E36 318ti compact
This is the best fucking car of the entire forum!!!!!

I love 68-70 chargers with hemis. Those red stripes on the tires fit the car very well. I'm not sure about the rims. Steel wheels with dog dishes would be my choice, but that's nitpicking. :)
 

_HighVoltage_

Captain Volvo
Joined
Aug 5, 2006
Messages
9,961
Car(s)
1998 Volvo S70 T5M
I'm sorry, but your 993 and Viper are BORING...compared to this! Most awesome car on the forum, no doubt.
 

edkwon

Forum Addict
Joined
Nov 21, 2006
Messages
6,475
Location
The OC
Car(s)
2017 Kia Niro, 2015 911 Turbo
Yep, best car out of the collection, Hammond would be jealous.
 

ninjacoco

puffalump? inquire here!
DONOR
Joined
Aug 21, 2009
Messages
6,547
Location
Austin
Car(s)
'10 Lulzcer GTS, '84 Porschelump 944, '71 VW 411

Bobele23

Well-Known Member
DONOR
Joined
Mar 19, 2011
Messages
1,770
Location
Germany Osnabrueck, Karmann Ghia City
Car(s)
03' BMW 525i touring - Bernadette
:) Congratz, altrough people would problably kill me when i say i prefer the 70's model (General Lee ).
Anyway it's a Charger with a Hemi which makes it automaticly Supercool :D
 

JipJopJones

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
Messages
4,502
Location
North Shore
Car(s)
1979 Cressida Wagon, 1981 Corolla Hardtop
I forgot to ask... how tough is it to tune the dual carbs? Is it a bit of a pain?

Also I DEMAND VIDEOS!!! :p
 

Viper007Bond

Chicken Nugget Connoisseur
STAFF MEMBER
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Messages
31,051
Location
Portland, Oregon
Car(s)
2008 Dodge Viper, 2006 MB CLS55 AMG
I prefer the square ones personally. The round ones look too much like an Impala or something. :yawn:

But man, I would totally hump the front end of that car... <3
 

Ilpav

Forum Addict
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
Messages
6,655
Location
GTA, Ontario, Canada
Car(s)
'04 Toyota Corolla LE
It's interesting that when Hammond reviewed the Charger he said "this is a 1968 440 R/T, it's the one you want", and then got himself a '69. :lol:

I also prefer the square taillights. Here's a (probably very rare) video of Hammond reversing his own Charger from the Top Gear studio after the episode it was introduced:


 
Top