My Car Quest

November 19, 2018

Too Cool For School – A Marriage Of Beauty And Style, The Dodge Charger III

by Mike –

I have always loved the Chrysler and Dodge concept cars and here is a beauty from 1968 – the Dodge Charger III which was the most aerodynamic car built by Chrysler Corporation up to that time.

1968 Dodge Charger III Concept Car

This was a futuristic design in 1968 and still looks modern today.

1968 Dodge Charger III Concept Car

Robert B. McCurry general manager of Dodge said in 1969,

“Charger III is an idea car. Or, it might better be called an exchange of ideas. This experimental vehicle is our way of showing the public some of the design and engineering concepts which we have developed. From the public, we learned what they would like (or not like) to see in tomorrow’s automobile. That is why we conduct special consumer surveys at auto shows. Many of the features seen in Charger III might well be included in our cars in the not too distant future.”

1968 Dodge Charger III Concept Car

1968 Dodge Charger III Concept Car

The Charger III doesn’t have normal doors and windows it has a jet plane like canopy that opens with the push of a button. Remember when we thought cars should be like airplanes?

The bucket seats raise up eight inches while the steering wheel assembly swings away to aid in driver entry. The touch of the button will close the canopy and rotate the steering wheel and seats to their driving positions.

1968 Dodge Charger III Concept Car interior

The headlights are hidden under a long sloping hood that looks a lot like a Corvette as does the front view. The rear of the car is reminiscent of the Peter Brock designed Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe and the roof line reminds me of the Ferrari Breadvan.

This certainly looks like an aerodynamic design that could have been very fast on the race track.

1968 Dodge Charger III Concept Car

1968 Dodge Charger III Concept Car

1968 Dodge Charger III Concept Car

An interesting feature is the engine service hatch located to the rear of the front left fender (you can see it in the photos). Inside this hatch are gauges that monitor fluid levels of the engine oil, coolant and battery fluid. The electrical fuses are also behind this hatch. One could do a complete check of the engine without opening the hood.

1968 Dodge Charger III Concept Car

The experimental braking system uses three air brake flaps that are synchronized with the regular braking system and acts as an “air foil” brake (like an airplane). Under these brake flaps are two gas filler caps.

1968 Dodge Charger III Concept Car

I like this design – let us know what you think in the Comments.

 

 

1968 Dodge Charger III Concept Car

1968 Dodge Charger III Concept Car

1968 Dodge Charger III Concept Car

1968 Dodge Charger III Concept Car

This article was originally published in March 2013.

Summary
Too Cool For School - A Marriage Of Beauty And Style, The Dodge Charger III
Article Name
Too Cool For School - A Marriage Of Beauty And Style, The Dodge Charger III
Description
This 1968 futuristic design still looks modern today.
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Comments

  1. Thom Ollinger says:

    I was trying to think of another example of air brakes on a car. It sounds like something Jim Hall would have done on one of his Chaparral race cars. I think Jim used active wings until they were outlawed. Certainly other protypes or early race cars had air brakes. Anyone?

  2. Dan Rinker says:

    One of my favorite rental airplanes was called a Diamond Katana, an Austrian a/c built in Canada. There were lots of innovations we were taught to deal with carefully, compared to other typical trainer a/c. There were safeguards to assure that the clamshell style canopy was fully closed and latched. Even with the focused training, there were incidents involving the canopy. One, it broke off at the hinge, aloft. A good thing as long as it didn’t take the empennage with it (Katanas had T-tails). Just noisy and windy for the occupants. On another, though, it crashed back and stayed attached. It became the most effective air brake imaginable and the airplane dropped like a rock. Unleash stuff like this on an undisciplined market? Not a good idea… What do you suppose the front fender (like Toyota 2000 GT) lockers were used for? Is there any mention of a powerplant choice?

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