My Car Quest

May 30, 2024

The Original Dodge Charger – What A Fastback!

From the My Car Quest Wayback Machine – December 2014.

by Mike Gulett –

There are many cars that I wanted to own when I was younger and this is one of them. I have always liked the Dodge Charger fastback style, I had a slot car that looked just like this in silver.

This is not a pony car, it is larger than Mustangs and Camaros. It is in a different niche – Dodge made more than 53,000 of the 1966 and 1967 models before they changed the body style.

Dodge Charger

The Charger had the option of a Hemi engine and only 586 came equipped that way – so these are more desirable collector cars and thus more pricey. The 1966-67 Charger was not a successful race car initially because the air flow over the fastback actually caused the rear end to lift. But I don’t care – I love the looks and I wouldn’t drive it that fast anyway.

Dodge Charger

Dodge Charger

A small spoiler on the truck lid solved this problem and the 1966 Charger was the first U.S. production vehicle to include a spoiler. David Pearson, driving a Cotten Owens prepared Charger, won the NASCAR Grand National championship in 1966 with 14 wins.

Race heritage is very good for a collector car.

Dodge Charger

Dodge Charger

Dodge Charger

Dodge Charger

Dodge Charger

Below is the 1968 Dodge Charger – also a great looking car.

Dodge Charger

A more subtle fastback than the first generation Charger design.

Dodge Charger

Other Cool Fastback Cars

My first memory of a fastback is the 1965 Ford Mustang. It was so different than other cars. It is great that the fastback improves aerodynamics, and thus speed, but it also looks cool, which is important.

1965 Ford Mustang

1965 Ford Mustang

There are other style features that improve the cars speed but do not look so cool, like wings on the tail section (think about the Plymouth Superbird, fast but not so good looking).

Stout Scarab

Stout Scarab

It is likely that the Stout Scarab is the first example of a fastback, although that term was not used in the 1930s.

Tatra T87

The 1948 Tatra T87 was also early to the fastback style

1954 Bentley

1954 Bentley

1953 Ferrari 250 MM

1953 Ferrari 250 MM

Lamborghini Miura

Lamborghini Miura

The Ferrari 250GTE usually does not get respect in the Ferrari world because it is a 2+2 but I have always loved this body style especially the fastback.

1962 Ferrari 250GTE

1962 Ferrari 250GTE

The Bizzarrini GT 5300 has more of a “flat back” than a fastback.

Bizzarrini GT 5300

Notice how flat the rear window is on the Bizzarrini GT 5300

1966 Bizzarrini GT 5300

1966 Bizzarrini GT 5300

1969 AMC AMX

1969 AMC AMX

1966 Shelby GT350 H

1966 Shelby GT350 H

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Dodge Charger

Summary
The Original Dodge Charger – What A Fastback!
Article Name
The Original Dodge Charger – What A Fastback!
Description
The Dodge Charger from the 1960s is a special muscle car with a beautiful fastback.
Author

Comments

  1. Mike, couldn’t agree more. I loved the first gen. Charger. Also liked the Rambler Marlin back then as well with its fastback roof. One of my favorites of the era as you also mention are also the ’63-’65 Riviera, with ’65 my favorite with the clamshells hiding the headlights.

  2. Glenn Krasner says

    The 1965 Buick Riviera is one of the most beautiful cars ever to come out of Detroit. The body is like a rolling sculpture, and the front end treatment with the clamshell covers hiding the headlights is one of the best ever. In addition, the interior mimics a fighter jet’s, and seems more appropriate in a Corvette than a Buick. For power, you could get the big block Wildcat engine. In short, this Riviera is just absolutely stunning, inside and out. Mike, I think you might have done this already, but revisiting the ’63 through ’65 Riviera for a close-up profile would be well worth it for your followers – it never gets tired! Glenn in the Bronx, NY.

  3. Glenn Krasner says

    Well, please buy one then, and then profile it for the site, in every single glorious detail! Glenn in the Bronx, NY.

  4. Focus folks! This is about the “Charger” the original. The fastback. Before it became bloated, and long. Why would you even bring the Buick into this post????

  5. Art Harvey says

    Nice!
    You’ve nailed a few, good, interesting points about the mostly overlooked “1st Generation” Charger – but let me offer a couple more features which shouldn’t go unmentioned:

    The seating is four bucket seats with a full-length center console. The two rear seats flip forward to lay flat and result in a continuous, flat cargo space that can stretch into the trunk space via a fold-down access panel. I love this layout, which I like to think Lamborghini copied just a couple years later in their similarly fabulous Espada.

    The instrument cluster of four circular pods is more attractive than most dash designs of its day – and the instrument displays are electroluminescent! (Go look it up – no bulbs – they just glow in the dark!) There is a high-voltage converter, I believe, behind the dash to achieve this. It looks SUPER COOL at night. Go search for some images and you’ll see what I mean.

    Lastly the flip-away headlights in front are a more obvious “neato” feature.

    I’m glad these are under appreciated. It means they remain “accessibly” priced, and even the Hemi’s are at the low end of the price spectrum.

    Cheers,
    – Art

    • I have to second that, the interior in the first gen Charger is absolutely far out The attention to detail in that design looks “futuristic”. One of my all time favorite interiors! The car is a bit large in every dimension but still worthy of ownership. The prices are still seemingly reasonable but definitely creeping up. If I had more space to park another car I would own one but city life has it’s limits.

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