The first thing that comes to mind when you think of the 1968 Dodge Charger RT 426 Hemi is its powerful reputation. From its sleek, muscular design to its iconic muscle car V8 engine, this vehicle established itself as an American classic from its debut in the late 1960s race scene. Whether you’re a vintage auto collector or just a fan of classic cars, there’s no denying the power and coolness factor of this iconic ride. Let’s take a closer look at the amazing features that have made the 1968 Dodge Charger RT 426 Hemi one of America’s favorite cars over 50 years since it was released.
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An Overview of the 1968 Dodge Charger RT 426 Hemi
The 1968 Dodge Charger RT 426 Hemi is an iconic American muscle car that holds a special place in automotive history. Here is an overview of this legendary vehicle:
The 1968 Dodge Charger RT 426 Hemi featured a distinctive and aggressive design that set it apart from its competitors. Its long, sleek profile, fastback roofline, and hidden headlights gave it a unique and imposing presence on the road. The front grille and rear taillights were revised for a more pronounced and muscular appearance. The Charger’s design was both aerodynamic and visually striking, making it an instant classic.
– Engine and Performance:
The RT (Road/Track) designation indicated the performance-oriented nature of the Charger, and the 426 Hemi engine was the pinnacle of power. It was equipped with a massive 426 cubic-inch (7.0-liter) Hemi V8 engine, known for its raw power and performance. This engine featured hemispherical combustion chambers, larger valves, and a high-performance camshaft. It produced around 425 horsepower and an impressive 490 lb-ft of torque, making it one of the most potent engines of its time. The Charger RT 426 Hemi could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) in just over 6 seconds and achieve a top speed of around 140 mph (225 km/h).
– Transmission and Handling:
The 1968 Charger RT 426 Hemi came with a heavy-duty TorqueFlite three-speed automatic transmission as standard. It offered smooth shifts and enhanced durability to handle the immense power of the Hemi engine. Optional upgrades included a four-speed manual transmission for those seeking a more engaging driving experience. The Charger featured a robust suspension system with torsion bars in the front and leaf springs in the rear, providing a balanced ride and improved handling characteristics.
– Features and Amenities:
The Charger RT 426 Hemi was a performance-oriented vehicle, but it also offered a range of features and amenities for driver comfort and convenience. It featured a spacious interior with bucket seats, a center console, and wood grain accents. Options such as air conditioning, power windows, power steering, and a range of audio systems were available to enhance the driving experience.
The 1968 Dodge Charger RT 426 Hemi has become an automotive icon, gaining fame through popular culture and its appearances in movies and television shows, most notably in the movie “Bullitt.” Its combination of aggressive design, powerful engine, and exhilarating performance has made it highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts.
The 1968 Dodge Charger RT 426 Hemi remains an enduring symbol of American muscle car heritage, embodying the spirit of power, performance, and style that defined the golden era of muscle cars. Its iconic design and legendary Hemi engine continue to captivate automotive enthusiasts and make it a highly desirable classic car today.
Highlights of the 1968 Dodge Charger RT 426 Hemi
The 1968 Dodge Charger RT 426 Hemi is a legendary muscle car that was known for its powerful performance and distinctive design. Here are the highlights of this iconic vehicle:
– Hemi V8 Engine: The Charger RT 426 Hemi was equipped with a monstrous 426 cubic-inch (7.0-liter) Hemi V8 engine. This legendary engine featured hemispherical combustion chambers, larger valves, and high-flow heads, which allowed for exceptional power output and performance. It produced approximately 425 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque, delivering exhilarating acceleration and impressive top speeds.
– Aggressive Styling: The Charger RT 426 Hemi boasted a bold and aggressive design that turned heads wherever it went. Its long, sleek fastback profile, hidden headlights, and iconic split front grille gave it a menacing and unmistakable appearance. The muscular body lines and pronounced wheel arches added to its commanding presence on the road.
– Performance Suspension: To complement its powerful engine, the Charger RT 426 Hemi featured a performance-tuned suspension system. It had torsion bar front suspension and leaf spring rear suspension, providing a balance of handling, comfort, and stability. The improved suspension allowed for confident cornering and a smooth ride even at high speeds.
– Optional Four-Speed Manual Transmission: While a three-speed automatic transmission was standard, the Charger RT 426 Hemi offered an optional four-speed manual transmission. This manual gearbox allowed drivers to have full control over gear shifts, providing a more engaging and connected driving experience.
– High-Performance Components: The Charger RT 426 Hemi was equipped with various high-performance components to enhance its overall performance. This included heavy-duty brakes for improved stopping power, a limited-slip differential for better traction, and larger diameter sway bars to minimize body roll during cornering.
– Popularity and Cultural Impact: The 1968 Dodge Charger RT 426 Hemi gained significant popularity and achieved cultural prominence through its appearances in movies and television shows. It became an automotive icon, most notably recognized for its role in the TV series “The Dukes of Hazzard,” where it was famously known as the “General Lee.”
– Enduring Legacy: The Charger RT 426 Hemi left an indelible mark in automotive history and continues to be highly regarded by collectors and enthusiasts. Its powerful engine, striking design, and performance capabilities have made it a sought-after classic car, symbolizing the golden age of American muscle cars.
The 1968 Dodge Charger RT 426 Hemi remains a beloved and iconic vehicle that captures the essence of American muscle cars. Its combination of raw power, aggressive styling, and thrilling performance has made it an enduring symbol of automotive excellence.
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How to Maintain and Care for a 1968 Dodge Charger RT 426 Hemi?
To ensure the optimal performance and longevity of your 1968 Dodge Charger RT 426 Hemi, it’s crucial to follow a regular maintenance routine and provide proper care. Here are some tips for maintaining and caring for your classic muscle car:
– Regular Inspections: Conduct regular visual inspections of your Charger RT 426 Hemi to check for any signs of damage, leaks, or wear. Pay attention to the engine, suspension, brakes, and exhaust system. Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage.
– Oil and Fluid Changes: Regularly change the engine oil and filters as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Replace other fluids, including coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid, at recommended intervals. This helps keep the engine and other components properly lubricated and functioning optimally.
– Cooling System Maintenance: Ensure the cooling system is in good condition by checking the coolant level regularly. Flush and refill the coolant as recommended to prevent overheating and engine damage. Inspect the radiator for any leaks or debris and clean it if necessary.
– Fuel System Care: Use high-quality fuel and consider adding a fuel stabilizer when storing your Charger RT 426 Hemi for an extended period. Periodically check and clean the fuel filter and fuel lines to maintain proper fuel flow and prevent clogs.
– Brake System Maintenance: Inspect the brake system regularly and check the brake fluid level. Replace worn brake pads or shoes and have the brake system properly adjusted to ensure optimal braking performance and safety.
– Electrical System Check: Periodically inspect the electrical system, including the battery, wiring, and spark plugs. Clean and tighten battery terminals, and replace worn-out spark plugs and spark plug wires. Ensure all lights, gauges, and electrical components are in proper working order.
– Tire Care: Regularly inspect the tires for wear, damage, and proper inflation. Rotate the tires as recommended to ensure even wear. Replace tires that are excessively worn or damaged to maintain good traction and handling.
– Storage Precautions: If storing your Charger RT 426 Hemi for an extended period, take proper precautions. Keep it in a clean, dry, and well-ventilated storage area. Use a car cover to protect the paint and prevent dust accumulation. Consider using a trickle charger to maintain the battery charge during storage.
– Professional Servicing: It’s advisable to have your Charger RT 426 Hemi serviced by a qualified mechanic or restoration specialist who is familiar with classic cars. They can perform comprehensive inspections, tune-ups, and address any specialized maintenance needs.
– Preserve the Exterior and Interior: Regularly wash and wax the exterior to protect the paint and prevent corrosion. Use appropriate products to clean and condition the interior surfaces, such as leather or vinyl. Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight to prevent fading and deterioration of interior materials.
Remember to consult the owner’s manual for specific maintenance recommendations and intervals tailored to your 1968 Dodge Charger RT 426 Hemi. Following these maintenance tips will help preserve the condition and performance of your classic muscle car, allowing you to enjoy it for years to come.
Popular Upgrades for the 1968 Dodge Charger RT426 Hemi
The 1968 Dodge Charger RT426 Hemi is a classic muscle car that has a strong following among enthusiasts. If you’re looking to enhance the performance, appearance, or overall driving experience of your Charger, here are some popular upgrades to consider:
– Performance Exhaust System: Upgrading to a high-performance exhaust system can improve both the sound and power of your Charger. Options include headers, high-flow catalytic converters, and performance mufflers that enhance exhaust flow and increase horsepower.
– Suspension Upgrades: Enhancing the suspension can improve the handling and ride quality of your Charger. Consider upgrading to performance shocks, springs, and sway bars to reduce body roll and improve cornering capabilities. Installing polyurethane bushings can also provide a more precise and responsive feel.
– Brake System Improvements: Upgrading the brakes can enhance stopping power and overall safety. Options include larger brake rotors, high-performance brake pads, and stainless steel braided brake lines. Installing a power brake booster can also improve pedal feel and braking performance.
– Engine Performance Modifications: While the 426 Hemi engine is already powerful, there are several modifications that can further enhance its performance. Upgrading the intake manifold, carburetor, and camshaft can optimize airflow and increase horsepower. Consider installing performance ignition components and upgrading the cooling system for improved efficiency and reliability.
– Transmission Upgrades: If you prefer a more engaging driving experience, upgrading the transmission can be a worthwhile investment. Consider swapping the stock automatic transmission for a manual transmission for a more connected and sporty driving feel. Upgrading to a high-performance clutch and short-throw shifter can further enhance the driving experience.
– Modern Wheel and Tire Package: Upgrading the wheels and tires can significantly improve the appearance and handling of your Charger. Consider fitting modern alloy wheels with a design that complements the car’s classic lines. Pair them with high-performance tires that provide enhanced grip and traction.
– Interior Enhancements: Upgrading the interior can improve comfort and aesthetics. Consider installing modern seats with improved support and upholstery. Upgrading the audio system with modern speakers, a head unit, and amplifiers can enhance the in-car entertainment experience while maintaining a classic appearance.
– Exterior Styling Upgrades: Enhancing the exterior styling can give your Charger a personalized touch. Options include adding a front spoiler, rear spoiler, or a chin spoiler for a more aggressive appearance. Upgrading the lighting with modern LED headlights, taillights, and fog lights can improve visibility and give the car a modern touch while retaining its classic charm.
– Retrofitted Modern Features: If desired, you can integrate modern features into your Charger while maintaining its classic look. This could include retrofitting features like power windows, power locks, air conditioning, or a modern sound system with Bluetooth connectivity.
It’s important to note that any modifications or upgrades should be done carefully and with consideration for the vehicle’s originality and historical value. Consulting with professionals or experienced enthusiasts can provide valuable insights and guidance throughout the upgrade process.
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Conclusion: After exploring the 1968 Dodge Charger RT 426 Hemi from its power to its simplistic yet aggressive exterior, it’s easy to agree that this classic vehicle will continue to be a timeless masterpiece that will remain an icon for generations to come. The Charger isn’t just another American muscle car, but one with truly impressive performance and technology that thunderstruck the world. If you haven’t already got yourself behind the wheel of this legendary 1970s vehicle, now is the ideal time to take up scavenging around auto sales or restore a classic hemifueled Charger of your own.
Whether you choose to join other fanatics in bidding wars or hunt down a once lost Charger; the 1968 Dodge Charger RT 426 Hemi will forever prove to make even your wildest vintage car dreams come true. Aspiring owners of such a prominent automobile should keep killing it on their search!
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