1971 Dodge Challenger R/T
1971 Dodge Challenger R/T
For 1971, planners looked at the 1970 sales and simplified the range slightly, otherwise largely leaving Challenger and Barracuda intact. They added in the 340 V8, a lightweight but powerful engine that gave serious performance without hurting agility; with the 340 in the line, the U-code 440 four-barrel was dropped. The 383 was detuned to 300hp and was only available with the R/T; and the 440 Six-Pack was now 5hp lower.
The visible changes for were switching from a single tail lamp design in 1970 to two distinct lights in 1971; and using a new twin-inlet grille, painted silver on standard models and black on R/Ts, which also got fiberglass quarter-panel louvers.
The slow-selling ragtop R/T was not available, but a few savvy buyers optioned 340 non-R/T hardtops and ragtops with the Go-Wing, Shaker, Rallye Gauge Cluster, and the side stripes that mimicked the R/T versions. The 1971 340 R/T, like 1970's A40 340 performance Challengers (often badged as R/Ts), had a tachometer with a higher redline than their big block brethren. By the same token, you could order a 340 R/T look-alike with a shaker and a go-wing, and most of the R/T paraphernalia, without the higher insurance premiums.
The 1971 SE's back window grew to normal size. The Challenger Deputy, a low-cost version with fixed rear side glass and a 198 slant six, joined the base, SE, and R/T models.
1971 Dodge Challenger pace car sales were dramatically lower in 1971, despite being the Indy 500 pace car — or perhaps because the pace car crashed into the press box. Production was a mere 30,000 units or so, and the R/T — again, the only car to feature the 383 and 440 — sold just 4,630 units.
The writing was clearly on the wall; the older Charger was easily outselling Challenger, as was Dart Swinger (which cleared 100,000 units in 1971). Over at Plymouth, they sold over 14,000 Road Runners — a dress-up and performance-enhancement package on top of the standard Satellite — as well as 173,592 Dusters (not including 12,886 Duster 340s and over 48,000 similar Scamps). Plymouth wasn't doing much better with their version of the Challenger, a shorter-wheelbase design called the Barracuda: for 1971, they sold fewer than 20,000 of the cars.
Broadcast sheet sequence # 253274
Build date 12/18/1970
Delivered to Dodge Main, Hamtramck, Michigan
Original Broadcast sheet included
440 CID, 390 HP, 3x2 barrel carburetors, 8 cylinder
Heavy duty automatic transmission
Black exterior color
Vinyl black bucket seats
Full door panels
Full black vinyl top
Super Track Pack with 4.10 ratio
Console with woodgrain panel
Left hand remote racing mirror
3 speed wipers
Locking gas gap
Chrome exhaust tips
Fresh air hood
AM Radio with Dictaphone cassette player (1of 4 built that way for Chrysler executives)
Owner states engine matching number, transmission not matching.
Restored to original condition.
Rear spoiler added to original build specification.
An amazing automobile that was obviously ordered for performance. No disappointments and ready to be added to your collection.
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