|Body | Chassis | Codes and Identification | Drivetrain | Engines | History | Interior | Options | Paint and Stripes | Price Class | Running Changes | Special Models | Specifications | Styling | Wheels and Tires|
The Dodge Challenger was built on what Chrysler called the E body platform. It was essentially a stortend intermediate or B body platform that was shared with Plymouth's third generation Barracuda sport compact. This basis on larger car mechanicals gave the E body a size more in tune with the over grown pony cars of the late sixties than the original Mustang or Barracuda of '64.
The first step in determining the correct equipment for any vehicle is to examine it's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This number gives some basic information such as price class, body style and engine. The VIN will not give detailed information such as which options came on the car.
Each character position in the VIN has a meaning. The following chart will lists the meanings for 1970 - 1974 Challengers.
|1||2||3 - 4||5||6||7||8 - 13|
|Car Line||Price Class||Body Type||Engine||Model Year||Assembly Plant||Assembly Plant Sequential Serial Number|
|J - Challenger||H - High
L - Low
S - Special
|23 - 2 Door Hardtop
27 - Convertible
29 Sport Hardtop
B - 198 1V '70 - '71
C - 225 1V '70 - '72
E - 225 Special Order '70 - '72
G - 318 2V '70 - '74
H - 340 4V '70 -'73
J - 340 + 6 '70 - '70
J - 360 4V '74 - '74
L - 360 4V '74 - '74
L - 383 2V '70 - '71
N - 383 Magnum and non-Magnum '70 - '71
R - 426 Hemi '70 - '71
U - 440 Magnum '70 - '70
V - 440 6V '70 - '71
Z - Special Order, V8 '70 - '74
|0 - 1970
1 - 1971
2 - 1972
3 - 1973
4 - 1974
|B - Hamtramck, MI (All Models)
E - Los Angeles, CA (Hardtops & Coupes only, no sunroofs or Hemis)
The Challenger started life as a car that could be all things to all people, and ended as a single model. This chart shows the available models and how they identified by VIN and option codes.
|Model||Body Style||Years |
|VIN ID||Mandatory Options|
|Coupe||'71||JL23||Chrysler lists it but we are still looking for a real example of one|
Aerodynamic Spoiler Package (A45, released mid-Feb. '70) Front Chin Spoiler, T / A Type (dealer installed), Aerodynamic Rear Spoiler
Backlite louver Group (A44, released mid-Nov. '69; NI A wiSE or conv.) Backlite Louvers, Black Backlite Moulding, Body Colored Racing Mirrors (left & right) Note: Vinyl Roof or TuTone Roof, if ordered, must be black (must code VI X or TX9 Upper Paint)
Basic Group (AO4) AM Radio (upgrades can be ordered at differential price), Power Steering, Left Remote Mirror (upgrades can be ordered at differential price), Variable Speed Wipers and Electric Washers (std. w/R/T & Rallye Instrument Cluster)
Challenger 340 Performance Package (A66, N/A JH29 & R/T) 340 Engine (E55), E60x 1 5-inch Raised White Letter Tires (U82), R/T Performance Hood, HD Brakes, HD Suspension (5 13), Bumble Bee Paint Stripe (may be deleted), Scat Pack (Bee) Decal on Rear Quarter Panel, Std. Wheel Lip Moulding is deleted.
Light Group (AOI) Ashtray Lamp, Trunk Lamp, Glove Box Lamp, Map/Courtesy Lamp, Ignition Switch Lamp w/Time Delay, Time Delay Instrument Panel Floodlight, Fender Mounted Turn Signals (N/A w/R/T or 340 pkg.), Buzzer, Headlamp-On Reminder
Moulding Group A (A63, std. on SE, opt. on others) Belt Moulding, Front Splash Pan Scoop, Cowl Moulding, Rear Astrotone-Painted Applique
Protection Group (AO5) Vinyl Insert Body Side Molding, Bumper Guards (front & rear w/rubber inserts), Door Edge Protectors
Rallye Instrument Cluster (A62, V8s only) Variable Speed Wipers w/Electric Washers (std. w/440s & 426 engines), Tachometer, Electric Clock, Heater Control Flood Light, 1 SO-mph Speedometer, Wood grain Instrument Cluster Applique, Oil Pressure Gauge added for full instrumentation.
Seat Belt Group (C15) Instrument Panel "Fasten Seat Belt" Light wfTime Delay (std. wiSE), High-styled Push Button Buckles (color keyed), Loop Guides on Belt Ends, Buckle Stowage Brackets
Trailer Tow Package (A35, N/A w/440-6V or 426 engines) Maximum Cooling System, HD Brakes w/Auto Adjusters, HD Suspension, HD Turn Signal Flasher & Stop Lamp Switch, HD Wheels, HD Performance Axle (3.23 ratio)
Western Sport Special Group (A91 , released mid-Dec. '69 to Los Angeles and San Francisco regions) Western Sport Special Decal, Vinyl Roof, Wood grain Instrument Panel Applique, Remote Control Mirror, Rim Blow Steering Wheel, Sill Moulding, Belt Moulding, Front Splash Pan Scoop, Cowl Moulding, Rear Astrotone Applique, Pedals Dress-Up, Bumper Guards w/Rubber Inserts, F78xl4-inch WSW Tires, Rallye Wheels, Engine Choices: 225, 318, 340 or 383
7/23/69: Power Convertible Top (P37) is optional on all Challenger convertibles and must be inserted in the "Group" section of the order form. Because the standard Manual Top will not be available until early September, all convertible orders must be coded P37. The 340 Performance Package (A66) will be available on the hardtop and convertible models in conjunction with the 340 engine in early September. The 340 engine will only be available in combination with the 340 Performance Package.
10/20/69: The Shaker Hood (N96) featured in the Challenger and Scat Pack literature will be available for January production. Effective immediately, F70x14-inch RWL tires (T87) are standard with the 340 Performance Package. The E60x15-inch tires (U82) will be optional at extra cost. The Collapsible Spare (W34) and Rallye Wheels will no longer be required with the 340 Package. A Rear Spoiler in Dull Black (J81) will be available in early November. Effective immediately, Performance Axle Packages A31 and A36 are available with the 340 Package.
11/12/69: A Wood grain Instrument Cluster is available effective immediately on all Challengers except R/T and when the Rallye Cluster (A62) is ordered. Factory wholesale price is $4.50. Color-Keyed Racing Mirrors (G34, left only, and G36, left and right) will be available in mid-November in all paint colors. The optional Chrome Mirrors (G31 and G33) will be discontinued. A Rear Window Louver Package (A44), including dual painted racing mirrors, will be available in mid-November on all Challenger hardtops except Special Edition models. Factory wholesale price is $70.35 without the Radio Group. Hood Tie-Down Pins (J45) are immediately available on all Challengers. The Manual Convertible Top will be available in late November.
1/9/70: The Shaker Hood (N96) will be available in late January with the 440 Six-Pack and 426 Hemi engines. The Dome Air Cleaner will be black on all units except those ordered with Bright Red Exterior Paint (FE5). The Wood grain Door Panel Trim that was originally standard on all cars ordered with Leather and Cloth and Vinyl interior trims is now standard on all Challengers.
2/12/70: Two new High Impact Colors are now available on all Challengers: Green-Go (FJ6) and Panther Pink (FM3). Interior trim, vinyl roof and stripes may be black or white. Matching color-keyed mirrors are available with these paints. On R/f models, matching fluorescent tape stripes are available with these paints, code V6J for Green-Go and V6M for Panther Pink. These stripes are not available with any other exterior paints.
2/12/70: Longitudinal Tape Stripes on the Challenger high-Iine models (JH23, JH27, JH29) will be available in mid-March as an extra-cost option. Color availability and codes are: Black (V6X), White (V6W), Red (V6R), Green (V6F) and Blue (V6B). This tape stripe will be similar to the standard R/T stripe but without the R/T nomenclature. This stripe is a no-extra-cost option with the 340 Performance Package (A66). A Formal Vinyl Roof will be available in early March on Challenger and Challenger R/T hardtops (JH23, JS23). This will be the same vinyl roof that is standard on the SE models (JH29, JS29). The Overhead Consolette, Moulded Headlining and SE Medallion are not included. To order, enter sales code A78 in the "Group" section of the order form and specify the Vinyl Roof color. A Spoiler Package (A45) consisting of a front chin spoiler and the rear spoiler will be available in mid-February. Both spoilers are in Flat Black Finish. The front spoiler will be shipped in the trunk for dealer installation. Chrome Racing Mirrors previously canceled are again available. Use code G31 for the left mirror, G33 for left and right mirrors. The Painted Racing Mirror will continue to be a part of the Radio Group. F70x14-inch RWL Tires (T87) are now available on 6-cylinder models. Heavy Duty Suspension (S13) will be required with these tires. The Shaker Hood (N96) has been delayed until late February.
2/12/70: The Challenger T/A Package (A53) is released for late March production on High Line (JH23) models. This model is equipped with a specially modified 340 engine and includes three 2-barrel Holley carburetors on an aluminum manifold. Appearance features include an R/T hood and grille, unique tape stripes, unique rear spoiler, side-exit trumpet exhaust, and l5x7-inch black wheels with trim rings and hubcaps.
2/25/70: A new lower-priced Challenger Coupe (JL23) will enter production in early March. Standard equipment will be similar to the Challenger hardtop with the following exceptions: The rear quarter windows will be fixed in place. D78x14-inch BSW tires are standard with D78x 14-inch WSW as an option. The standard engine is the 198 Six (E22), with the 225,318, 383 2V and 383-4V engines optional. A unique L6 Vinyl Bucket trim is available in either black or white. A black steering wheel replaces the wood grain wheel. The Day/Night Mirror, Cigar Lighter and Dual Horns are options. The Wood grain Door Trim is omitted and not optional. Air Conditioning is not available with the 198 Six. The only steering wheel option is the Rim Blow Wheel (583). No optional trims are available.
3/5/70: The R/T hood on the Challenger T / A has been replaced with the Fiberglass Fresh Air Hood (N94), The R/T hood will not be available.
4/13/70: The Formal Vinyl Roof Option on the Challenger and R/T models previously announced will become available during early May. The Shaker Hood is now available on the Challenger R/T with the 440-6V and 426 engines. In addition, this hood is also available with the 340 Performance Package (A66) and will be available on the 383 and 440-4V engines on R/T models in late April. The Challenger T/A Fiberglass Hood (N94) is now available on all Challenger models with 4-barrel engines. It cannot be ordered with the Shaker Hood, Moulding Group A (A63) or with the Special Edition models. The radio antenna will be mounted on the rear quarter panel as with the T/A Package. Because of the Dull Organasol Black finish, the Hood Performance Tape Treatment (V21 ) will not be available.
6/2/70: Challenger Deputy models ordered with the 198, 225 and 318 engines will require E78x 14-inch tires as the minimum size required.
'71-'74 as soon as I find them.
As with models, the Challenger started life with a plethora of engine choices but ended with only two.
This chart covers engine availability.
|Engine||Sales Code||Vin ID||First Year||Last Year||Gross HP||Net HP||Remarks|
|225 Special Order||E25||E||1970||1972|
|340 + 6||E55||J||1970||1970||290|
|360 4V||E56||J||1974||1974||200||California only|
|383 Magnum and not||E63||N||1970||1970||330 or 335|
|383 Magnum and not||E65||N||1971||1971||330 or 335|
|Special Order, V8||Z||1970||1974|
The price class affected which engines were available. Here is a breakdown of engine availability by price class and year.
|Price Class & Year||Available Engines|
|H 1970||B-198, C-225, E-225, G-318, H-340, J-340 6V, L-383, N-383 4V, Z|
|S 1970||N-383 4V, R-426, U-440, V-440 6V, Z|
|L 1971||B-198, C-225, E-225, G-318, H-340, L-383, N-383 4V, Z|
|H 1971||B-198, C-225, E-225, G-318, H-340, L-383, N-383 4V, Z|
|S 1971||H-340, N-383 4V, R-426, V-440 6V, Z|
|H 1972||C-225, E-225, G-318, H-340, Z|
|S 1972||H-340, Z|
|H 1973||G-318, H-340, Z|
|H 1974||G-318, J-360, L-360, Z|