Dodge Challenger R/T 426 HEMI Hardtop Coupe 1971

Car producer : 

Dodge

Model:

Challenger R/T 426 HEMI Hardtop Coupe 1971

Year:

1970-1974

Type:

Coupe



For 1971, the Challenger line up was modified to include a new model, the "Challenger Coupe" with either a I6 or V8 engine, and as the most basic version it had fixed in position quarter windows and a basic black steering wheel with horn button.

The performance model was the R/T (Road/Track), with a 383 cu in (6.28 L) "Magnum" V8, rated at 335hp (249.8 kW); 300hp (223.7 kW) for 1971, due to a drop in compression. The standard transmission was a 3-speed manual. Optional R/T engines were the 375hp (279.6 kW) 440 cu in (7.2 L) Magnum, the 390hp (290.8 kW) 440 CID Six-Pack and the 425hp (316.9 kW) 426 cu in (7.0 L) Hemi. The R/T was available in either the hardtop or convertible. The Challenger R/T came with a Rallye instrument cluster that included a 150 mph (240 km/h) speedometer, an 8,000 rpm tachometer, 1972 –1974 tachometer went to 7,000 rpm and an oil pressure gauge.

A 1971 R/T model using the 340 engine with a 4-barrel carburetor was planned and appeared in advertising, but was not produced since Dodge had left the race series.

The "Western Special" was a version available only to west coast dealers. It came with a rear-exit exhaust system and Western Special identification on the rear deck lid. Some examples came with a vacuum-operated trunk release. Another late production version was the low-priced "Deputy", stripped of some of the base car's trim and with fixed rear side glass.

Although the body style remained the same throughout the Challenger's five-year run, there were two notable changes to the front grille. The 1971 models had a "split" grille, while 1972 introduced a design that extended the grille (nicknamed the "sad-mouth") beneath the front bumper. With this change to the front end, 1972 through 1974 models had little to no variation. The only way to properly distinguish them is that the 1972s had flush mounted bumpers with no bumper guards, (small bumper guards were optional), while both the 1973 and 1974 models had the protruding "5 mph (8.0 km/h)" bumpers (with a rubber type filler behind them) in conjunction with large bumper guards. The 1974 cars had larger rear bumper guards to meet the (new for 1974 and on) rear 5 mph rear impact law. These changes were made to meet U.S. regulations regarding crash test safety.

The 1970 taillights went all the way across the back of the car, with the backup light in the middle. In 1971, the backup lights were on the left and right instead of the middle. The taillight array also changed for 1972 onwards, with the Challenger now having four individual rectangular lamps.

SAE gross HP ratings were tested with no accessories, no air cleaner, or open dyno headers. In 1971, compression ratios were reduced in performance engines, except the 426ci and the high performance 440ci, to accommodate regular gasoline. The compression ratio would be reduced on the high performance 440ci starting in 1972. 1971 was the last year for the 426ci hemi.

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