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1971 Dodge Challenger Overview

Limited popularity of the Dodge Challenger in the waning years of the muscle car segment may be the reason for some of the changes in 1971. The convertible form of the R/T was gone, as was the T/A, since Dodge pulled out of the TransAm race circuit. The 440 was dropped, but not the 440 Six-Pack, although its horsepower was reduced to 385 bhp. The R/T standard 383 engine was reduced to 300 bhp because of government restrictions. The SE package was only available on base models.

Cosmetically, the 1971 Dodge Challenger received a bit of a facelift with a redesigned split grille, color-keyed bumpers, and new striping. The small rear window that was a feature of the SE package was enlarged to normal size. Otherwise, the trademark fat rear tires, wide long hood, and short back-end remained the same.

In its second year, sales of the Dodge Challenger plummeted. Trying to boost the image of the car and get good exposure, Dodge built specially-designed Challengers to act as pace cars at the Indy 500. They were bright orange with white interiors. Unfortunately, in one of the worst (if not accidental) PR moves ever, one of those pace cars crashed into the press box. Because so few 1970 and 1971 Dodge Challengers were sold, tuners wanting to reproduce their look usually start with 1972-1974 Challengers.

Updated by Anonymous

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Dodge Challenger Questions


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