via Brian Kapral
This is a 1969 Dodge Charger press release kit (for release September 1, 1968). I had bought this around ten years ago, and thankfully my father saved it when he was cleaning out his book shelf. I thought this literature had gotten either stolen out of my car on display years ago or lost at a show. I was happy to see that this stuff was still indeed alive and well! Now that it has resurfaced, I feel compelled to share it with everyone else (before it gets misplaced again!) as this is the only one I have ever seen like this!
Charger, the popular, family-size sports car which paced Dodge sales to dramatic all-time record highs in 1968, will retain its distinctive aerodynamic silhouette for 1969.
But a list of refinements and improvements have been incorporated, including a new Charger 500 model for the performance-minded and a plush leather interior "Special Edition" (SE), to enhance Charger's appeal in the new model year.
New grille and tail light treatment bolsters Charger's sporty car flavor. There are new vinyl roof and exterior color offerings; engineering innovations ranging from manual tilt seat adjuster and .easier-reach door lock buttons to improved automatic brake adjusters and "headlight on" warning buzzer.
“Charger has been an exciting car--- a winner for Dodge Division,” declared _______ of _________. (This should give you pause when you read “quotes” in press kits.)
“Public acceptance of our all-new Charger in 1968 zoomed beyond our most optimistic predictions. We originally forecast 35,000 sales for 1968 but public response to the new Charger quickly caused us to alter projections to 85,000. We are aiming at more than 90,000 Charger sales in 1969.
“To meet the rush of dealer orders, we tripled production at our main assembly plant in Hamtramck (Mich.) and added a Charger line to the St. Louis installation.”
Charger has been accounting for 16 per cent of Dodge car sales in 1968 and [sales] are running 460 per cent ahead of the 1967 model.
He said that manufacturers, when they bring a specialty car to market, ordinarily do not make changes until the third year of the model's life.
“But our thinking at Dodge was to provide customers with even more attractions without disturbing Charger's unique wedge-form design or identity.”
An optional “Special Edition” decor group for Charger and Charger R/T models features the richness of leather bucket seats, wood grain steering wheel, and wood grain inserts on the instrument panel. Identified by “SE” name plates of the roof pillars, the Special Edition package also contains bright-trimmed pedals, deep-dish wheel covers and a light group including time-delay ignition light and hood-mounted turn signal indicators.
The new member of Dodge’s “Scat Pack” -- the Charger 500 -- is designed with the performance-minded driver in mind. It looks much like the standard Charger at a glance but has two major features that sets it apart.
The rear window has been slanted more so that it is flush with the trailing edge of the rear window pillars. The basic Charger and Charger R/T have a "tunnel" roof and the rear window is slanted less.
The grille now is flush-mounted instead of recessed to improve air flow and headlights are fixed instead of concealed as in the Charger and Charger R/T. The 500 is powered by the 426-cubic-inch Hemi engine.
VINYL TOPS ARE UP
Three out of every four Charger buyers ordered their cars with vinyl tops in 1968. To provide an. even wider selections of vinyl roofs, color selections are increased to four for 1969 and include tan, green, black, and white.
A divided grille with six functional air vents in the divider piece was designed to imply dual intakes in keeping with Charger's sporty car theme.
NEW TAIL LIGHTS
Near wall-to-wall rectangular tail lights are recessed and replace the dual, round, projecting lights of the 1968 model. The lights are surrounded by a black inset as they were last year to retain Charger's highway identity.
Other changes include an optional, manually-operated, six-way driver's bucket seat, easier reach door lock buttons, improved automatic brake adjusters, improved sure-grip differential, and optional fiberglass belted tires which increase tread life and improve traction.
Standard V-8 for Charger is the 318 C.I.D., 230-hp engine. The standard six cylinder is the 225 C.I.D., 145-hp Slant Six. Optional 383 C.I.D. engines, with two or four-barrel carburetion and 290 and 330 hp respectively, are optional powerplants. In the Charger R/T, which accounted for 21 per cent of 1968 Charger sales, the 440 C.I.D. Magnum, 375-hp powerplant is standard and the 426 C.I.D., 425-hp Hemi is optional.
A high-rate, rallye-type suspension, including sway bar, is standard. The R/T and 500 models have a special handling suspension package which includes heavy duty torsion bars, heavy duty shocks, extra heavy duty rear springs and sway bar.
A long list of options includes automatic speed control, front disc brakes, tachometer, rear window defogger, AM, AM/FM, and AM/Stereo tape radios.
Charger's wheelbase remains at 117 inches; overall length is 208 inches, width, 76.6 inches, and height, 53.2 inches.
Charger-identified items, such as the aerodynamic spoiler on the rear deck; rallye-type instrument panel with easy-read gauges slanted to the driver, and map pockets on the doors, are retained on the 1969 model. "Charger is a success story. We expect to write a new chapter in 1969. "
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