1972 Dodge Charger Limited Edition 440

Posted: 18th April 2014 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography
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The seventies were a tumultuous time for the fan of the classic American muscle car.  As the early seventies came into focus we saw the first oil embargo hit North America, and with it came the ultimate demise of the era.  Detroit was desperate to maintain the image of producing the finest hot rods, but a public faced with rising insurance and gas prices suddenly lost its appetite.  This harkened in an era where the cars were styled to resemble the muscle cars of the sixties, but lacked in the performance that once saw American cars as kings of the highway and drag strip.  Thankfully, this wasn’t the harbinger of doom for muscle cars.

1972 Dodge Charger Limited Edition 440 - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

1972 Dodge Charger Limited Edition 440 – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

I believe this is a 1972 Dodge Charger Limited Edition.  While certainly not the most desirable to collectors, when we came across this beauty it made me stop in my tracks.  Simply put, this is a car you are likely to never see in person in your life.

Still exhibiting the wide and low stance that made these cars so famous, it creates a striking subject.  We still find plenty of chrome trim, and by this juncture in the seventies the stylization cues for the times were really coming into their own.

1972 Dodge Charger Limited Edition 440 - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

1972 Dodge Charger Limited Edition 440 – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

The thing that really made this car truly stand out is the 440 cubic inch engine option it originally came with.  As evidenced by the thick flat black stripes, a carryover from the famous ‘Cudas, Challengers and Chargers of the late sixties, this car was designed to really put you back in your seat.  For this model year, the 440 big block engine platform was seeing itself greatly reduced in terms of power output, and 3 configurations of this particular engine were available as an option ranging from 225-330hp.  I could find no cues that this particular car had the fabled six-pack carburetor setup, likely making it one of the 280hp editions of this platform.

1972 Dodge Charger Limited Edition 440 - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

1972 Dodge Charger Limited Edition 440 – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

As the seventies continued, we saw further drastic reductions in the performance offerings from Detroit.  Many of the once mighty muscle cars were found to have 6 cylinder engines that were rather anemic to drive, all to favor the consumer who was faced with rising fuel costs.  The ability to shred a set of tires at one sitting at a light was taking a back seat to the need for a utilitarian vehicle that could transport people and goods safely and with the least amount of fuel possible.  This 440 Dodge Charger was not one of these cars.  Although it had far less power than its predecessors it would still get the groceries in a quick hurry, putting a smile on the driver’s face for the entire trip.

1972 Dodge Charger Limited Edition 440 - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

1972 Dodge Charger Limited Edition 440 – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

In a time before complex engineering, the only way to get power down to the pavement was with a wide footprint.  One glance at this car from this perspective immediately tells you this baby means business.

At the end of the seventies a second embargo came to pass, and by this time the once fabled muscle car was barely a memory.  To put this into clear perspective, the Ford Mustang by 1980 had a single V8 engine option, the 4.6L, that produced a paltry 120hp.  This was a low point in muscle car history, making this the least powerful Mustang V8 ever produced.  In comparison, many of today’s 4 cylinder engines have well over 200hp and are able to deliver some pretty incredible gas mileage figures.  Thankfully the embargo soon passed and with it we saw once again a resurgence of the muscle car.

Many collectors would likely pass on a car like this Dodge Charger.  Many see this as an example of the downturn of the seventies in terms of performance cars, with excessive styling that represented the times.  I see something entirely different.  I see a beautiful example of classic American car design, one of the very last of its kind.

Thank you so much for your visit to The Hollow here today, we really appreciate it.  As always, we love to hear from all our visitors so please feel free to leave us any comments you may have!

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  1. avatar Rachel Cohen says:

    Ooooh Toad! What a super post! The 70’s were super charged and this is a super car! I rode in many! Thanks for the trip down memory lane! 🙂

  2. avatar Rick Louie says:

    Oh I was just talking to a friend about his Challenger and a picture of him getting ready to install his 340 6-Pack. A friend of mine in HS had a AAR cuda with the 340-6-Pack. These Big Block though really moved but also sucked the fuel! I think I’m showing my age!

    Thanks for sharing and bringing me back.

    • Oh MAN, Rick, those are some wonderful cars you mention here!! Those AAR’s are REALLY rare, I’ve only ever seen 1 in my life up here in Canada, myself! Just gorgeous! Many thanks for popping by and visiting us today, my friend!

  3. avatar Lisa Gordon says:

    My goodness, what a beauty!!
    Love it.

  4. avatar LensScaper says:

    Yep – that is a beauty, no question. These cars are icons of the past to be reminisced over, as you eloquently do, Toad.

  5. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    You are bringing back so many memories Toad. I was in high school when this baby came out but all I could do was covet it and wish some day that I could own one. Great post.

  6. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Wonderful post my friend. I showed your post to my husband and he has fond memories of this car. Thanks for spreading the love 🙂

  7. Another trip down memory lane for the musclecar motorhead, even if by the time this 440 came out things were starting on on the decline. Wonderful post, Toad.

  8. Awesome Car and shots, love the Hockey stripe!

  9. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    I was a Mopar owner (70 Superbee – 440) back in the day and this really brings back memories. These photos are awesome, Toad! What a great car.

  10. avatar Tom dinning says:

    It’s got funny little wheels up front, Toad. What’s that about? Everything was loud in the seventies. Music, clothes, kitchens, hippies, cars, my first wife. Boy, was she loud. The seventies was a phase where people were trying desperately to find good taste but were, unfortunately, heading in the wrong direction. So, they came up with stuff like this. All noise and no class. I understand your fetish, Scotty, but haven’t you moved on yet? There’s an environmental crisis looming and you’re still guzzling gas like there’s no tomorrow. Get a bicycle and loose some weight. That reminds me. I need to keep off the fruit cake.

    • Nope, Tom, you won’t get me to move on, either, I can honestly tell you! Sure, I might be 16 at heart, forever, but is that really a bad way to be? And as far as bicycles are concerned, I need a nap thinking about riding one of those contraptions… it’s way better to book on down the road in something like this than flail about with something pedal-powered. Mrs. Toad always says that when the time comes for me to have a scooter as a mobility aid, I’ll likely stick a small block Chevy V8 in it. That girl knows me, that’s for sure!!! 🙂

      Life’s too short, my fine friend, enjoy your fruit cake!!!

      And in the meantime, I continue to save up our pennies to hopefully visit, and terrorize, you in person one day. 🙂

  11. avatar Tom dinning says:

    I’m waiting. No big blocks here, although I’ll get my neighbor to take you for a spin in his Lamborghini. You can borrow my bike as well. I’m up for a laugh.
    What do you call a Canadian on a push bike?
    An ambulance.

    • Hi Tom!! What do you mean there are no big blocks there? This does not compute! How can a place be a place that people are happy to live in if you don’t have loud and fast muscle cars? I’ll try and FedEx you some here in the next few days. Although, I can honestly say, a ride around in a Lamborghini sounds beyond terrific! Now I’ve got more than one reason to come and visit. 🙂

      And, what is this “bike” you keep referring to? The only time I’ve ever known of such a thing was when we were youngsters and the local police department took our licenses away for some “alleged indiscretion”… I had a buddy who used to ride one of those, I think. Too much work for my liking!! 😀

  12. avatar Marje says:

    My son whos autistic (hes almost 21) grandfather just passed away. He was willed the car. His dad tried to sell it out from under neath but thank god nobody knew what they had. My sons father is also dying of stomach cancer. He did not have time to sell. So my son now owns the car and we have no clue what to do with it. He will not sell it, thats not an option. He will drive one day when he gets his autism under control. (Hes extremely high functioning)
    My understanding is its 1 owner, been in a garage for well over 30 years and untouched. 48,000 original miles. Everything on it including the tires are original.its a 1972 limited edition charger. I was told only 200 made of this model. We dont know if its the 440 engine or 400. Anyone have suggestions? Should we rebuild and keep it original or modernize it? Its also the famous banana yellow

    • What a terrific comment, thank you so much for sharing your story with us!!! That car is very, very special indeed, as I suspected it was. If you can restore it, that is definitely the way I’d personally go with such a rare car as that, but for some folks a “retro-mod” is much more driveable as the drivetrain and components are all the very latest. Keep us posted on your progress there, this is a story we are very interested in following!! And thank you once again for such a terrific comment!

  13. avatar bernard says:

    Thanks for the pictures i too have a 72 charger rally, with a air-grabber and a 440. Yeah its a true N96 car and a u-code u- (440)….. N96 (airgrabber.)

    • Wow, Bernard, that’s one killer car you’ve got, for sure!! I love the 60’s and 70’s era muscle cars, and you just can’t beat the power that a big block like the 440 puts out. That has to be a total blast to cruise around in!! Thanks a ton for popping on by, and for leaving us your terrific comments here, we really appreciate it!