Charger 500 – The Race Inspired 1969 and 1970 Special Edition Dodge Charger

Charger 500
1969 Charger 500

The Charger 500 was a limited-edition production Charger that Dodge produced in an attempt to compete with the Ford Torino and Ford Talladega models that were cleaning up in the NASCAR circuits. The first prototype Charger 500 was a 1968 Charger R/T with a 426 Hemi under the hood mated to a Torqueflite transmission. Production numbers for the standard 1969 Charger totaled 89,200, of which only 500 were the special Charger 500. Most of them came standard with the 440 Magnum engine with the 426 Hemi available as an upgraded option (only 67 of 500). The Charger 500 was designed to be a little more are dynamic than the standard Charger and had a flush-mounted front grille proudly displaying exposed headlights and a slightly modified rear window which was mounted flush with the trailing edge of the roof.

Dodge Charger 500
1969 Charger 500

For the 1970 production model, the Charger 500 nameplate no longer signified a limited production special edition Charger; it became the name of the trim package between the standard equipped Charger and the high performance Charger R/T. Total production of all Chargers in 1970 totaled 46,576 with 27,264 of them wearing the Charger 500 nameplate.

1970 Charger 500
1970 Charger 500

1971 would be the last year that the Charger model would be offered with the 500 badging. This third generation body styling (1971-1974) would be less popular than the second generation style (1968-1970). 82,681 Chargers were the production numbers for the 1971 model, of which 32,813 were Charger 500s. Increased scrutiny from government regulations about emissions and the beginning of the declining sales for muscle cars industry wide contributed to the Charger 500 being dropped to from the 1972 lineup.

If you’re lucky enough to be an owner of an original equipped with the 426, the 1969 models are worth $132K on average.

28 Comments

  • There were only 392 1969 Charger 500’s produced. Not 500. The Daytona demonstrated such progress that the 500 option was no longer needed so production was ceased.

  • The important visual cues, the ones that made it a 500 (for Daytona 500) are the flush grill and headlights (recessed on all other
    Chargers) and rear glass. Aerodynamic modifications that make it immediately identifiable and unique.

  • Sorry but it is a 69 and the grill and headlights are correct. As Michael Parrillo said, The 69 Charger 500 was a short run production car to qualify it to run in NASCAR. This car is so rare that a lot of people don’t even know about it. They think that a 500 is just a trim package which is true with other years. The 69 500 even used the rear window from a Plymouth B body.

  • Wow… Nice but I think it’s a tribute/clone… Those 17+ inch rims are far from stock… That silver/grey paint I don’t think is stock either… It could be an original that someone dorked around with, but those have become so rare I don’t see any logic in doing so.

  • This is a 1969 Dodge Charger 500. It was made only for one year and it was built to race in NASCAR. They had to make a street version for sale to the public in order to satisfy NASCAR homologation rules. The 500 option included the 426 Hemi, a 727 transmission with extra cooling capacity, a flush mounted rear glass and highback bucket seats with molded in headrests. All other ’69s had the lo-back buckets with an adjustable headrest. The tail lights were the same as the regular ’69. In 1970, the 500 option became a cosmetic trim package – basically the forerunner to the 75 and up SE package.

  • If this was a normal 68 Charger, you’d be be right. But this is the rare Charger 500, a factory mod made in an attempt to become more competitive with FoMoCo’s NASCAR entries. Note the exposed headlights and Coronet grill. In other pics you can see the revised rear roofline and back glass area, all modifications made to improve aerodynamics. Didn’t really work, so the next step was the Charger Daytona.

  • because of the rareity of this car its high dollar investment now if you can find one and yes doug it could beat your stang stock.

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