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.

27 Comments

  • Bob Easter says:

    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.

  • John Bagley says:

    my 66 charger hemi would kick any stangs ass…along with most others lol good race with Eleanor (+:

  • Jeff Sicklesteel says:

    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.

  • Ian Norburg says:

    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.

  • Shawn Berserk Miller says:

    The car aint even sitting on 19 those are stock rims not 20″ lol but this charger is a god among cars!

  • Brian Thomas says:

    Mustang beat a Charger, I want some of what he’s smokin.

  • Classic Nation says:

    It’s a ’69. The 500 model was designed in ’68, but the model year of this car is 1969.

  • Dean Medberry says:

    Great car…… but ditch the 20? inch rims.

  • Douglas Bronstine says:

    68’s also had fold up headlights

  • Matt Theobald says:

    And we all know how those Daytona’s worked!

  • Roger Whitmore says:

    100% sure its a 1969. All 68 Chrysler products had round side marker lights.

  • Gary Macherzak says:

    On Facebook it says ’68, here it says ’69? Which is it?

  • Phillip Raccio says:

    This is nice. I liked my 70 charger. B4 i strpped it down and sent in along. Lol

  • Roger Whitmore says:

    It is a 69 vintage and the looks are not up to the standard Charger. Actually the coronet looked better.

  • Michael V Parrillo says:

    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.

  • Morgan Winter says:

    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.

  • Austin Pierce Mansfield says:

    lol mustangs stand no chance against any mopar

  • Wesley Beckham says:

    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.

  • Ken Barr says:

    426hemi aye

  • Monica Morton-Thompson says:

    ~ Looks real good!!!! =)

  • Robert Darrell says:

    I know they had round tail lights….how do you know this one don’t…69 had a slit grill 68 and 70 did not.

  • Ron Schonenberger says:

    SWEET all I can say!

  • Doug Hood says:

    Never beat my 67 fastback GT 500 Mustang…

  • Joe Casey says:

    send one over :)

  • Robert Darrell says:

    did not know a 68 with out hide away head lights….think I liked my 68 Charger R/T better.

  • Duane Klug says:

    looks god to bad they didnt contiue to make them

  • Kerry Housh says:

    that is a 69…68 had round marker lights.

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