top of page

Dodge Charger III Concept Car (1968): the most aerodynamic Dodge

The Charger III was the most aerodynamic car built by Chrysler Corporation. The experimental car is long, low-slung and elegant. The Charger III is built on ideas learned in the development of its predecessor, the Charger II.

The jet fighter-style loader was designed at Dodge-style studios, and built in secret in an old brick building along the Detroit waterfront. The futuristic experimental design introduces new ideas that might be standard in future Chrysler models.

Dodge General Manager Robert B. McCurry said, “The Charger III is an idea car. Or, it's better to call it an exchange of ideas. This experimental vehicle is our way of showing the public some of the design and engineering concepts that we have developed. . From the public, we learned what they would like (or dislike) to see in the automobile of tomorrow. That's why we conduct special consumer surveys at auto shows. Many features seen in Charger III may well be included in our cars in the not too distant future. "

The body of the Charger III is painted with a custom "Candy Apple" red paint. The Charger III has no doors or windows that open. Instead, at the push of a button, a jet-style canopy swings. Dual bucket seats rise to eight inches while the steering wheel housing assembly swivels for easy driver entry. Once the driver is seated, pressing the button again closes the canopy and returns the steering wheel and seats to their correct orientation.

The long tapered hood houses the concealed headlights and dual air intakes with anti-debris shields. As with the Charger II, the Charger III will accept all Dodge V8 engines, including the 426 cu-in Hemi. One of the experimental features of the loader includes an engine service hatch. The hatch is located at the rear of the driver's front fender. The service hatch includes gauges that can quickly check the fluid level of engine oil, engine coolant, and battery fluid. Gauges replace traditional gauges and facilitate quick maintenance checks. The hatch also houses the vehicle's electrical fuses.

The rear of the Charger houses the experimental braking system. Three air brake flaps are synchronized with the loader's regular braking system and act as an additional "air foil" brake. Locked under the brake flaps are two quick-fill reservoir caps. The rear trim panel houses the full-width tail light system and two rectangular tailpipes.

The interior of the Charger III is inspired by space craftsmanship. The astronaut-style bucket seats have integrated headrests and quick-release seat belts. The full-length center console houses the automatic transmission selector lever, parking brake lever, passenger assist handle and on-board chemical fire extinguisher. As with the Charger II, the Charger III does not have ventilation windows. Fresh air is brought in through scoops at the base of the windshield. Fresh air circulates inside and is exhausted through the rear air vents.

The lower left portion of the awning houses the driver's integrated controls such as lights, windshield washers, wipers, radio, heater and air conditioning. The driver's retractable instrument pod includes a speedometer, tachometer, clock and engine gauges. All operator controls and retractable pod instrumentation are used from a standard 1968 Dodge loader.

The Dodge Charger III concept car originated in 1969. Press material at the time featured its "jet-style canopy, pivoting steering wheel, bucket-lift seats, and spoiler-type air brake flaps. ". We want to know what “bucket lift seats” are, but the notion sounds fascinating. Obviously, rear visibility was not of great concern. It's clear, however, that Dodge was aiming for its Corvette audience share; the frontal styling smacks of Mako Shark-inspired third-generation Vettes. The loader design team must have had a photo of the Peter Brock-designed Shelby Daytona Cobra Type 65 hanging in the studio, as the overall proportions of this car and the truncated Kamm tail are unmistakably present on the loader, in profile and from the back.

Le Charger III est resté une machine de rêve mort-né, et il a fallu plus de 25 ans à Dodge pour concrétiser sa conception de base sous la forme de la Viper GTS. Ce qui prouve que même une bonne idée peut nécessiter un certain temps pour trouver la lumière du jour.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page