1972 Dodge Challenger
2dr Hardtop Coupe
8-cyl. 318cid/150hp 2bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
The muscle car door was slamming with a mighty bang in 1972 as insurance rates, emissions and lower compression rates led to feebler engines. The Challenger lineup was trimmed to two models, and the convertible was deleted. The base hardtop was paired with the Rallye Coupe and the R/T was gone.
Design changes were minimal for the 1972 Dodge Challenger. The grille sloped down on each side and extended below the bumper, while the headlights were in separate panels. The taillights were located in two separate units on each side of the rear valance and both Rally grille and tail panel were blacked out. Big engines were a thing of the past, as were shaker hoods. All that was available was the flat hood or the twin dummy scoops. All bumpers were now chrome instead of body-colored urethane. Leather was no longer an interior option. Rallye gauges, however, were still available and included a clock and tachometer. The pistol grip 4-speed gearshift continued, and a console was still available for an extra $52.
Engine choices went down from seven to three. Base engine was a slant six, while V-8 options included the 150 bhp 318 cid engine for $3,082 and the 240 bhp 340 cid V-8 for an extra $210.
Gone were both 383 V-8s and the 426 Hemi. Oddly, there was a hint before the season that the 440 Six Pack might be retained, and at least two 440 Six Pack Rallyes are known to have been built. The 440 was dropped before the 1972 launch, though.
A 3-speed manual gearbox was the base offering with a 4-speed option for $184.50, and a 3-speed automatic transmission for $208. Sales slumped 12% to 18,535 base Hardtops and 8,113 Rallyes. The heavy duty transmission and rear axle Trak Pak and Super Trak Pak were gone. Five-spoke Magnum and perforated Rallye style steel wheels were still optional, as were the plain dog dish hubcaps.
Options were vastly reduced but buyers could still add front and rear spoilers, rear window louvres, air conditioning and power accessories like seats and door locks. The Rallye Gauge package cost $95 and for $191 more buyers could get an AM/FM stereo. Air conditioning dropped slightly to $365. A breaker-less electronic ignition system was standard on the 340 engine. Power steering cost $92.25 and power disc brakes were a bargain at $62.30.
Dodge offered 16 paint colors on the Challenger, but records suggest only Top Banana was the only remaining “high impact” paint still listed. Base colors and codes were Light Gunmetal (A4), Powder Blue (B1), Blue Streak (B3), Bright Blue (B5), Bright Red (E5), Fiesta Green (F3), Dark Green (F7), Medium Tan (D6), Dark Tan (D8), Hemi Orange (V2), Dover White (W1), Black Diamond (X9), Top Banana (Y1), Light Gold (Y4), Dark Gold (Y8), and Gold (Y9). It’s possible that other high impact colors like Plum Crazy and Panther Pink were special ordered.