340 Grabber Hood: 1972 Dodge Charger Rallye

The third generation of the Dodge Charger had just debuted for 1971, so the 1972 models were minimally changed. The second-year would see the introduction of the Charger Rallye, which replaced the R/T, Super Bee, and 500 all in one fell swoop. These cars could still be had with some performance engines, but the muscle car neutering process had already begun. This Charger Rallye 340 is one of just 1,527 made for 1972, so the seller’s car is in somewhat rare company, especially since it appears to have survived so well. The car is located in Manassas, Virginia and available here on craigslist for a stout $35,000. Thanks, Jay L, for tipping us off on this numbers-matching car.

Muscle car buyers from the 1960s were now getting older and found themselves knee-deep in marriage, family life, and mortgages, so their tastes in performance cars were evolving. The muscle car of the 1970s became more civilized so that Dad could now justify the purchase to Mom. Dodge was not oblivious to this trend and introduced the Rallye package on the Charger in 1972, killing off three nameplates in the process. Dodge saw this change in their line-up as a way to attract former buyers and yet still appeal to the “kids” of the ‘70s. With all this shifting around going on, the Charger was still good for 75,600 copies that year, with 4,350 having the Rallye package (and about a third of those were fitted with the 340, like the seller’s car).

For 1972, the 340 was the middle-of-the-road engine you could get in a Rallye. Downstream was the basic 318 V-8, while upstream there were two 400s and the 440 to choose from. The 426 Hemi was now a thing of the past. Even with the detuning of cars after 1971, the 340 was still good for 240 hp. We’re told the seller’s car has its original 340 still in place along with a brand new TorqueFlite automatic. There is no reference as to the mileage that the motor or the rest of the automobile have put forth. 1972 was the first year that an electronic ignition system was used instead of those pesky points.

One of the most distinctive features on the seller’s car is the Air Grabber Hood that came with the A57 Rallye package. The car is finished in TB3 Super Blue, which was about as close to Petty Blue as you could get (the official color of NASCAR driver Richard Petty). The paint and exterior trim on this car look exceptional, including the 1972-only louvers in the doors. The seller doesn’t say if this is all original, so we assume a professional paint job was reapplied. There is no appearance of rust anywhere even though these Chargers have a reputation for corroding quickly under less-than-ideal circumstances.

The interior looks to be in exceptional condition and the quality of the materials that Dodge used reflected its goal of moving the standards for the Charger up a notch. However, the Rallye interior was really the same as any regular Charger, with the exception of the Rallye gauge cluster being applied to the dashboard. For whatever reason, the original buyer did the radio-delete thing when they ordered this car. It comes with power front disc brakes and steering, but no factory A/C. The Charger has been treated to a new set of tires.

Hagerty estimates a show-quality 1972 Dodge Charger to be worth $26,000. Add a 25% premium for the 340 and another 10% for the Grabber hood and you come up with about $35,000, coincidentally the seller’s asking price for this beautiful car. Chargers from the second generation (1968-70) regularly show up in this price range, but not so much for the 1971-74 editions. Is the seller being too optimistic or will he get his asking price?

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Comments

  1. William

    Never have seen an air grabber hood on top of a 340. Must be rare. Never liked the interiors of these, the buttoned down seats look tacky like some cheap Mexican tuck and roll job. The 340s of these years were okay engines, but I think the eventual 360 was better, had more pull. The 340 was best high winding, and with smog control, didn’t do that so well. The 360 was a better highway cruiser as well. Plus, the small blocks made them handle better when you hit a curve.

    Like 4
    • bone

      340 and 360 are both small blocks

      Like 2
  2. Blue Boy

    I like this car.

    The blue is great with the cool hood….

    I predict it will sell rather quickly…. so don’t “mope” around and pull the trigger 😂

    No relationship to seller … lol

    Like 5
  3. Moparman Member

    As the owner of a 70, it took a while for these to grow on me. The 340, though, was always a favorite. Its’ displacement was increased to 360 to allay the smog restrictions and help to maintain the power output. This looks to be well preserved (I’d vacuum before pics, though!) and will make the next owner very happy! GLWTS!! :-)

    Like 5
  4. Steve Bush Member

    Looks to be a nice car even with the 340/auto. And if you’re going to pay $30k plus for a Charger it seems like a much better deal than the many crappy, rusty, non-running,1968-70s selling in this price range. Would probably offer $30k to start.

    Like 7
  5. Jim Hanna

    Also available on the 71-74 Chargers was the code E56 engine, which was a 360 cu in 2-barrel carb and single exhaust. It was rated 165 hp net those years. It was not listed as available with the Rallye model, just for the basic Charger.

    Like 2
  6. Gus Fring

    …and also available in the 1972 Charger was the E87 440 Six Pack, although only a few were built.

    Like 2
    • Mike Adams

      I wouldn’t say “available.” The Six Pack was discontinued right at the start of the model year, but 3 cars are known to have been produced before the axe fell: A Road Runner, and GTX, and a Charger as I recall.

      Like 2
  7. Gremlin X

    You’ll want to see the build sheet on this to verify the originality of the options. People get a little handsy with the Year One catalog and add these kinds of things all the time. The GTO hood tach is probably the worst offender, but people add spoilers and hoods all the time also.

    Like 3
    • Mike Adams

      I can’t see that happening on this car. If someone did it, they spent a lot of money because everything looks factory correct, and why do all that and try to hide it on a ’72 340 car. It’s very nice, but it’s never going to be a big dollar car. Anyway, it’s either on the fender tag, or it’s not, and the fender tag is clearly there.

      Like 1
  8. JoeNYWF64

    I don’t think they should use the name “air grabber” on the new Demon that has just a huge hood scoop.
    This
    http://st.motortrend.com/uploads/sites/5/2017/04/2018-Dodge-Challenger-SRT-Demon-Air-Grabber.jpg
    & the Demon name does not bother “certain” people like it did in the early ’70s?!
    This is not good either
    http://www.autoevolution.com/news/dodge-demon-owners-take-fca-to-court-over-air-grabber-hood-scoop-design-flaw-149583.html

  9. Roger Ross

    Lived in that city. Its military, the original owner probably bought it after servicing our country with the options it has

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