340 V-8: 1972 Dodge Charger Rallye

The muscle car market was changing, so in 1972 Dodge started doing some consolidating. The Charger R/T, Super Bee and Charger 500 were replaced by the single Rallye, a Charger option package. The Rallye was intended to target the hot car buyers of the 1960s who were maturing and wanted more than pure muscle, while at the same time attracting new buyers to the aging performance car market. Located in Rapid City, South Dakota, this weather-worn but running 1972 Charger Rallye can be had for $10,500 here on craigslist. Thanks, Ikey Heyman, for another one of your great finds!

From the beginning in 1966, the Dodge Charger was part personal cruiser and part muscle car. You could have yours either way. After a successful redesign for 1968-70, the third generation of the Charger premiered for 1971, so the 1972 editions would be little changed. The Dodge boys saw that the muscle car market was shifting as buyers from the prior decade had gotten older, got married, had families and so forth as is the usual evolution of life. Dodge’s marketing told it best, “Okay, drivers, how do you see yourselves? The sports-car-buff-turned-family man? Or the conservative who likes the look, but remembers the insurance costs?” As so, the Charger, too, evolved.

Charger sales would cross 75,600 units for 1972, with maybe 4,350 having the Rallye package. Of those, 1,500 of those would have the 340 cubic inch V-8 (240 hp), one of Chrysler’s most popular performance motors from 1968-73. It would gain electronic ignition for ‘72 over breaker-points used in the past. But you could get just about any Chrysler engine in a Rallye except the Slant Six. The Rallye would just be a two-year product offering, gone after 1973. If you ordered a Rallye, here’s some of what you got over a regular Charger: optional concealed headlights, bulged hood with pins, optional stripes, Rallye wheels, sport mirrors, striped indentations on the doors, fender mounted turn signals, a sportier suspension and minor adjustments to interior trim.

The seller’s 1972 Rallye may have an older repaint that looks a lot like Petty Blue. We’re not sure if this is the original color, but there is red primer peaking out from under or over the blue and there is overspray on places like the tailpipes. The seller describes the car as a “three-owner barn find” which we assume makes him the third owner. We don’t see any worrisome issues with the body although some rust might be brewing on the lower front fenders. The chrome may polish right up, the glass looks good and the car has a sunroof, factory or otherwise.

A huge plus is that the car is said to run and drive great and the 340 and TorqueFlite automatic are numbers-matching. The odometer reads 7,500 miles which means it’s probably been over at least once with no reference to any mechanical work that may have been done recently. The interior is pretty dirty and may clean up, but the carpeting will have to be replaced. This is a rather bare bones car with a bench seat with column shift rather than buckets with a console.

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Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    Hmmmm: Low optioned car, bad respray, aftermarket sunroof, questionable engine reliability. Judging by the picture, the engine hasn’t been touched for a while. (IMO) the only thing this one has going for it is the alleged numbers matching drivetrain, and a reasonably intact body, and is a bit optimistically priced. GLWTS!! :-)

    Like 7
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I don’t know anything about these cars, so my only comment is: the rear plate is Wyoming mid-to-late 90’s, while the front plate is Wyoming early-to-mid 90’s. Which makes me wonder exactly what “runs and drives great” means. (Aside: Wyoming has cool license plates.)

    Like 4
  3. Desert Rat

    I have always found the 71/72 Chargers to be some what complexing to me. On one hand I like the shape but on the other hand it seems way to big, sort of like a good looking woman with a little to much trunk ( how much trouble am I in for that statement?) Anyway I like this Charger, wish it was a 4 speed and the bench seat looks way out of place, it would have to go and in it’s place would be a pair of buckets with a console and repaint it Petty blue.

    Like 11
  4. Troy s

    They sure dont get much plainer than this interior wise, thought I was looking at a picture of a Ford Torino, Ha ha. One underlying reason these kinda cars began to fail sales wise were the cars themselves. Low compression, emissions tuning, less performance really, at full retail. Add the cost of ridiculous insurance surcharges and for what really? A new ride that was a dog compared to cars only a few years old. I’d of bought used…..for less money.

    Like 1
  5. Nick

    It’s not that it’s plain or low optioned, though it is both of those, this is essentially a standard Charger Rallye. The basic Rallye spec was essentially a carry over of the (cheap) Super Bee Charger trim level. The Charger Super Bee was a 1971 only model that was plugged into the Charger after the Coronet 2 door went away. The Charger Super Bee was also the only Charger to get a performance small block, the 340 Magnum, until the sea change after 1971. The standard Charger Super Bee had the 383 so going “down” to the 340 was an option. Just 320 Charger Super Bee models with the 340 were made making it a very rare car.
    1972-74 is when (as we se here) some of those items were rolled into the Rallye model as standard (very few) or optional (most) extra cost items. A said by the author many of the cool items that were standard or available on an R/T or Super Bee Charger became options. Some also went away entirely. They did keep a decent suspension package as standard on the Rallye with front and rear sway bars.
    This car has only has 3 real options according to the build tag, the 340, the Left Hand Remote and Right Hand Manual Outside Mirrors, and hide-away Concealed Headlamps.
    I see a power brake booster so I’m assuming that became standard though it was optional on previous years. The color is original Petty Blue (TB3) from the fender tag also.
    It looks like a good honest car at a fair price, and relatively rare. Worth restoring though it will involve some money.

    Like 8
    • Skorzeny

      Good post Nick. So, sure, someone might be upside down on this after a restoration, but it’s worth saving. We always talk about what it will be worth after resto or to make it driveable, but not so much value of ownership. We are pretty much ALL upside down after buying a new car and driving it for a period of time, yet we have all done it, most of us. And how often do we see these on the road?

      Like 6
  6. Jasper

    I mean, it is a Petty Blue early ‘70s Charger, reminiscent of the famous stock cars. I’m not in the market and it’s probably rougher than it looks. But it’s not as big a basket case as these usually are for nearly the same money. Most owners of these in barely parts car condition with the usual 318s will remain the owners at their ridiculous asks. It’s no ‘68-70, and never will enjoy that Porsche 911 like insanity.

    The interior is pretty plain, but otherwise it is a genuinely good looking example of the breed and the 340 is nice. I hope someone gives it their love and puts it back right.

    Like 1
  7. SDJames

    I read somewhere that the majority of 72 Ralleys were painted Petty Blue, I’ve seen 3 including this one (another is on the other end of the state!) and they were all factory PB. This has rust in all the usual places and the front edges of the fenders are buggered up like all of them. To my knowledge, they aren’t repopping the 71-72 fenders yet. I have a 71 500 that looks a lot like this one (mine’s hemi orange).

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