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Former Drag Car: 1974 Dodge Charger

1974 Dodge Charger

There’s no question that by ’74 American muscle cars weren’t nearly as muscular as they had been, but they still had lots of potential! A V8 is a V8 no matter what emissions devices are attached. The biggest issue was the decline in compression, but fixing that was a bit of an issue. At some point, one of this Charger’s previous owners decided to swap the original engine for a Chrysler 400. No word what year it is, but it’s from the ’70s. They were supposedly drag racing, so we can only assume that this engine was more powerful than the original. Find this Mopar here on eBay in Muir, Michigan with bidding right under $3,500.

1974 Dodge Charger Engine

The 400 was introduced in ’72 and offered between 170 and 260 hp, so it wasn’t all that powerful, but it did have considerable amounts of torque. The highest performance 400 was rated at 410 pounds of torque! That’s some serious grunt, especially in the mid ’70s. You can see, this one has several upgraded pieces, including a new carb and ignition system.

1974 Dodge Charger Dragster

We don’t know how much power this engine is actually putting out, for all we know it’s less than the original engine. For the right price, I can live with a non-original engine and not knowing how much power it produces. Of course, if you are a Mopar manica, you should be able to figure out what year and output this engine was rated at when new. I’d focus on getting this Charger running, clean it up and change out the hood scoop. What about you?


  1. Billy

    Back around this time, I had a neighbor buy a 74 brand new, get this, a 225 auto! Don’t laugh, it was a really nice car, even had air. Power was adequate, but the long stroke of the slant six gave it ample pull. Once on the road, she was a great long distant cruiser. Haven’t lived there for almost 40 year now, wonder what ever happened to that gem of a car. If its still with us (which I doubt) it would be an awesome restoration project and would get lots of admiration at the shows. As us Baby Boomers age, we are starting to realize that raw horse power in a heavy front end is dangerous and wasteful. To think of how many six cylinder cars were changed over to ill advised big blocks, the few that are left need preserving. I myself have mentioned here my 1983 Dodge Mirada with the same 225. Funny, when I bought it 30 years ago, I really wanted at least a 318, if not a 360, but even after only 3 years from when Mirada production ended, a good example in a V8 was hard to find. Maybe people with modest engines, are more responsible, hard to say. But, as my hair has grayed, I feel my automotive common sense has increased, and I have grown to love one of the greatest engine designs of all time. Man, must be getting senile too, ranting and raving about an almost unrelated topic. Okay back to 1974 Chargers. I feel they were the beat looking of the breed. Most will say the 68-70s were the best, and they were nice, but the 74 in my humble opinion rules. (esp. with the cool sequential rear signal lights you could get).

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  2. Luke Fitzgerald

    Billy – if you really want to do your head in, check out our friends at “curbside classics” and punch in “68 Charger 500 slant”

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  3. Blindmarc

    I don’t see this as a “drag” car. A 400 would be a horsepower increase, but they were not performance motors at all.

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  4. Prowler

    A hood scoop doesn’t mean race car
    Looks like a pooch

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  5. Florian

    Hi there!
    THIS car is now owned by me, here in north Germany (near Denmark)!!!
    It went from Michigan to Poland to a place near Munich! Some month ago i´ve bought it from a guy there and brought it to my Bosch-Service…
    It is my own “oldtimer-projekt”, so i´ve spend almost 250 hours of work on it, and about 5000$. Because the basic is nearley perfect – no rust, no damages! The pre-owner did the whole brakes, and many other things. Now, all bearings, electrics, an new exhaust system, wheels, carpets, carburator, hoses, filters and so on are new! The car runs great and have got many upgrades!
    We localised about 450hp on the backwheels (trested) :-)
    But it is still not ready – there are several things i would like to do with it – but all in all. a GREAT barn find!!! I love it…

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