Low Production: 1972 Dodge Charger Rallye 340

The Rallye replaced the R/T on the Dodge Charger in 1972. It would comprise only a small portion of sales that year, which makes a Charger Rallye 340 a somewhat rare beast these days. Beast may not be quite the word to use as the Charger was much heavier than the Challenger or Demon that the 340 was more commonly found in. And they were detuned to run on unleaded fuel. This 1972 edition looks to be an older restoration where rust was once repaired. It’s located in Edmonton, Alberta, and available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $7,900, where the reserve may soon be reached.

The third generation of the Dodge Charger debuted in 1971, so the 1972s were little changed. Gone were the Charger R/T, Super Bee, and 500 models, replaced with an option package called the Charger Rallye. Marketing research may have told the front office that the folks who bought muscle cars in the 1960s were getting older with more responsibilities (i.e. families), so perhaps the Charger audience had matured. To quote a sales brochure, “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 a result, the Rallye could be had then with a 318 V8, but at least not the Slant-Six. The suspension was beefed up from the standard Charger, the hood featured a “Power Bulge” and the doors had simulated louvers, but not decals. For details on the Charger Rallye, check out this story from Hemmings.

Dodge built 75,600 Chargers for 1972, but the Rallye 340 – like the seller’s car – saw just 1,527 copies. That’s fewer than went into every other Mopar built that year with a 340, including the Plymouth Duster, Road Runner, and ‘Cuda and the Dodge Challenger and Demon. So, we’re guessing the mature street racer with kids wasn’t the market that the Dodge Boys thought it was. The seller describes his 1972 Charger Rallye 340 as a mostly original car but has not yet determined if the car is numbers–matching. Check out Dodge Charger production figures here.

Photos of the car were taken in a dark warehouse and we don’t know how long it has been out of regular use. It looks pretty shiny reflecting a recent wash job, but the layers of dust on the air cleaner suggest that the car was only recently attended to. The black over orange is said to be the original colors, but the paint job is newer. The Rallye doors were replaced with standard doors, so the cool louvers are no longer there. That’s indicative of rust which we’re told was in the rear quarter panels, which now contain Bondo. We’re also told there is rust under and around the vinyl roof. So, while the car looks good from a short distance, it looks like the whole exterior will need to be stripped down and started over.

The interior looks less problematic. The upholstery may have been refreshed, but the carpeting is past its prime, one armrest is pretty worn and there is at least one crack in the dashboard. It’s a rather basic car, as the automatic transmission is column shifted and the Charger has a bench seat rather than buckets with a console. Power steering and brakes were checked on the options list, but not factory air conditioning. The seller is not optimistic in describing the car’s mechanics, just saying that it’s in “running and driving condition.”

Online price guides suggest a Dodge Charger from 1972 in good shape is worth maybe $20,000. Both the Rallye and 340 options should add to that. That doesn’t leave a lot of room to do an exterior restoration without exceeding the market value of the car when done. This might better be a car accepted for its flaws, maybe fix the issues around the roof and drive it on the weekends and to shows. Not every car has to be perfect to been shown off.

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Comments

  1. McG21

    Nice to see an affordable Charger that isn’t too far gone restoration-wise.

    Like 5
  2. XMA0891

    I’ve always skewed towards Plymouth’s offerings rather than those of their Corporate Cousin, but I’ve never seen one of these, and this one I’d happily park in the yard. Handsome car. Nice find!

    Like 2
    • Angrymike

      They’re hard to kill as well, my buddies 72 (318) was driven hard every single day, and besides a timing chain he couldn’t kill that thing ! My 340 73 Road Runner was just as reliable except for the transmission, but 4:88 gears are hard on trannies !

      Like 1
  3. Nick

    The year to have for your 340 Charger was 1971. It was an option in the Super Bee model and still had the high compression 340. It would have been lighter than any other HiPo V8 version so it would not have been a slug. They made 307 in total so much lower production than 1972.

    Like 4
  4. Desert Rat

    To me it’s a shame he replaced the doors with out the louvers in them that was a cool styling element. Never less these Chargers 71/72 never appealed to me like the 68/70 but having said that they do have great styling just, seem really big.

    Like 4

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