Rare 225 Slant Six! 1968 Dodge Charger

When you think of the Dodge Charger, a sporty car with muscular prowess probably comes to mind, right? Well, not always. Seems that the folks at Dodge in the late 1960s thought that an inline-six with 3-on-the-tree in a Charger was needed to fill some void in the market. Whether they were right or not remains to be seen, but just 906 Chargers were built that way in ’68, the fewest Charger installations except for the 426 Hemi (475 units). This one looks to be a nice, original survivor, with some scratches, scrapes and dings earned to get its Badge of Honor. It can be found in La Mesa, California where the bidding here on eBay has been brisk up to $31,300.

In 1968, the Dodge Charger (along with all of Chrysler’s intermediates) got a redesign, employing more of a fuselage-style to the body. This would be the third year that the Charger was in production since joining the Dodge Boys in their white hats. The Charger’s sales benefitted greatly from the shift in styling, with production of the fastback going from 16,000 to 93,000 units in just one year. Just under 1,000 ’68 Chargers would be equipped with the Charger 225 engine, which was ironic in that the Slant Six had already been called that before the Charger even came along as a car. The addition of this smaller motor in the Charger was a mid-year marketing decision.

Unlike the 383s or 440s found under many a Charger hood, the 225 Slant Six had a one-barrel carburetor that was rated at 145 hp. The engine employed the use of mechanical valve lifters, giving it a distinct metallic sound at idle and under low throttle. The only other Chrysler engine that came that was the 426 Hemi! As the seller’s car is one of 906 made, and given the likely survival rate after 53 years, there can’t be many like this one left, in any condition. And it still has its original build shield in nicely preserved condition.

This particular Charger is a one-owner car that’s wearing its original dark green paint and vinyl top (dealer installed). It has managed to stay as nice as it has due having been garage kept all these years and accumulating under 30,000 miles. We’re told that no body work has been done on the car and there is zero filler to be found. Rust has almost never been an issue, with the carpeting having been raised to check out the integrity of the floorboards. But there is a bit of it peaking through at the bottom of the back window corners and the trunk pan has pitting with a couple of small holes. The interior appears to be in fine shape except for the floor coverings. The car was so basic that it didn’t even come with an AM radio.

While the owner bought this Charger new from the dealer, it doesn’t have an original block and transmission and we don’t know why this change occurred so early on. Some mechanical items have been attended to while others have not. The water pump, master cylinder, radiator and carb have all been replaced, but the brakes and alternator need work before it can be considered a driver. So, for now, it will move up and off a trailer, but not around town. The originality of this car – combined with the unicorn aspects for the engine/transmission pairing – has brought the bidding on the Dodge into the territory of its more powerful brethren. It will be interesting to see how far this one goes.

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  1. Big_Fun Member

    Rare, desirable (not as much as a V8, I get that), but perfect for the guy who has a Hemi version. Bookends. Very pricey Bookends. A conversation at the local cruise in, for sure.
    Let the next one be modified….

    Like 9
  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    With bidding like that,how long do you think it’ll
    keep the 6 cylinder?

    Like 22
    • Big_Fun Member

      Well, it is very clean. Think of all the 2nd gen Chargers featured here that require a tetanus shot before looking in person. Some one will be waaayy ahead with this one…
      Powertrain, suspension – well anything that requires fluid to operate – can be upgraded with keeping that California body just like it is. And the manual set up is already there…
      Either way, you’re having fun! I guess that’s a ‘win- win” ?

      Like 13
    • Steve R

      It won’t, unless a 6 cylinder proponent steps up and spends the money.

      Steve R

      Like 5
    • Steve Douglas

      It’d be a mortal sin to pull that six.

      Like 1
  3. Rex Kahrs Member

    About a year ago, I saw a ’71 Challenger convertible in Plum Crazy with a slant 6. An odd bird indeed.

    Like 4
  4. Marc

    Slant 6 or not this is still a mighty fine car… You don’t need 10,000 HP to cruise around enjoy…

    Like 29
    • chuck

      But it helps.

      Like 12
  5. local_sheriff

    I did some reading on the /6 Charger phenomenon a while back, remember it was claimed this combo materialized mid-year after dealer request. Apparently there were enough ‘man with hat’ customers that would normally end up with a Dart that were craving for the more sporty, muscular ‘personal car’ looks of the Charger but with the /6 /Dart’s MPG and reliability, that made it possible to justify the production of this ‘upgrade’. I’d be very interested to learn whether those customers actually had to pay MORE for the /6 compared to the Charger’s base V8.

    This kind of rare combinations are so interesting, it’s a great conversation piece and history surrounding the phenomenon and almost a miracle it’s still around with that base driveline after so many years. IMHO it should keep that driveline however I’m also realistic, fearing it will end up with a ‘more desirable’ V8 in the nearest future…

    Like 18
  6. john M

    I remember driving a Slant 6 Plymouth I was working on in the mid 70s. It actually felt decently driving around town that I didn’t realize that it only had the leaning tower of power. By the 70s, the intermediates had gotten heavier, and the engines had lost torque, so in comparison, it felt decent at low speeds, probably had decent gearing.

    Like 1
  7. Mopes

    So with the weight-of this gorgeous beast what kind of MPG? 16 with an egg under the gas pedal maybe 18.5?

    I would miss have preferred a 340 -383 on this baby

  8. Keith

    If there ever was a car for a Hellcrate transplant this is that car. Sign me up as long we don’t get into crazy money on buying this one.

    Like 5
  9. Boris Efron

    Back in the day, 60s, I recal an article in Hot Rod magazine where they swapped a 225 slant six into an XKE Jag. The point of that exercise was to have a more reliable and easier to maintain sports car with equivalent power and handling. The Jag six was about the same weight as the 225 so the handling dynamics did not change.

    • ADM

      Yeah, but 265 hp, versus 145?

      Like 1
  10. Rosseaux

    I understand the appeal of the Charger overt the Dart–it was a great looking car and had a lot more cache out on the road. But for a sporty cheap-skate, the Dart offered some options that the Charger didn’t including non-power front disk brakes (by 1969, I believe you couldn’t even get disks with the six except in the Dart) and non-power “Fast Manual” steering. Plus, the Dart had better trunk space because of its under-floor spare, a feature I’m surprised they didn’t include on their whole line. So, if you wanted a cheap sporty car, a Slant Six Swinger would give you a lot more for your money.

    Still I love these “reverse sleepers” with their modest engines and blank radio plates. Add two extra doors and it would be perfect.

    Like 2
  11. Pugsy

    First time I’ll have to agree with all the purists here.
    I cannot buy it as the 6 would have to go, so I won’t.

    Nice car.

    Like 4
  12. John Oliveri

    Before I got it home, the motor, transmission and steering column with that horrible shifter would be thrown in the dumpster, then I could build this puppy

    Like 4
    • Vinnie G

      Well I’d at least stop at a junk yard and sell all the stuff I didn’t want.

  13. Troy s

    La Mesa is a nice quiet town in San Diego, had some trouble this year but it seems to have quieted down a bit. Wonder if it was bought at Carl Burger Dodge in La Mesa.
    Interesting to look at it, discuss, I mean thing looks sharp, but once the big six is fired up the interest will fall off a bit, with out the burbling healthy idle of a 440 or 383 it’s just missing something….unless of course the sound of the six is your thing. Nice car.

    Like 1
  14. RobA

    I don’t know if anyone else saw, but the /6 driveline is not numbers matching according to the seller. If that is true then leaving the replacement /6 and 3-speed there is only a tribute to how the car originally came.

    The rarity of this car is in the original body, paint, and interior. That is what I would really leave alone. Everything else is fair game and the value will not be affected.

    All those who want to save it “as is” are typically not the ones who will use their own money to do it.

    Like 6
    • Old Troll

      I owned a ‘76 Plymouth “Feather Duster” that was an attempt by post gas crisis Chrysler Corp to wring as much fuel economy out of their then only compact car line by putting them on a serious diet of lots of aluminum parts. Slant Six engine with an aluminum intake manifold, aluminum three speed manual gearbox with a tall over drive gear. Final drive ratio from an automatic trans setup, like 2.9 or something. Plus the inner panels of the hood and trunk lid were aluminum. All this was supposed to have saved 700 lbs off the car. I never got much more than 25 mpg out of it, but when I sold it, the new owner got as much as 30. With the way it was geared it was never terribly quick. But a third owner apparently took that lightweight body and plopped a big ass motor in it to make it into a drag car. I saw on this site or some similar one where a guy had built up one of these long stroke sixes with twin turbochargers and was making serious horsepower with it. That might be fun to do with this Charger.

      Like 1
  15. Rustytech Member

    How long do you suspect this will stay a 6 cyl?

    Like 1
    • Troy s

      Hopefully not too much longer. Big speedy looking car, the six belongs in the Dart and Valiants of the day, not here. Many won’t agree with me probably.

      Like 3
    • local_sheriff

      Well, unless this one is going to some rich Charger collector who has a goal in life to own ‘one of each’ my guess is not very much longer than the time it takes to yank it out after its arrival at the new owner’s place.

      Regarding the comment above about the non-matching #s I don’t think I’ve heard many brag about a #s matching six or base engine. This is usually only a deal-breaker when we’re talking rare performance engines that were desirable already when new. For what we know this engine could’ve been replaced under warranty or frozen. Yes the /6 will always somehow affect its value, however it’s sad when we neglect to conserve history and the ‘less desirable’ versions in exchange for potential monetary value. It’s like seeing a 2door post Biscayne and you KNOW from a distance it’s a 409 – there are probably more W Biscaynes today than there were ever built. IMHO with a V8 transplant this one will be just another Charger

      Like 2
    • John Oliveri

      Whoever buys it, has a drivetrain, rear end, and steering column either in theyre garage or on retainer,

  16. William

    I’ve seen the slant 6 turbocharged , that would be cool.

    Like 4
  17. Morley

    Leave it alone except for a straight pipe just to piss every body off.

    Like 4
  18. Skorzeny

    This car doesn’t make sense to me, as in it being bought for better fuel economy. We all know that when you put an engine that is too small for the vehicle into that vehicle, the mileage suffers because of how you have to drive it. I would bet money that a 2 bbl 318 would getter mileage than this. Dodge was foolish to even make this.

    Like 3
    • William

      Agreed. While I love the six, it is to small, a 318 was the only way to go. I bought a Dodge with a SS early in the 80s thinking it was a great idea when I checked off that box on the ordering sheet, but I was wrong. Mind you, the mighty 225 was a great engine 10 years earlier, by then it was strangled, but i thought that it still had what made the SS great so I went ahead anyway. I only got 17 MPG and I had to abuse it to get it to perform on the road at all, forget passing another car safely. My buddy had a similar car with a 318. Also neutered by that time, but better to drive then my six, he got 21MPG and a better driving experience. I never understood why Chrysler offered this option. They were great about engine choice, but this one made little sense.

      Like 2
  19. Patrickj Member

    What’s the bar in the trunk that looks like a roll bar

    • Skorzeny

      Fuel filler to the fuel tank.

      Like 2
  20. geezerglide85

    I think that bar is the gas filling tube

  21. Jon B

    There were many a Coronet built with the six and they got gas mileage well into the 20s.

    Like 1
  22. Andrew

    The engine and trans have already been replaced, so you can’t actually keep it original. Sounds like it needs a good bit of mechanical work anyway, so it would be a great candidate for a resto-mod. Body is beautiful.

  23. Keith

    Gas was 34 cents a gallon in 1968. Should have got the Hemi.

    Like 2
    • William

      True, but that is around 2.50 a gallon in todays dollars. Remember, many a lad made a buck or less an hour then, so he could buy three gallons for an hour of work. Kind of like low wage people today. The only thing I can say here is that adjusted for inflation, gas is where it should be right now. Any more, and we are getting ripped off, but what else is new?

      Like 1
  24. Johnoliver

    My brother commuted to college in a 68 Charger with the slant six. His car was automatic and ps. Glad to see there is still one out there!

    Like 2
  25. That Guy

    Building this car in the first place makes the most sense to me as a price leader for dealers. Presumably they could order one and advertise it at a super-low, get-em-in-the-door price, then upsell the customers to a better-equipped, more expensive, more profitable car.

    It would be a shame for it to be made into just another hot rod. But the consensus seems to be that’s what will happen. Bummer, I say.

    Like 4
  26. Joseph

    That six can handle a big turbo or 2 nice size turbos. Those motors run fantastic when built as a high performance set up
    l raced a valiant 4 door in 1969 that we built as a auto shop project and it ran 13’s. I think it was a 1964.

    Like 2
  27. Gary

    I had a 1968 Charger from 1969 to 1972 with a 383/2bbl. loved the car. This year I ran a crossed 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II with only 32,000 miles. Red 2 door hardtop with black interior. It too has a slant 6 but with the 3 speed automatic torque-flight trans and power steering. This 2 owner car is like new and everything worked like the day it was sold new. With the whitewall tires and factory hub caps it looked like a old mans car, but with the addition of a set of Cragar SS wheels 14 X 5 in. in front and 15 X 8 in back some helper springs to give the rear a lift I have a nice looking cruiser that does not break the budget. Get lots of looks and thumbs up and we always have the option the change to a V-8.

  28. Bob

    Count me out on that one. Don’t think would have in 1968 in the movie Bullit.😁

  29. Bruce Willison

    I think this car has done way more than 29000 miles, the numerals don’t line up.Also a lot of wear on the drivers side carpet near the door.For what its worth.

    Like 2
  30. roland schoenke

    I would have expected a hyper pack on this one.

  31. Clement Feldman

    Rare, but not desirable other than as a strange power train combination on a car that was best with a big block and a floor shifter.
    The lack of a numbers matching block greatly reduces the authenticity and interest.
    Lots of strange cars and strange options have been made throughout the years. This is pretty meaningless to me and not a very interesting car overall.

  32. David

    One of my high school cars was a ’67 Barracuda notchback with the straight six. Purchased from the original owner with 23,000 miles. No radio, no power brakes or steering, bench seat with a three speed automatic shifter on the column. It had a heater and if that was a delete they probably would have taken that out too. A true stripper. The best I could ever coax out of it was 17MPG. As a teenager I got real tired real quick of getting dusted by Ford Granadas. Flipped that sled pretty quick.

  33. Mike Akerman

    Maybe I’m just wrong but , I have a hard time thinking this is a 30,000 mile car. Not calling anyone out but numbers on odometer don’t appear to line up very straight and carpet shows alot of wear. It might be right but I would not bet on it. Still a fine automobile. My favorite year and 6 cyl is fine with me esp with 3 on tree.

  34. Fury Man Van

    Wow that is so cool ,I just found and bought a 1968 Plymouth Fury 3 2dr Hardtop with 8000 Original Miles in just as nice shape was going to V8 it but decided to leave it alone it is so cool to drive I showed it at the Turkey Rod Run this last November she was a hit

    Like 1
    • ADM

      A few years ago, there was a tan, ’70 Fury I for sale in Vermont, with the six. Very nice condition, with about 8K on it, too. Totally stripped, except for the automatic, with dog dish hub caps, and black wall tires. I’d own the car as is, but, of course, we all think of the 440 installed between the shock towers. By now, maybe it does.

  35. MollyDog

    The 64/65 273 V8 also used solid lifters as well as slant 6 and Hemis

  36. cowboy

    i wish i had that car

  37. R.Lee

    King Richard ordered this car with the 225 and the Dealer changed out the drivetrain for the Hemi. Many of the 225 Chargers were listed as such and Hemi’s installed at the Dealerships. This is one of those cars as the 225 is not the cars original and the car never had the replacement Hemi installed.Then lost to history the car got the 225 anyway.

    Insurance was biting at the pockets by now and guy’s here in St.Louis had access to service replacement engines and new Dana’s and transmissions were easy to be found.

    There were many 225 cars built by Chrysler Corp and then immediately changed over. You could order the car without the engine installed and the required engine parts in the trunk or picked up at the service gate at Plant one or two, Fenton. Hemi’s were only at Fenton and more were bought at the gate than in the cars.

    Like 1
  38. R.Lee

    The K frame was also a service part that was sold and far more K’s were sold than 225 and 318 cars combined.

    Like 1
  39. MitchRoss Member

    It boggles my mind that people think it would be a good idea to remove and replace the only thing that makes this unique. 906 made and back in the 80’s probably 100 that didn’t rot away, may 20 that didn’t get V8 swaps. So how many left?

  40. Brendan C

    Why would it have a different block and transmission with only 30k miles?
    That’d got to ruin the authenticity.

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