The 1969 Charger is iconic, but more hidden away in Dodge’s history is the 1972. Available in several different trim levels and a beautifully aggressive shape, it’s a mean street car, a successful NASCAR racer and even took part in the 1976 Le Mans.
Father and son team Doug and Herschel McGriff raced in the NASCAR GT class at Le Mans in 1976. The boys brought a red-white-and-blue war chest to France: a 1972 Dodge Charger, three purpose-built 426 engines, and 15 cases of Olympia beer labeled as “lubricant.”
Unfortunately, Herschel’s first run at Circuit de la Sarthe was brief—octane differences between Europe and the U.S. caused confusion (and detonation), and one of the HEMI’s pistons failed after a 215 mph dash down the Mulsanne Straight.
In 1972 Richard Petty stopped driving the Plymouth and changed instead to a Dodge Charger as he thought it would give him an aerodynamic advantage. This was the first year of the STP sponsorship and the famous blue of his race cars was joined by STP’s reddish orange.
In road trim it’s a great looking car, the variety of paint jobs is huge and even with a modern satin black it looks wonderful.