The 1971 Dodge Challenger
Listed below are only the
changes from the previous years production.
There were four Challenger models for 1971.
BodySeveral models were dropped from the 1971 line-up. Gone were the S.E., R.T./S.E., T/A and R/T convertible.
There had been plans to make a 1971 T/A model. It would have been the same as the 1970 version except for a 4bbl carb. instead of the six pack induction. These plans were dropped before any cars were made. Some people insist that at least one 1971 T/A was built because of an advertisement that seems to show one. However if you look at the advert on my "Challenger Adverts" page and compare it to the 1970 poster above it you can see it is the same car photographed on the same wet day on the same road. It is amazing what these graphics artists can do with an airbrush!
There were no major changes to the '71 Challenger
bodywork except for a new grill and rear panel. Although the S.E. was
dropped you could still order the formal roof (code A78) but not if
you wanted the power sunroof.
The R/T now had dummy air duct scoops in front of the rear wheel arches.
All cars equipped with a 4 bbl or multiple carbs. received the "power bulge" hood as standard and the "shaker" hood as an option. 72 base Challengers, 11 convertibles, 102 R/T big block and 39 R/T 340 cars were fitted with the shaker hood.
The front bumper was carried over from the previous year until Feb. '71 when a new bumper was used. This then had to be changed again in June due to new safety requirements. Elastomeric front and rear bumpers became available for the Challenger in '71 but only in four colours. These were B5 blue, Y3 yellow, V2 hemi orange and, depending which reference you read, either C7 plum crazy or J6 green.
From April '71 all painted bumpers were cancelled except for Y3 yellow for some reason.
Exterior Paint and StripesA wide vinyl stripe was optional on all Challengers in '71. It ran from the front fender above the body line and, like the T/A stripe in '70, stopped level with the end of the glass on the rear quarter panel. The R/T got a similar stripe as standard which ended with the R/T letters.
The "power bulge" hood could have the R/T letters on the front as well.
Challengers were painted with acrylic enamel. There was a huge range of colours available to Dodge and you can see the complete 1971 Chrysler colour chart by following the link in the left frame or by clicking HERE.
A gold coloured top was now offered but the Gator Grain was deleted. Other colours were unchanged.
The seating was stitched in a different pattern and the Challenger script which had been moulded on the end of the dash pad was now a stick on plate. The console mounted shift lever for the automatic was changed to a black plastic "T" shape.
All interior colours were now available for the Challenger Deputy which now had a matching plastic filler button in the hole where the window winder was deleted.
Wheels and Tyres
The left hand thread wheel nuts that had been fitted to the 1970 model drivers side were done away with. On the Rallye wheels the trim ring now had a brushed finish and the wheel centre was a dark gray.
The wheels with "dog dish" hub caps were painted body colour as the previous year up until March 15th 1971. From then on they were painted black.
The first signs of what was to come in future years started with a drop in compression ratio of the 383 from 10.5:1 to 8.5:1. The 440 4bbl was dropped altogether from the Challenger but the 340 was now avalible in the R/T. This was not the same 340 that had been in the T/A in 1970. Horsepower readings were starting to be given as net bhp which was a more realistic figure taken with all engine accessories and a full exhaust system fitted.
*** Avalible in Challenger and R/T
All option packages that had been available in the previous year were available again. Please refer back to the 1970 page for a discription of these or follow the link below to see a scan of the original option and price sheet.