1973 Dodge Challenger

1973 Challenger Hardtop

Description

1973 was the fourth year of the first generation Dodge Challengers (1970 - 1974).

The six cylinder engine was gone, so the 318 cubic inch two-barrel with 150 horsepower and 265 ft-lbs of torque was now standard. The 340 cid four-barrel with 240 hp and 295 ft-lbs of torque was optional. Some sources say in mid year the 340 was replaced by the 360. Other sources say the change didn't take place until 1974.

The major change for 1973 was that the front and rear bumpers were moved out from the body to meet the new crash standards. The bumper guards were also enlarged and now had large rubber pads. Together, these changes added 6.9 inches to the length of the car. Both front and rear bumpers now also had small vertical slots for the new bumper jack.

The Rallye was now an option package instead of its own model. It still had the non-functioning air extractor vents on the lower front fenders and the strobe-style side stripes.

Two optional High-impact paint colors continued for 1973, Hemi Orange, and Top Banana.

Total production of 1973 Challengers: 27,930 or 32,596 depending on the source.

1973 Challenger Key Differences

1973 Challengers had bumpers which stuck out a few inches from the car, and much larger chrome bumper guards with large rubber pads. 1974 Challengers had the same type of bumpers and bumper guards. Some '73s have had their bumper guards removed, and some have had their bumpers moved in closer to the car.

If a Challenger with the extended bumpers has a 318 engine, it's difficult to tell whether it's a ‘73 or ‘74. If it has a 340 it is a 1973 Challenger, and if it has a 360 it should be a 1974 model.

Similar Years

All first generation Dodge Challengers (1970 - 1974) used the same body. There were minor year to year changes to the grill, bumper, and tail lights, however the 1973-74 Challengers have no differences other than the optional 360 engine which was only available for 1974.

How to Identify a 1973 Dodge Challenger

Overview

  • 1973 was the fourth year of the first generation Challenger (1970 - 1974)
  • Challenger hardtop with a vinyl roof shown
  • Bumper guards have been removed and bumpers moved in closer to the car, common modifications for 1973 and 1974 Challengers

1973 Challenger Grill

  • The grill was the same as the previous year (1972 - 1974)
  • The grill was black for Rallye Challengers, and silver for regular Challengers (1972 - 1974)

1973 Challenger Front Bumper

  • The front bumper was moved out from the body for the new 5 MPH bumper standard (1973 - 1974)
  • A black or gray plastic filler piece was added between the bumper and the car body (1973 - 1974)

1973 Challenger Front Bumper Guard

  • Large chrome bumper guards with large rubber pads were now standard (1973 - 1974)
  • The front bumper now protruded a few inches from the front of the car (1973 - 1974)

1973 Challenger Rear Bumper

  • The rear bumper was also moved out from the car and protruded a couple of inches (1973 - 1974)
  • Large chrome rear bumper guards with large rubber pads were standard (1973 - 1974)
  • A black or gray plastic filler piece was added between the bumper and the car body (1973 - 1974)

1973 Challenger Bumper Slots

  • Both the front and rear bumpers now had two small vertical slots (one on each side) for the new style bumper jack (1973 - 1974)

1973 Challenger Fender Vents

  • Non-functional front fender vents located behind the front wheels were standard on the Challenger Rallye (1972 - 1974)

1973 Challenger Strobe Stripes

  • Optional strobe pattern stripes started at the fender vents and ended at the rear of the doors on Rallye Challengers (1972 - 1974)

1973 Challenger Front Side Marker Light

  • Front side marker lights were again rectangular and protruded from the fender (1972 - 1974)

1973 Challenger Rear Side Marker Light

  • Rear side marker lights also were rectangular and protruded from the fender (1972 - 1974)

1973 Challenger Nameplate

  • The "Challenger" nameplate was mounted on the upper rear fenders above the side marker light (1972 - 1974)

1973 Challenger Tail Lights

  • The tail light design with four lights continued unchanged (1972 - 1974)
  • Back-up lights were located in the center of the inboard lights (1972 - 1974)

1973 Challenger Dash

  • The rallye dash consisted of four large round dials in a single row (1970 - 1974)
  • The steering wheel shown is from an earlier-year Challenger
  • A pistol-grip shifter was still used on manual transmission cars (1970 - 1974)

1973 Challenger Standard Dash

  • The dash for regular Challengers had one large dial and four small dials (1970 - 1974)
  • The two-spoke steering wheel was used for all Challengers in 1973 (1972 - 1974)
  • The external tach is non-standard

1973 Challenger Shift Lever

  • The "T" shaped shifter handle for automatic transmission cars was introduced in 1972 (1972 - 1974)

1973 Challenger Gas Cap

  • The only style gas cap available for 1973 was a body-colored flush design

1973 Challenger Hood

  • The power-bulge hood was still standard on the Rallye Challenger (1972 - 1974)

1973 Challenger 340 Four Barrel Badge

  • The badge on the hood indicated the size of the optional engine (1970 - 1974)

1973 Challenger 340 Engine

  • The 340 cubic inch Four Barrel was rated at 240 horsepower and 295 ft-lbs of torque

1973 Challenger Rear Panel

  • The Dodge name was mounted in the center of the rear panel (1972 - 1974)
  • The rear panel surrounding the tail lights could be silver or black (1972 - 1974)

1973 Challenger Magnum 500 Wheel

  • The optional Magnum 500 wheel in satin finish with a brushed aluminum trim ring

More 1973 Challenger Pictures

For more photos of vintage 1973 Challengers, visit the Dodge Challenger Gallery at the Muscle Car Jungle.

If you have any comments, or would like to report any errors or omissions, contact us at feedback@oldcarsguide.com

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