1972 Dodge Challenger

1972 Challenger Hardtop


1972 was the third year of production for the first generation Dodge Challengers (1970 - 1974). The convertible Challenger was no longer offered this year.

The R/T was also no longer available, but was replaced with the Rallye model. The Rallye came with the power bulge hood, and non-functioning air vents on the lower front fenders in front of the doors. Four parallel strobe style stripes originated from the vents and ran to the rear of the doors.

Many options were deleted this year. The body-colored bumpers of 1971 were no longer available, and neither was the optional pop-open gas cap.

The front end was redesigned and included a new egg crate grill that extended below the front bumper. It was silver for the regular Challenger, and black for the Charger Rallye.

A new rear panel with redesigned tail lights completed the major changes. The tail lights now consisted of two smaller rectangular units on each side, with a back-up light in the center of the inboard light. The side marker lights also changed for 1972.

This would be the last year for the bumpers to be mounted close to the body. It was also the last year for the optional, small chrome bumper guards.

The "Challenger" nameplate was moved from the front fenders to the rear fenders above the side marker light.

Engines were now rated in SAE Net horsepower instead of the old gross horsepower ratings, and so all horsepower figures were lower this year. The 383, 440, and Hemi engines were no longer options. Available engines were the 225 slant-six with 110 hp and 185 ft-lbs of torque, the 318 cid V8 with 150 horsepower and 265 ft-lbs of torque, and the 340 cid with 240 hp and 295 ft-lbs of torque.

Only two optional High-impact paint colors were offered in 1972, Hemi Orange, and Top Banana.

Total production of 1972 Challengers: 22,919 or 26,658 depending on the source.

1972 Challenger Key Differences

1972 Dodge Challengers can be identified by having the new grill and tail lights along with the old style flush-fitting bumpers (and optional small chrome bumper guards). Owners of 1973 and 1974 Challengers often remove the large bumper guards and move the bumpers in closer to the car, however. '73 and '74 bumpers have small vertical slots in them for the newer bumper jack.

Similar Years

1970-74 Challengers share the same body. For most years there were minor changes to the grill, bumper, and tail lights, but ‘73 and ‘74 Challengers are almost the same except for the optional 360 engine which was available only in 1974.

How to Identify a 1972 Dodge Challenger


  • 1972 was the third year of the first generation Dodge Challenger (1970 - 1974)
  • Challenger hardtop with a vinyl roof shown

1972 Challenger Grill

  • The grill design changed this year and would remain the same for the rest of the car's run (1972 - 1974)
  • The grill was silver for regular Challengers and black for Rallye Challengers (1972 - 1974)

1972 Challenger Front Bumper

  • The front bumper fit close to the body of the car and did not project out very much (1970 - 1972)
  • Small front bumper guards were optional (not shown, 1970 - 1972)

1972 Challenger Rear Bumper

  • The rear bumper also fit closely to the car's body (1970 - 1972)

1972 Challenger Rear Bumper Guard

  • Small, chrome rear bumper guards were optional (1970 - 1972)

1972 Challenger Fender Vents

  • On the Challenger Rallye, non-functioning front fender vents were located behind the front wheels (1972 - 1974) (1973 shown)
  • Optional strobe style stripes ran from the fender vents to the rear of the doors on Rallye models (1972 - 1974)

1972 Challenger Front Side Marker Light

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

1972 Challenger Rear Side Marker Light

  • Rear side marker lights were also rectangular and protruded from the fender (1972 - 1974) (1973 shown)
  • The "Challenger" script was now located on the rear fenders above the rear side marker light (1972 - 1974)

1972 Challenger Tail Lights

  • The tail lights were a completely new design this year that would last to the end of the first generation cars (1972 - 1974)
  • The tail lights consisted of two lights on each side, with back-up lights in the center of the inboard lights (1972 - 1974)

1972 Challenger Dash

  • The rallye dash continued unchanged and consisted of four large round dials in a single row (1970 - 1974)
  • The two-spoke steering wheel was new this year and the same for all Dodge Challengers (1972 - 1974)
  • A pistol-grip shifter was used on manual transmission cars (1970 - 1974)

1972 Challenger Fuel Cap

  • The pop-open fuel cap was no longer optional, but many owners have installed them

1972 Challenger Fuel Cap

  • The stock gas cap for 1972 was a body-colored flush design (1973 shown)

1972 Challenger Hood

  • The power-bulge hood was still available on the Rallye Challenger (1972 - 1974)
  • Flat-black hood shown is non-standard

1972 Challenger 340 Four Barrel Badge

  • The hood-mounted badge indicated the size of the optional engine (1970 - 1974)
  • With the Hemi and big block engines no longer available, the 340 was the top engine for 1972
  • The 340 cubic inch Four Barrel was rated at 240 horsepower and 295 ft-lbs of torque

1972 Challenger Rear Emblem

  • "Dodge" was spelled out in chrome letters in the center of the rear panel (1972 - 1974)
  • The rear panel surrounding the tail lights could be silver or black (1972 - 1974)
  • The "Challenger" name was no longer on the deck lid (1972 - 1974)

1972 Challenger Wheel

  • Optional slotted Rallye steel wheels (1970 - 1974) with brushed aluminum trim ring
  • The center cap design was new this year (1972 - 1974)

More 1972 Challenger Pictures

For more photos of vintage 1972 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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