Pick of the Day: 1970 Dodge Charger R/T-SE

When you see “Special Edition” attached to a car, it usually is an eye-roller – what’s so special about a car with a trim level SE that’s above LE and below SLE, for example? It means nothing. But has it ever had meaning? Our Pick of the Day is an SE that carried more weight before it was watered down into oblivion: a 1970 Dodge Charger R/T-SE listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a dealership in Allen, Texas. (Click the link to view the listing)

The Charger was in its third and final year of its styling cycle for 1970. Most apparent was a new front bumper that wrapped around the nose. Out back, chrome trim created a distinctive detail different from 1969 that made the taillights look like one single unit. R/Ts featured bolt-on scoops to the doors with “R/T” badges. Inside, high-back bucket seats were a new feature depending on the type of Charger that you selected.

So, what types of Chargers were there from which to choose? Previously, there was the Charger and performance-oriented Charger R/T. For 1970, there now were three Chargers. Note the VIN prefixes:

Model 1968-69 1970
Charger XP XH
Charger 500 XP
Charger R/T XS XS

If you can shake the thought of the NASCAR-inspired 1969 Charger 500 and focus on this for a moment, you’ll see the XP Charger evolved from the 1968-69 Charger to 1970 Charger 500. Buckets were standard with this trim level. The base Charger was now a new step-down trim level and, hence, equipment, featuring a bench seat and XH VIN prefix.

Dodge’s Special Edition equipment first appeared as a fancy Coronet 500 four-door sedan in 1966. While the hardtop and convertible were simply Coronet 500s, the four-door sedan was the Coronet 500 SE. It featured a “luxurious combination of pleated Winslow cloth and Cologne-grained vinyl” including bright trim and special door trim for a more luxurious effect. This SE was discontinued for 1968, then revived for the 1969 Charger as an optional décor group (code A47) that included leather and vinyl front bucket seats, woodgrain steering wheel and inserts in the instrument panel, hood-mounted turn signal indicators, pedal dress-up, deep-dish wheel covers, light package, and SE badges. The SE package was also available for the Charger R/T as well. This continued into 1970 but, as you can imagine based in the above chart, the SE package was only available for the Charger 500 and R/T.

For 1971, as the Charger was redesigned and inched towards the personal luxury market, the Charger SE became its own model and, by 1973, became the most popular Charger model.

This 1970 Charger R/T-SE is one of the more interesting specimen due to its mix of options. Since it’s an R/T, that means it came with a 440 Magnum standard, but the original buyer went a step up and specified the 440 Six Pack, which was a new option for the R/T. This one has the code A34 Super Track Pak, which means it features a four-speed manual (with the new-for-1970 Hurst “Pistol Grip” shifter) with 4.10 gears and supporting heavy-duty equipment. Other desirable options include “Gator Grain” vinyl roof, code V21 Hood Performance Paint Treatment, code V24 Hood Performance Engine Callout (owner-added), and “V6X Bumblebee” stripe, among others.

“Amazing rotisserie restoration with about 1200 miles on it,” says the seller. “Date-code correct 440 HP motor and date code correct transmission, original Dana.” This is a primo piece of Mopar performance, which is reflected in the $185,000 asking price.

Click here for this ClassicCars.com Pick of the Day.