Debuted at the Milwaukee Auto Show on November 16-24 1963, the new Charger roadster stole the show at the Dodge exhibit. The customized competition roadster stands only 47 3/4-inches high, and is based on a standard Dodge convertible. Chrysler engineers utilized the basic body panels in order to maintain a close relationship between the Charger roadster show car, and standard production vehicles.
Chrysler Corporations vice president and director of styling, Elwood Engel stated, “The Charger’s styling speaks Dodge.” “Our design gives this specialty car a youthful, “get-up-and-go” appearance which reflects the Dodge image as an all-out, dependable performer.”
The design of the Charger required the removal of the bumpers, wheels, body mechanisms, seats, and top. Not only did this lighten the new Charger, but also provided a starting point for the stylist to begin their design for a sleek competition roadster. With the removal of the front and rear bumpers, stylist added lower valances with a set of four small bumper guards. In order to maintain an aggressive and wide grill, single seven inch headlights were used. New magnesium Halibrand wheels were mounted with special Goodyear Wingfoot high performance tires. The rear wheel-wells were designed to accept wider rim and tire combinations for drag racing.
Atop the long hood sits a Ramcharger scoop. The addition of the scoop forced cool outside air to be inducted into the 426 Cid Wedge engine. Initially the Charger was fitted with a single 4 barrel carburetor, but the hood design allowed for modifications to accept twin four barrel carburetors. The exhaust used “lake-type” headers for competition use, and by using cover plates, the exhaust gases could be directed through regular dual mufflers for street use.
The windshield is only six inches high, and combines with the lowered side glass to create a competition appearance. The rear rollbar covers the conventional rear seating area, while the integrated headrest provides comfort and support to the occupants. The interior seating and trim is upholstered in charcoal gray leather, combined with a complementary black cut pile carpet that covers the floor, the majority of the side panels, and cowl section. The twin bucket seats are fully padded, and have special pleats to increase comfort. The occupants are secured into the buckets with matching Deist competition seatbelt-harness.
The Charger features a full length console and upper “cockpit divider”. The divider is leather trimmed, and features an 8000 RPM tachometer mounted high at eye-level. The deep-dish steering wheel, passenger grab rail, and the gear-shift selector are all made of walnut. The walnut is a deep contrast for the bright metal trim used on the accelerator, brake, and parking brake pedals.