If you don’t recognize the ’69 Charger, then you simply weren’t watching TV in the 1980s. Painted orange and nicknamed General Lee, this coupe was quite a star on TV’s “The Dukes of Hazzard.” The baddest of the early Chargers was the R/T, with its standard 440 Magnum under the hood churning out a solid 375 horsepower. Its top available engine, however, the all-conquering 426 Hemi cranked out an astounding 425 horses, although the engine alone weighed nearly half a ton.
There were two different 383 motors available in ’69: 2-barrel and 4-barrel. The 2-barrel motor was rated at 290 hp. The four barrel motor was rated at 330 hp and was identified by the “pie tin” on the air cleaner as “383 / FOUR BARREL”. The 330-hp engine was unique to the Charger model in 1969. While this engine was available with an un-silenced air cleaner option, it differed internally from the 335-hp 383 “Magnum”.
In 1969 the B-series engines were all painted turquoise with the exception of the 440 Magnum and 426 hemi which were painted Street Hemi Orange. The 335-hp 383 Magnum engines were also painted Street Hemi Orange. The 383 Magnum motor was used in Road Runners and Super Bee’s but did not appear in a Charger body until 1971. Differences between the 330-hp 383 4-barrel and 335-hp 383 magnum were mostly internal. Both versions used the Carter AVS carb and the larger exhaust manifolds from the 440 magnum engines, but the magnum had a windage tray in the oil pan. The cams shaft profiles were different as were the valve springs.
The 1969 model year brought few modifications. Exterior changes included a new grille with a center divider and new longitudinal taillights both designed by Harvey J. Winn. A new trim line called the Special Edition (SE) was added. This could be available by itself or packaged with the R/T, thus making an R/T-SE. The SE added leather inserts to the front seats only, chrome rocker moldings, a wood grain steering wheel and wood grain inserts on the instrument panel.
A sunroof was added to the option list as well, and saw only 260 sold installations. The bumble bee stripes returned as well, but were changed slightly. Instead of four stripes it now featured one huge stripe framed by two smaller stripes. In the middle of the stripe an R/T cutout was placed. If the stripe was deleted, a metal R/T emblem was placed where the R/T cutout was. Total production was around 89,199 units.