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Richard Sias’s 1968 Dodge Charger Design Both Defined and Ended His Career at Chrysler

Posted May 14, 2019 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: charger classic auto design dodge

Richard Sias should, by many of his contemporaries’ accounts, be as widely hailed an automotive designer today as any of those contemporaries themselves. Instead, he exited the auto design world not long after getting bypassed for recognition for his work on the 1968 Dodge Charger, a design that has since become one of the most iconic of the muscle car era.

The design of the Coke-bottle Charger, Sias always maintained, wasn’t his alone, rather that of a team that he led. However, he didn’t come to lead that team by chance. As he told the Daily Inter Lake for a profile on him a few years ago, he grew up in Michigan the son of an engineer, “but my schoolwork was always full of drawings of cars and other junk” and an encounter with Harley Earl during a high-school trip to Detroit led him to eventually study at the Art Center School in Pasadena Los Angeles, California.

In 1963, straight out of school, he landed a job at General Motors, his head full of futuristic and advanced designs.

So why did this engineer design one of history's most iconic classic cars for Chrysler, and then leave?

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Re: Richard Sias’s 1968 Dodge Charger Design Both Defined and Ended His Career at Chrysler

05/14/2019 12:41 PM

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Re: Richard Sias’s 1968 Dodge Charger Design Both Defined and Ended His Career at Chrysler

05/14/2019 1:19 PM

It definitely "sold" me...beautiful & muscular! I bought a new 1968 Charger 383 upon returning to States from military service in SE Asia.

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Re: Richard Sias’s 1968 Dodge Charger Design Both Defined and Ended His Career at Chrysler

05/15/2019 1:09 AM

I always thought that these cars were kind of odd. Not very aerodynamic, kinda like pushing a barn door into the wind. Thank goodness for the 1972 Arab oil embargo that put an end to that nonsense.

The real cutting edge in performance styling and engineering during that time period was being put forth by the Italians.

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Re: Richard Sias’s 1968 Dodge Charger Design Both Defined and Ended His Career at Chrysler

05/15/2019 1:26 PM

re: "...kinda like pushing a barn door into the wind."

NASCAR drivers thought the same thing, hence the subsequent Charger 500 and "winged" models.

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Re: Richard Sias’s 1968 Dodge Charger Design Both Defined and Ended His Career at Chrysler

05/15/2019 2:31 PM

" Say you'll be there "

The Spice Girls

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