One of the most popular Mopar platforms ever, the 1970-74 Dodge Challengers (and their E-body brethren, the Plymouth Barracuda) represent the tail end of the Muscle Car Era and remain a favorite of muscle car enthusiasts everywhere.

Despite earning a “sad face grille” nickname from 1972-74 because of the shape of the nose, in our experience, these classics are likely to make people happy.

The purpose of this particular edition of Ride Guides is to help you identify which year of E-Body Dodge Challenger you’re looking at when you spot them in parking lots or out on the roads, though it gets trickier between 1973 and 1974 when there were no exterior design changes from one year to the next.

The primary difference between the 1973 and 1974 was the way the lap and shoulder safety belts operated, including the introduction of an inertia reel and a federally mandated seatbelt ignition interlock which kept the car from starting if either the driver or front-seat passenger didn’t buckle up.

For the most part, model-year changes in the grilles and taillights will help you expertly identify which classic Challenger you’re seeing.

Author: Matt Griswold

After a 10-year newspaper journalism career, Matt Griswold spent another decade writing about the automotive aftermarket and motorsports. He was part of the original OnAllCylinders editorial team when it launched in 2012.