Review: DM 1967 Dodge Charger LE 5000

Photographed and Reviewed by Peter Brown

"GO!" That's what the copy read on the ad campaign for this car, and go it did. The fastback body style implied speed, and the hemi engine delivered. Reproduced here in silver, the color used in the ads, this model really captures the look and feel of this unusual car. Normally I'm not a big fan of muscle cars, but when I saw this diecast model I just had to have one. Now I'll grant you it doesn't have scoops, spoilers or racing stripes, but it does have that big 426 cubic inch hemi engine.

Obviously, the styling was a departure from the norm, and a bold one at that. I love the simple, clean lines of the front end and grill treatment, with its hidden headlights. These rotate into or out of sight with the help of a small tool that DM provides with the model. The delicate radiator-fin grill is masterfully replicated in all its intricacy with blackout applied to great effect.

Also, note the tiny but legible Dodge emblem (in red) in the center of the grill, and embossed into the leading edge of the chrome trim along the fender tops. A tiny little detail you'd never have missed, but DM put it there anyway. Nice. Likewise, the visible bolt heads on the bumpers and the license plates make for a very lifelike presentation.

The signature silver paint almost disguises the fact that this car is loaded with chrome. From the rocker panels, mag wheels, and wheel well openings, to the tops of the fenders from one end of the car to the other, it also surrounds the window openings, the grill, and the taillights. Against this sea of silver and chrome, the dark red, almost cranberry-colored interior and the period-perfect red line tires really stand out.

Under the hood, the power plant is replicated in typical DM fashion, with all the plumbing and wiring in evidence. Scissor hinges with tension springs and miniature labels contribute to the illusion that you're looking at the real thing, as does the radiator hose with its fine printing and real metal clamps at either end. Wow.

Open the door to reveal one of the nicest interiors I've seen in this scale. You can even read the words "brake release" printed on the, well, you guessed it. The emergency/parking brake pedal and its release lever, and the clutch, brake and gas pedals all look so real, and is that a high beam switch I see on the floor to the right of the parking brake pedal? Equally convincing are the interior door panels, complete with armrests, brushed metal inserts, chrome trim, separately cast cranks and pulls, and carpeting to match the floor. On the driver's side there's even an inside control for adjusting the side view mirror.

The dashboard, console and seats are also beautifully replicated. Check out the stick shift and boot, the folding armrest, and the courtesy lights on the console. Also note those terrific seats with their tiny seatbelts and latches, and the chrome door sill moldings.

Viewing the interior from another angle, you can really begin to appreciate the detail that went into making the seats so real. The deep pleats, the inset emblems, and the folding seatbacks, front and rear, make for added authenticity and fun for the collector.

Here we see the back seats and armrest folded forward to form a flat floor in the fully carpeted rear passenger compartment. Quite a feat of miniature engineering, and part of what makes this model special.

Peering in through the large rear window, below, we again see the rear seats and armrest in their up position, and note the chrome-trimmed carpet on the seatbacks. Also note the slight kick-up at either side of the rear window and surrounding sheet metal. This little styling element is subtle yet very important, and I'm glad to see DM got it right.

Here's the same shot showing the rear seats and armrest folded flat. Note all the fine chrome edging on the rear compartment carpeting.

Open the trunk lid with its realistically scaled hinges and jacking instruction label to reveal the rubber gasket that seals the trunk when closed, and the correctly patterned floor mat. Don't overlook the opening gas filler door, the separately cast trunk lock, and the chromed tips of the dual exhausts.

Lifting the mat we find a spare tire under the floor, below its flat pressboard cover—another nice touch. There's even a simulated wing nut to hold the spare in place, picked out in silver paint.

In profile, you really get a feel for the car's streamlined silhouette. Notice the detail on the vent windows, and all the little bits of applied chrome and badges. On the sail panels there's the word Charger in photo-etched (P-E) script, along with a "Forward Look" badge comprised of two arrows in black, red, and chrome (see inset below). Then on the trailing edge of the front fenders there's a "426 Hemi" badge, and on the passenger's side only, a small dodge pentagon just above the rocker panel molding. Did I mention the separate P-E letters spelling out D O D G E on the leading edge of the hood?

I think I like the rear three-quarter view best.

From the rear, the car is quite unique, and the full-width taillights are a styling cue I have always loved. The chrome edges and the word Charger picked out in individual silver letters are the finishing touches. Lastly, there's the big Dodge emblem on the trunk lid, separately cast in chrome with red and black printing.

In this last shot, I wanted to convey the sportiness and flair of the car by shooting from a low angle and tilting the camera. For me, this is the most dramatic shot, and captures the true essence of the car.

The '67 Dodge Charger should have been a five star model. From the great choice of subject to the wealth of operating parts and details, it really shines. Even if you don't collect muscle, this is one model that should be in your collection. In this writer's opinion, it is an iconic sixties design, and one of DM's best efforts. Unfortunately it has one issue that knocks it down to 4.5 stars for me. When the doors were painted they must have been at a different angle than the body, in relation to the paint sprayer. This is evident in the firsst two shots where you can see a slight difference in the shade of silver. The color is actually the same, but due to the reflective qualities of metallic paint, it looks ever so slightly different at different angles. This seems to have been a problem with the entire production run, but it's slight enough that I can live with it. The '67 Charger is available directly from the mint for $149 plus shipping.