By 1971, Chrysler's muscle cars had achieved their zenith in design and outrageousness. This was the last year of all-out performance cars before insurance companies and enviornmental groups started to squash the fun.
The Dodge Charger entered 1971 with a totally new design. Following Chrysler's trend of "fuselage styling" which featured rounded body shapes and large bodyside panels where the roof flows right from the quarter panels and bumpers that surrounded the grille and tailights. The Charger continued some of the lines from the previous generation, especially the feature lines from the front and rear fenders that pass each other in the doors.
The stylists for the Charger really emphasized the long hood, short deck styling. The hood and front fenders seemed to stretch on forever. The high beltline and relatively short side windows give the car a low and long look. Especially on cars with full black vinyl tops. The car can be hard to see out of to the rear.
The high performance cars were even more outrageous. The R/T was joined by the Super Bee this year. Previously, the Super Bee had been part of the Coronet line but since all two-door b-body models were Chargers this year, the Super Bee became a Charger, the Coronet R/T was dropped. Both the Charger R/T and the Super Bee came with a special hood with a large bulge in the center. The standard Super Bee hood had a plastic insert with ribs on top and engine callouts in recesses on each side of the insert. The standard R/T hood had large metal louvers that stood up above the hood. The engine callouts were on the sides of the bulge. Both models had an optional Ramcharger fresh-air hood which featured a popup air scoop with a menacing Scat-Pack Bee on each side that was visible when the scoop was open, the ultimate way to intimidate your opponents in stoplight drags. At the rear of most cars were large wild exhaust tips that had slots around them with an orange painted insert.
Both models featured wild stripe treatments as standard equipment. Stripes ran across the back of the hood and then flowed down the sides of the car all the way to the rear. The bulge on the hood also had a large black decal that went from the front of the hood almost to the rear. The Super Bee featured a round decal with Super Bee lettering and a large reflective bee. The R/T featured large cutout letters. The R/T went even further with special doors with two large verticle indentations that reminds one of shark gills. Each indentation had a vertical black decal in it. Of course buyers could opt to get the car without stripes for the more subtle look, if these wild cars could ever be considered subtle.
Various accessories were available to add even more excitement to the exterior of the car. Front and rear spoilers, rear window louvers, hood pins, rallye wheels, sport mirrors, vinyl tops, hidden headlights, headlight washers, and color keyed bumpers, to name a few.