Racing stripes are usually a “must have” for owners of muscle cars. These stripes, originally called “go faster stripes,” first appeared on Cunningham race cars in 1951. Two parallel blue stripes ran from front to rear in the center of the white car body. Their main purpose was to help spectators identify the cars during races. They evolved from the traditional FIA registered U.S. Racing color of a white body and blue chassis, which dated from when racing cars had the chassis exposed. The two blue stripes were a symbolic echo of the chassis colors. In 1964, the Shelby Daytona Coupe used the converse- blue with white stripes- and would compete in the 1964 and 1965 24-hours of LeMans.
Racing stripes, usually black or white in color, were first seen on American muscle cars in 1965, with the Ford Mustang GT350. Soon an endless variety of hood, rear quarter and body side stripes became standard on these cars, accenting hood scoops, spoilers, hood pins, white-lettered Polyglas tires and high impact colors.
Mopar, Ford, GM and AMC all produced vinyl stripes from mild to wild. Three of the most attention-grabbing ones were on the 1969 Rambler Scrambler, the 1971 ‘Cuda and the 1976 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. (Note- As an interesting aside, the ‘Cuda billboard stripe resulted from the frustration of a Mopar designer. After submitting several rejected designs to replace the “hockey stick” decal from the 1970 ‘Cuda, he came up with the biggest and most outrageous design that he could think of to spite his bosses. To his surprise, upper management loved it! Today, ‘Cudas having the rare billboard engine stripe are prized by collectors).
Car owners, today, can also purchase any type of modern or retro vinyl decals, from pinstripes to strobes, from after-market suppliers. You can truly make your Challenger look unique and stand out from the crowd. It’s great to be part of the “new golden age” of muscle cars!
Here are additional photos representing the amazing variety of stripes offered by automakers from 1968 to 1976. Some included engine and model call-outs, as well as cartoon images (e.g., Mopar had the road runner, super bee, duster and demon). Also shown, are the new stripes and images (e.g., hellcat and demon) that are currently offered on modern-day Challengers. (Note- The dual “carbon fiber” vinyl decal stripes on the 2008 and 2009 Challenger SRT hoods were supposed to mimic the actual unpainted carbon fiber on the 2006 Challenger concept car).
American Motors (AMC)
Dodge (Modern Challengers)