What is the Dodge Scat Pack?

The Dodge Scat Pack is one of today’s and history’s most exhilarating gang of muscle cars, but beyond that, what is it? What makes these cars stand out from the rest of the super-fast cars of history, or that are on the market today? 

To understand and answer these questions, we will have to dissect the history and mechanics of these adventurous cars and their components to find out why they became a symbol of the changing social structure of the 1960s and how they lasted the test of time.

The original Dodge Scat Pack was a collection of cars including the Coronet Super Bee, Dart GTS, and the Charger R/T. However, in today’s world, the Scat Pack is an edition that contains a collection of performance, style, technology, and comfort upgrades for the Dodge Charger and Challenger.

Aside from these performance upgrades, there is far more to the mystique held by Scat pack and why it commanded such a dedicated following in society.

The Dodge Scat Pack Members of Today

Now, let’s take a quick look at the members of The Dodge Scat Pack that speed around today and get under their hoods just a little bit.  

The Dodge Charger Scat Pack

For starters, the Dodge Charger Scat Pack model is fast. Really fast!

It can go one-quarter of a mile in a minimum of 12 seconds. Yeah, THAT fast.

Like the other one of the Scat Pack members, it packs a 6.4 liter Hemi V8 engine with 485 horsepower and is always ready to run. It has 475 pound-feet of torque power and a high-performance suspension system. 

The Dodge Charger Scat Pack has Brembo breaks for when you want to slow down, but why would you when you can go 0 to 60 in 4.3 seconds?

The Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 

The Dodge Challenger R/T has the same mechanics as the Charger but in a different body, which gives it an insanely incredible edge over the Charger.

The Challenger R/T is a two-door coupe inspired, making it smaller and more nimble than its cousin, the Charger. The Dodge Charger Scat Pack is much bigger and “bulkier” than the sleek Dodge Challenger R/T

The small yet strong Dodge Challenger R/T can go from 0 to 60 in just 3.8 seconds and travels the required Scat Pack quarter-mile in a blindingly fast  11.7 seconds.

The Dodge Challenger R/T can do this thanks to its insanely powerful 485 hp V8 engine with a standard, classic six-speed manual transmission.

In addition to these performance-related upgrades over their “regular” versions, the Scat Pack also includes additional upgrades to the exterior and interior to enhance the look and feel of these vehicles.

What Makes The Scat Pack So Intriguing?

Why these cars? What made them so special and cool that they got to have a club?

Aside from their obvious power, it has to do with the culture and the young people at the time of its origin. 

While young people were finally getting the autonomy to express themselves in the ways they wanted, there has to be a method of showing that expression.

Like with many other “clubs” and “gangs” run by companies, you could sign up to become a member of the Scat Pack Club and receive newsletters and other information.

You also got jacket patches, pins, a membership card, and other memorabilia that could be exchanged with others, but most importantly, you could wear them!

You could show people what you liked and how cool you were.

The memorabilia was not only a marketing and advertising tactic, but it was a way for young people to show off what they liked, it allowed them to express themselves and feel like they belonged to a group of like-minded people.

It became a community for many young people who felt lost, suppressed, and angsty.

By taking the choppy and changing tides of 1960s American culture and diving into them, Dodge created a lasting mark on the fabric of the automotive industry and, even more impressively, of the United States of America and the world. 

It takes a unique kind of marketing, branding, and relevance to stay popular for over 50 years, and somehow that is what the Dodge Scat Pack has managed to do.

And they show no signs of pumping the breaks any time soon. 

The mechanics leverage the Hemi V8 engines to hit speeds like that!

The Original Scat Pack

The original members of the 1968 Dodge Scat Pack were the Coronet Super Bee, (which became the symbol of the Scat Pack members,) the Dart GTS, and the Charger R/T. 

All of these beautiful cars had a 440 cubic inch, 375 horsepower V8 engine. 

The incredibly Charger R/T had the 426 cubic inch Hemi that packed a whopping 425 horsepower. This same engine would allow the Dodge Challenger to join the Scat Pack in 1970.

The option to put the 426 cubic inch Hemi V8 engine into the other cars was available but was an extra package. 

As time would allow, the Scat Pack became more a customizable package, with special equipment bundles and so on. Most recently, these cars have gotten upgraded to modern commodities like touchscreens, GPS, and such.

But over the decades, the Scat Pack’s ability to zip, zoom, and speed has not decreased.

They have only gotten faster, sleeker, and more competitive with the changing market.

History of the name “Scat Pack”

To fully grasp the cultural and technological impact the Dodge Scat Pack had (and still has) on America, it is essential that we look at the roots of these cars, and why they came to be an exclusive family. 

It was founded by Dodge in 1968 as a tool for blanket marketing their best cars, but it quickly became more than just that!

Let’s start with the name of this gang of speedy, lavish cars: the Dodge Scat Pack.

Sound like something you have heard of? 

Probably because of the famous inspiration for the name. More famous than the Scat Pack!

The name choice was completely influenced by the Rat Pack of the 1960s — Sammy Davis Jr, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, and Pete Lawford. They were the sweet singing, party boys of the 50s and 60s, but as the generations began to change, so did popular music.

Instead of getting inspiration from the out-dated, jazzy pop tunes that the Rat Pack and other crooners were producing, Dodge was immersing itself into the lifestyle and extravagance of Rock and Roll that the young people were following, and applying it to their marketing tactics.

“Scat” replaced “Rat” to create an analogy for shooing the rats out, implying that the days of the crooners were over, the days of old people and controlling parents were ending, and the time of fast cars, loud music and freedom of expression were quickly arriving.

So the name Scat Pack was created, and Dodge began to advertise their fastest muscle cars under this title. To be in this exclusive car club, the vehicle has to be able to pass a quarter of a mile in under 14.99 seconds.

The Scat Pack was formed as a way to market all their fastest and most amazing cars under one title, giving both the illusion of exclusivity and set them apart from other muscle car manufacturers since theirs had a name and a membership club.

But it was also a way to create a family of luxury race cars and market them towards the thrill-seeking, rocking n’ rolling youth of the late 1960s and early 70s.

Chuck Berry in the 50s sparked the rock and roll tidal wave which was ridden by legends such as The Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the Who, the Byrds, and Buffalo Springfield, to name a few.

In the late 1960s, rock and roll culture was becoming popular alongside the music, and the “live fast, die young” ideology was popularized by music, media, art, culture, and of course, fast cars.

That is were the Scat Pack came into play. Parents and older generations followed the Rat Pack but teens and young adults were following the Scat Pack. It helped to separate the generations and create autonomy in young people.

The same “live fast” mentality can be seen in the young people of today and the popular music that still glorifies it. However, over time, it has become inter-generational.

Songs about fast cars and rich, luxury lives have become a staple in American music since the time the Scat Pack came out, and show no signs of leaving our radios.

But as music and pop culture changed (and quickly,) so did the conservative mindset of many young Americans, and young people began to revolt and fight against the society that was repressing them. 

A social revolution not only began but exploded across all races, genders, and classes.

And “fighting the machine” was so much cooler and easier to do when you were sitting in a fast car that would scare off your old neighbors.

The Scat Pack embraced the changing tide of society, and boy did it pay off.

Decades later, people of all ages accept and agree that the Scat Pack was, and still is, a pinnacle of sport, race and muscle cars in history.

The simple fact that the Scat Pack still exists and still excites the masses to this day, its a testament to its lasting social and cultural impact on American lives.