The Garage Cars 101

What Is a Scat Pack?

Dodge might have the best trim names of any manufacturer, but where does a moniker like Scat Pack come from? Of course, it's rooted in drag racing.
Mike Spinelli

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Long before it introduced its clowder of hellacious big cats, Dodge had the Scat Pack. Originally used in the ’60s and ’70s to group-tag a collection of rowdy muscle cars, the Scat Pack moniker has since been revived as a label for trims and options packages for the Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger.

With Dodge sunsetting the Hemi V8 engines in L series cars that the Scat Pack ran exclusively in this latest batch, collector value will undoubtedly be on an upward trend. And if Dodge ends the badge along with the Hemi, its relevance will fade, and knowledge as to what the name means and where it came from will dwindle along with it. 

You don’t have to be a muscle car collector to find that bit of information valuable, though. Many car nerds are curious to know exactly where the name of the cars that occupy the space between R/T’s and Hellcats comes from. The answer isn’t as complicated as it might come across. It is, however, rather fitting considering Dodge’s long and rich history of using wild marketing tactics to help push its absurd performance vehicles. 

What Is a Scat Pack?

The Scat Pack campaign was crafted in 1967 for Dodge’s 1968 lineup. After years in the archives, the Scat Pack returned as an option for the 2014 Dodge Challenger and Charger.

The Dodge Scat Pack bee features tires, engine parts, a helmet, and goggles as part of the design.
This bee became the Scat Pack’s mascot. , FCA

The original Scat Pack consisted of the Charger R/T, Coronet R/T, Dart GTS, and later the Coronet-based Super Bee. With the help of the Ross Roy advertising agency, the name was created as a marketing term and campaign to tout the power and performance credentials of Dodge’s ferocious crew. Entry to the Scat Pack was approved only for cars that could run the standing-start quarter-mile in the 14-second bracket.

The Scat Pack name is allegedly a play on the famed Rat Pack and aimed to foster a sense of community and loyalty. “Scat” is a verb defined as “to go away quickly” or “to move fast.” It has a second definition, too, but we won’t go into that. 

Chrysler went all-out with the fixings, too. The company created a logo that consisted of a little racing bee with attached wheels, engine parts, a helmet, and goggles. It sounds cute, but this was a serious stamp of coolness on these cars and was later used on pins, patches, and jackets. Many of the advertisements also included the taglines, “Run with the Pack” or “the cars with the Bumblebee stripes,” referring to a stripe graphic worn around the rears of the vehicles, yet another unifier of the Scat Pack.

As part of the campaign, Chrysler also created the “Scat Pack Club,” which directly connected owners and fans, a group that was lovingly referred to as “The Hive.” Members were treated to a newsletter that detailed recent racing activities, featured tuning tips, and provided other fun information for muscle-crazed gearheads to munch on. Chrysler used the Scat Pack marketing campaign through 1971.

The Scat Pack name returned in a debut at the 2013 SEMA show. Three stages of Scat Pack tunes were introduced for the 2014 Dart, Challenger, and Charger, and for 2015, the Scat Pack name became a full-on trim. Through the final year for Hemi L-series cars, 2023, it remained a regular option powered by the 392 Hemi, breaching the gap between the 5.7-liter Hemi-powered R/T and the 700+ horsepower Hellcat. 

The Future of Scat Pack Models

Dodge’s Scat Pack is a trim found on classic and modern muscle cars and represents different things based on the year of the car you’re looking at. For the older 1968-1971 vehicles, it was a marketing campaign that encompassed all of Dodge’s top muscle cars. When it was revived for the 2014 model year, the name was repurposed for a trim offering that sits between R/T and Hellcat Chargers and Challengers. 

At this point in time, it’s unclear if the Scat Pack trim level will carry on without the Hemi. However, seeing as it’s a staple of Dodge performance that’s been used since the height of the horsepower wars of the 1960s, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see it return for future high-performance muscle cars. 

The rear end of a red 2021 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack with.
The Scat Pack remains an option on the Dodge Challenger., FCA

Scat Pack FAQs

Q: What’s The Difference Between SRT And Scat Pack? 

A. SRT (Street and Racing Technology) is an internal tuning division within Dodge, a public performance brand, and a name that denotes various performance models within the Doge lineup. SRT represents several levels of performance of the Charger, Challenger, and Durango and offers the bat-poop crazy Hellcat models. Scat Pack, however, is essentially a performance trim for the Charger and Challenger.

Q: Scat Pack Or Hellcat: Which Charger Is Better? 

A. “Better” is subjective, depending on budget, customer desires, and plans for the vehicle. However, if you’re looking for pure horsepower and have some money, the Hellcat and Hellcat Redeye models are the way to go.

Q: Is the Scat Pack Supercharged? 

A. No, the Challenger R/T Scat Pack features a naturally aspirated 6.4-liter V8 that makes 485 horsepower at 6,100 rpm. The Challenger SRT Hellcat, however, features a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that makes 717 horsepower. The Charger is similarly equipped, but Dodge rates the Charger Hellcat at 707 horsepower.

A white 2021 Dodge Charger Widebody Scat Pack rests next to a jet fighter.
A widebody kit makes the Dodge Charger Scat Pack even more aggressive., FCA

Scat Pack Fun Facts

  • In 1969, Dodge presented the Super Bee Scat Pak Special package on vehicles with the 383 Magnum engine. That’s not a typo, the name was actually changed to Pak, though it’s unclear why. It included a Ramcharger air hood with unique paint and chrome tie-down pins, raised white letter or redline tires, and an optional vinyl roof.
  • When the Scat Pack models first hit the auto show circuit, the displays were loud and proud with cars seen in HEMI Orange, Top Banana, Go Mango, and Plum Crazy, which helped create excitement around the new brand. The early displays also featured Dodge Safety Sheriff Joe Higgins and his signature warning, “Y’all drive careful now, hear?” The 1969 Chicago Auto Show even had cutouts of his face that fans could wear.
  • Several other vehicles were added to the Scat Pack at a later time, including the 340 Swinger and Charger 500 in 1969, the Demon 340 in 1971, the E-body Challenger R/T and T/A, and the Charger Daytona.
  • The Super Bee was a response to the popular Plymouth Road Runner and got its logo from the Scat Pack bee mascot.
  • Referred to as the “premier ambassador to the Challenger Nation,” popular Dodge dealer and salesman Bob Frederick formed The Frederick Scat Pack after the Challenger relaunched for 2008.

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