According to director Richard Sarafian, it was studio executive Richard Zanuck who came up with the idea of using the new 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T for Vanishing Point. He wanted to do Chrysler a favor for their long-time practice of providing 20th Century Fox with cars on a rental basis for only a dollar a day. Many of the other cars featured in the film are also Chrysler products. Stunt Coordinator Carey Loftin said he requested the Dodge Challenger because of the "quality of the torsion bar suspension and for its horsepower" and felt that it was "a real sturdy, good running car."
Five Alpine White Dodge Challenger R/Ts were lent to the production by Chrysler for promotional consideration and were returned upon completion of filming. Four cars had 440 engines equipped with four-speeds; the fifth car was a 383 with automatic. No special equipment was added or modifications made to the cars, except for heavier-duty shock absorbers for the car that jumped over No Name Creek.
The Challengers were prepared and maintained for the movie by Max Balchowsky, who also prepared the Mustangs and Chargers for Bullitt (1968). The cars performed to Loftin's satisfaction, although dust came to be a problem. None of the engines were blown. Loftin remembers that parts were taken out of one car to repair another because they "really ruined a couple of those cars" while jumping ramps between highways and over creeks.