Dodge Challenger Pressures
|Challenger w 225 & 318 engines
|Challenger w 340 V8 engines
History of the Dodge Challenger
The Dodge Challenger began life as a trim package for the Dodge Coronet called the Dodge Silver Challenger, a silver-painted, 3.8L straight-six equipped, value option for dodge customers, offering the most features and power for the money.
In Autumn 1969 for the 1970 model year, the Dodge Challenger was one of two pony cars built on the Chrysler E-body platform, the other being the Plymouth Barracuda, a waste of potential within the Chrysler brand as it was largely overshadowed by the success of the Ford Mustang. Dodge would retaliate in the market with arguably another one of the greatest muscle cars of all time, the Charger in 1966 which was a great success in the company with a fantastic hemi engine powering it to victory within Nascar and the sales department.
For a car that was not intended to be a successor to the Ford Mustang the Charger performed remarkably, this led to Chrysler Dodge making the Charger with performance as the utmost priority in its design features. The result was a longer wheelbase, luxury interior, and virtually every engine that Chrysler had as an available option. The first model year challenger was available in two series: The Challenger or the Challenger R/T. These came in three models, two-door hardtop, Special-Edition two-door hardtop, or convertible.
The Challenger T/A was a racing homologation car for the SCAA (Sports Car Club of America) Trans American Sedan Championship, also known as the Trans Am. This was one of the first American muscle cars to fit different size tyres at the front and rear. Despite being a decent car in performance with a few podium finishes in the season, a lack of development budget and the short-lived engines led to Dodge leaving the series at the end of the season. Dodge Challengers were produced mainly in the US but a few were made for the Swiss and French markets through AMAG and Simca respectively. These models are very desirable due to the small numbers of production and the difference in specifications. The final number of Dodge Challengers produced comes at over 160000 in the first generation.
In 1978 Dodge brought the Challenger nameplate back for a rebadged variant of the Mitsubishi Galant Lambda coupe. This was sold through Dodge dealerships as a captive import as the Dodge Colt Challenger at first but this was dropped in favour of just being named the Dodge Challenger.
The Dodge Challenger was brought back in 2008 to critical acclaim, and a generation of chargers that has lasted 15 years and proves to still be successful, giving an incredible performance in each model, especially the Challenger Demon. The first-generation Challengers are remarkably collectable nowadays and certain models fetch a very high price among collectors and enthusiasts.