A large variation of muscle cars have been produced over the years, but one of the more popular has been the Dodge Challenger. The Dodge company is under the ownership of Chrysler, a manufacturer who has worked hard to build the best products.
The Dodge Challenger up to now has come in three versions – those aptly being the first, second and 3rd generations. The first vehicle came on sale way back in 1970 and with the newest 3rd generation version they remain selling strongly even now.
In The Beginning, 1970 to 1974,First Generation
At the start was very clear which vehicles would be the biggest competitors for the Dodge Challenger. The development of the Challenger was clearly thought to be Dodges answer to the competition from the very popular Ford Mustang and also the Camaro, a pair of vehicles that had made their mark on the muscle car market during the 1960s, with the Mustang mostly credited for inventing the muscle cargenre.
Dodge got to work building the most perfect muscle car they could. Whilst it would be compared with the popular Mustang, it featured a greatly shorter wheelbase. Dodge certainly attempted to do things their own way, producing a vehicle that was a lot more luxurious, giving drivers much more creature comforts.
Thanks to previous experience designing the Charger in 1966, Dodge took for granted Carl Cameron would step up to the task of styling the Challenger. Without doubt, he pulled of an extremely nice job.
With the luxuries that Dodge incorporated, with some good branding all worked great for Chrysler. At the end of 1974, Chrysler had shifted over 165000 Dodge Challengers.
Second Time Around, 1978 to 1983, Second Generation
Dodge obviously realized quickly that they had struck gold and with good reason did not want give that up. The design was good, the performance was great and pretty quick they had a massive following. They waited 4 years and then produced the second generation car ready for 1978.
The main element that was clear here was that the new Dodge Challenger was essentially the same as the Plymouth Sapporo. With that said, Dodge made certain they made this car their own way by improving the interior and exterior styling to distinguish it somewhat as more indulgent and ensure that it had a much sportier look in comparison.
Whilst Performance was an area in which the first generation Challenger did not go begging, the second generation Challenger did shock one or two folks. It was sporting a 2.6L engine, which seemed fairly tiny. With that said, it only had 4 cylinders, meaning the engine, given its size and weight, was more than adequate for the job and it was long before it was well known for being a great track platform.
Retro Becomes Fashionable, 2008, Third Generation
Obviously modern car companies attempt to keep with new trends, and Chrysler knew that they had a great opportunity with the retro markets taking off, so of course they did not wish to stop back in the 1980s. 2008 saw the release of their third generation Challenger to many highly anticipating Dodge fans.
With the third generation the Dodge Challenger continues its success, and most likely will continue to do so for a long time.