Dodge Challenger Through the Years
The Dodge Challenger is arguably one of the most successful sports cars of all time, and definitely the crown jewel of the Dodge brand itself. Initially introduced as a pony car in 1969, the Dodge Challenger rose to the occasion and became a full-bodied muscle car in no time. Although generations of the vehicle have come and gone, the 2020 Dodge Challenger takes its design cues from the original 1969 model. In the last five years alone, Dodge has sold over 60,000 Challenger vehicles per year, a testament to the lasting impact of not only the vehicle, but of the sports cars segment as a whole. Originally designed and produced as Dodge’s answer to the Chevy Camaro and Ford Mustang, let’s see how much the Dodge Challenger has changed since its debut.
As we mentioned earlier, when the Dodge Challenger was introduced in 1969, it was directly described as the brand’s answer to both the Mustang and the Camaro. The Challenger offered buyers a large number of customizable options, plenty of trims, and various engines to choose from. By 1970, the model was available as a convertible or a hardtop coupe. Car historian Robert Genat referred to it at the time as the “most potent pony car ever.”
1970 also marked another special occasion for the Challenger with a one-year-only model released for the racing circuit. Called the Dodge Challenger T/A (Trans Am), the model was designed to race in the SCCA’s American Sedan Championship Trans Am. The vehicle featured an aluminum intake manifold, a trio of two-barrel carburetors, and a 340 Six Pack engine rated at 290 horsepower. Only 2,399 units were ever made. As the market for muscle and pony cars dwindled during the oil crisis of the 1970s, Dodge phased out the Challenger and replaced it with the Dodge Colt Challenger — a sedan with a lot less bite.
By 1981, Dodge completely redesigned what was left of the Colt Challenger. The Colt Challenger was now wider, taller, and longer, with the 1981-1983 body offering more sound-proofing, a larger trunk, and more foot and headroom. But by 1984 this vehicle too was eventually replaced by other milquetoast models and the Challenger name was forgotten. What followed was a 25-year absence, until in 2006 when Dodge unveiled the all-new Challenger Concept at the North American International Auto Show. Prior to this, Dodge had teased spy photos of the vehicle in late 2005. The concept was a preview of the third- and current-generation Challenger that began production in 2008. The model still has its retro design and takes many of its styling cues from the original 1970 Challenger model.
The rest, as they say, is history! Visit us at Cape Coral Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and check out our Dodge Challenger inventory. Whether you’re looking for an entry-level Challenger SXT or something with a little more bite, like a Hellcat-powered Challenger, Cape Coral Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram has got your back. Schedule your test drive today! Follow Cape Coral Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram on social media for the latest Dodge news and offers!
Photo Source/Copyright: Hemmings