History of the Dodge Charger
Chrysler has always been an innovative company
when it comes to design and good-looking cars. In 2006, Dodge
decided to bring back the once popular Charger. This muscle car has
a powerful look and for the Dodge Charger lovers, this was a great
deal. The last generation of chargers ended with the fifth
generation on 1987. Throughout the years, consumers who care for the
model had a love-hate relationship with some of the redesigned
models that did not perform quite as a muscle car. Some resented the
name Charger in some of the less powerful engine models, like the
1.6 L and 1.7 L engines of some 1983 models.
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The first generation of Chargers appeared in
1966, the time of real muscle cars. This was the time when the Ford
Mustang and the Barracuda where very popular with young people and
muscle cars where an extension of you. Chrysler introduces the Dodge
Charger to compete with Ford, although it already had its Barracuda.
However, it needed a muscle car that would appeal to the young
crowds. What Chrysler decided to do was to build a faster version of
the Coronet model, and change its looks. The few changes made for an
impressive muscle car. The engine was a 318 inch cubic (equivalent
to 5.2 L) V8 with a 230 horsepower. This model came in a three speed
manual transmission, but there was an automatic transmission option
as well. Other more powerful engines packages were made to please
consumers - a 5.9 l/ 265 hp, a 6.3 L/270 or 325 hp, a 7.2 L/365 hp,
and a 7.0 L/425 hp. This last one was the legend, although the
introduction of the Dodge Charger did not produce the results that
the company was expecting. The 1967 model did not change much from
the 1966. Only a few hemi engines were made.
The 1968 model in the second-generation appealed more to consumers
and it had a better look than the previous generation Charger. The
components and engines were kept the same; this time the company
focused on looks. The look was bold, sporty, menacing, and it was a
hit with consumers. Some options were offered, but it stayed
basically the same in engine performance. The 1969 model stayed
basically the same, but the front end was changed. A more luxurious
and less sporty SE model was added.
Aerodynamically, this did not help, and Dodge introduced the 500
model as a race car, and later the Charger Daytona. The changes were
designed to help with aerodynamics, which was necessary to win
The third generation of Chargers ran from 1971 to 1974. The good
impressive looks were improved. Some of the components and chassis
of the previous model were kept; however, there were some changes to
the wheelbase, it was reduced. Chargers appeared more compact, but
still offering power engine models and more base models; hardtops
were kept and the luxurious SE models were offered as well. These
cars also had to be in tune with the new emission regulations.
Throughout 1974, there were only a few cosmetic changes.
On the fourth generation (75-78), changes to the Dodge Charger
needed to be made. This was necessary due to a decrease in sales;
consumers were bored with the models. A longer model the Cordoba was
offered. It was an SE luxury model, with nothing sporty about it. In
1978, the Magnum was introduced and it was the end of the SE models.
The fourth generation was not popular with consumers.
The fifth generation during 1982-87 applied the name of Charger to
the 024 and Omni cars of the 1979 models. The look of these Omni
Charger models was not the proud look of a Charger. In 1983, Dodge
introduced the Shelby Charger, and this model got back the interest
of consumers. Some changes in appearance and redesigned occurred
through 1987. The Shelby Charger GLS was introduced in 1987. New
technology was applied to this model.
As Chargers became more compact, they lost their powerful muscle
machine look. This was the last generation of Chargers until it's
reborn in 2006. This model had mixed reactions by old time Charger
lovers, but many consumers were happy to see the Iconic car back.