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 races.

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.