History of the Dodge Charger

History of the Dodge Charger

The Charger's history is one that continues to improve over the years, with the most recent model showcasing all the advancements that have pushed the Dodge name to the top of the industry. In this fashion, the Charger has earned a place in the headlines once again with thanks to the introduction of the much-anticipated SRT Hellcat trim level.

If you haven't heard or seen one of these models yet, consider what you might be able to accomplish with a 6.2-litre Supercharged HEMI Hellcat V8 engine. Now, that name alone should send a shiver of anticipation up your spine, but just you wait, because the Charger enables you to access a whopping 707 horsepower.

Yes.

707 horsepower.

Now that you know what's on the table today, let's step back in the lineup to a time when the Charger was just starting off its life and setting down the standards that it would have to continuously exceed. The year, 1964, the Charger, based on the Polara equipped with a powerful 426 Wedge engine.

Stepping into fill the missing gap in Chrysler's lineup where the Ford Mustangs and Ford Thunderbirds had taken up a leading position. Now, as with many prototypes, the original Charger was slightly altered by the time it launched 1966. With a chassis designed with front-end sheet-metal form with the Dodge Coronet, but the interior was where the Charger really stood out - colourful, comfortable, and crafted carefully to offer ergonomic features that the competition could not boast.

This Leader of the Dodge Rebellion, as it was sometimes called, stretched its legs on television during the 1966 Rose Bowl.

The development process began with an executive order to develop a fastback version of the pre-existing Coronet, with the intention of building a unibody car with torsion bars as springing mediums, solid rear axle on semielliptical leaf springs - prior to this Charger very little of this technology was readily available and presented a huge leap forward for Dodge overall.

The launch model Charger came equipped with the 426 HEMI V8 and went on to win 18 awards in the NASCAR Grand National season.

Selling just 37,344 during the first year, with only 468 models coming with the HEMI engine option, it wasn't exactly the exciting mode that Dodge had hoped it would be. But then, in 1968 they revealed a second generation - and this changed everything.

In fact, the second generation Charger became so famous that today there are many who are mistakenly convinced that it was the first representative of the line.

Dodge Charger in Dukes of Hazzard and Bullit

Alright, you'd have to be upward in years to remember the original television show, but some of you might remember the Dukes of Hazzard movie, with that iconic hay-barrel leaping Charger named the "General Lee" running amuck. A testament to how popular the vehicle was, many remember General Lee more than they do the show itself. Another popular appearance of the Charger was alongside Steve McQueen in the movie Bullitt.

One of the top models ever produced by the Chrysler Corporation, the Charger continued to sell exceptionally well, eventually being replaced in 1971 by a third generation. While generally regarded as less impressive in terms of features than its predecessor, the third generation went on to sell acceptably during its 3 year run, itself being shelved for the fourth generation in 1975.

Sadly, the fourth generation was received poorly by critics and those who had been expecting improvements on the lacklustre third generation. It is recognized for the fact that domestic sales were so poor it was one the first market where they went, effectively, extinct.

In fact, it also plays to their scarcity, with fewer models on the road today of the fourth generation than the first.

Enter car maverick Carroll Shelby and his modified Dodge Charger, sold as the Shelby Charger. Shelby could not have come at a better time, changing the Charger to emphasis its speed, style, and suspension features. Improvements on the horsepower, the manual transmission, as well as shortened the springs and added special wheels to make the car more effective on the road, has earned the Shelby Charger a place in the collector's garage.

This was not enough, though.

2015 Dodge Charger

For almost 2 decades the Charger name lay dormant, until it was willed back to life in the form of a sedan in 2006. Considered an entirely new branding effort, rather than carrying on as a sixth generation, Dodge has effectively started anew. The second generation coming into view in 2011. Made available with various packages were encouraging, as well as a look that stood out in the crowd, offering drivers with a need for speed to be accommodated on a much more stylish mode. As pictured above, the line is still strong with the 2015 model. Find out more today at Marine Chrysler - your dealership for all Chrysler products, vehicles, and a superior service sure to impress!

Further Reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Charger

http://www.edmunds.com/dodge/charger/history/

http://www.allpar.com/model/charger.html

http://www.amcarguide.com/muscle-cars/dodge-charger-history-1964-2009/