Dodge Challenger

Although the Dodge Challenger was among the last pony car brands presented, it had something special in the engine. Actually, the correct term would be engines, because of the wide array of powertrain options, from the small 225-cubic-inch to the respectable 426 Hemi.

The Dodge Challenger was officially introduced in 1969. The car had a long-hood platform and a two-inches longer wheelbase to create additional impression of space.

Dodge Challenger was originally offered as a two-door hardtop or convertible. Driveline choices for engines included Chrysler's TorqueFlite automatic transmission and a three- or four-speed manual. Some Challengers had the option of a heavy-duty Dana 60 differential equipped with limited-slip differential.

It was a genuine treat for car lovers, as almost everything on the car could be customized with ease. Color alternatives included all regular Dodge options that were highlighted with bumblebee stripes. Twin-scooped hoods, shaker hoods and rear deck wings could also be upgraded.

With Dodge being company renown for speed, Challenger went racing in its first year of production. As an interesting fact, the street edition was one of the first models which offered different size tires in the front and back. In 1970, a bit over 83,000 Dodge Challengers were sold in total. The overall success was a result from the intelligent marketing campaign, being simultaneously advertised to the general population and starring in several blockbuster movies of the time.

It is most famous for the role in a high-speed pursuit movie Vanishing Point, which became a cult favorite with muscle car fans. The following year, Dodge designers made subtle styling changes with modern modifications to the tail lamps and grille.

Two distinct lights and trademark Challenger grille painted silver on standard models were enough to keep the momentum. A wide range of trim levels, exterior colors and striping options made the Dodge Challenger easy for customers to create a special car. An additional coupe model with fixed quarter windows was added to the usual Dodge lineup.

When Environmental Protection Agency set new higher emission standards, the model had to incorporate powertrain changes. Some options were removed, while others lowered the compression ratio to achieve improved emissions. Even though Dodge Challenger lasted only five years, it became one of the most popular muscle cars in automobile history. Today, there is a large market for rare and restored models which can be sold for six-figure prices with ease.

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