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Dodge Challenger History

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Dodge Challenger History

Dodge Challenger History


The Dodge Challenger was introduced in 1970, toward the tail-end of the height of muscle-car popularity at that time. Dodge may have been late to the pony car party, but their time was well-spent – they made sure they got it right. Today the iconic car is more popular than ever, and car enthusiasts are known to drool over those rare early models.

Early Dodge Challenger History

1971 Dodge Challenger

1971 Dodge Challenger Photo: George

The 1970 Challenger featured over-sized engine bays meant a wider body, and the Challenger also featured a long hood and short rear deck, almost exaggerating the pony car style of the late 60s. By every account, the 1970 Challenger was a very good looking car. Unfortunately, by 1971, the muscle-car movement was fading. Combined with new emissions regulations and suffering engine output, sales began to dwindle through 1974, when the Challenger was finally discontinued.

Dodge revived the Challenger name in 1978, using it on a four-cylinder coupe which it imported from Mitsubishi. While it wasn’t really a good replacement for the Challenger of days past, it was a good fit for its segment, which was in high-demand. Through the next five years, the Challenger saw a few style updates, but never stellar sales, and the model died after 1983.

Recent Challenger History

In 2008, Dodge re-introduced the Challenger, brought back with its original style, featuring a similar four round headlights and a full-width horizontal taillight, stripgrille, beltline, roofline, and character line running along the profile.

2015 Dodge Challenger 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker

2015 Dodge Challenger 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker

Of course, the new generation Challenger might have been reminiscent of the 1970 version, but it now also comes with all the newest technology and safety features available. As consumer interest in classic cars and modern muscle cars continues to grow, the unique and aggressive Challenger promises to continue to deliver substantial sales.

Dodge Challenger Awards

In its relatively short life since being re-introduced to the market in 2008, the Challenger has received a long list of awards and recognition.

  • Best of Show- 2006 Challenger Concept-North America International Auto Show (Detroit) Concept
  • Best of Show – 2006 LA Auto Show
  • Best Concept Car (2006)- Autoweek
  • People’s Choice Award for 2006 (NAIAS)
  • 2008 Collectible Car of the Future- Friends of the National Automotive History Collection (NAHC)
  • Top Owner Satisfaction List for 2009 – Annual Auto Survey – Consumer Reports
  • 10 Best Looking Cars for 2009 –
  • Most Appealing Mid-Size Sporty Car – J.D. Powers and Associates 2009 Appeal Study
  • Best of Class Ideal Vehicle for 2009, Sporty Car Category – Auto Pacific
  • The 25 Most Collectible Cars of the Last 25 Years – Consumer Guide Automotive
  • Recommended Buy for 2009 – Consumer Guides Automotive
  • Motor Trend Car of the Year Contender – Motor Trend
  • 5-Star Safety Rating 2009- NHTSA
  • Forbes – Most Beautiful Cars 2010
  • Forbes – Fastest Cars Under $50,000
  • 10 Cars that Will Look Good in 10 Years – U.S. News & World Report (March 2011)
  • J.D. Powers & Associates-Best Midsize Sporty Car in 2011 Initial Quality Study.
  • Shoppers Choice ( “Best of 2012” NAIAS event)
  • America’s Best-Loved Cars- (J.D. Powers 2011 APEAL Survey- 1st Place Midsize Sporty)
  • Top Ten Most Fun to Drive Cars (Fast Car Lane)
  • Top 10 Cars to Drive to the Big Game (Roadfly TV)
  • 2011 Polk Automotive Award- Sports Car Category (Polk Loyalty Awards)
  • Best Affordable Sports Cars – 2012 – U.S. News
  • Auto Industry’s Greatest Hits (2013 retro cars)-

2014 Dodge Challenger Overview