The Dodge Charger has been in production since 1966, albeit not continuously, that does not mean it has not made its mark in automotive history. In contrary, it has shone like a gem in one of the Fast & Furious movies, and there was even an entire TV series centered around the Charger called ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’. Nowadays, Dodge manages to compete with some of the most powerful sports cars on the market with their Charger. A modern Charger delivers over eight hundred horsepower and accelerates from a standstill to one hundred kilometers per hour in less than four seconds.
Consumer confidence was soaring in the early sixties. The war had been left behind in the fifties and forties, and the economy was booming as families eagerly embraced the baby boom. This did not escape the notice of famous car manufacturers. They began experimenting with various innovations, new body designs and so on. In short, everything had to be reinvented. Some carmakers struggled, while others celebrated endless victories. Dodge was among the winners, as they started experimenting and venturing into uncharted territory with the Charger. They designed a formidable competitor to both Ford's Mustang and Thunderbird. Initially, the V8-powered midsize Charger did not seem to sell well. However, after the release of a second generation in 1968, just two years after the Charger’s initial appearance, sales figures began to skyrocket. Following the second generation, a third one arrived, production was halted in the late eighties, and in 2006, it resumed, continuing until today with the seventh generation, as of the time of writing.
The original design remains relatively recognizable, and its sporty ‘muscle car’ character never got lost.
Early Chargers undoubtedly belong among the classics, while modern Chargers make other sports car manufacturers nervous due to their baffling specifications.
The first-generation Charger did not sell that well as potential buyers were more interested in conventional muscle cars, the market was not quite ready. As a result, the second generation was introduced early to address this issue, and it did so successfully. Three times as many Chargers were sold as initially projected.
The second-generation Charger differs in appearance from its predecessor with updates to the front bumper and rear lights. Inside, the Charger was simplified and made more accessible. The US market seemed to be not quite ready for all innovations, so the Charger was scaled down, which proved to be a necessary move in hindsight.
The second-generation Charger is a amazing classic with a sports car allure. It gained worldwide fame through its appearance in the TV series ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’.
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