It’s one of the most celebrated and historic muscle cars in the automotive world, but how did the Dodge Charger start and get its storied legacy that it still carries today? From its inception in the mid-1960s to its prosperity in the 1970s to a revitalization in the 2000s, the Dodge Charger has enjoyed a career unlike few other vehicles on the market. Read on and get to know more about the Dodge Charger’s history, from us at Southtown Chrysler, your Dodge Edmonton dealer, located in south Edmonton, southwest of Sherwood Park.
Beginning of the Dodge Charger
1965 saw the birth of the Dodge Charger with the 1966 model. While it took awhile for the vehicle to find its own identity, early editions were heavily based off the Coronet, with just small differences including the roof and trim designs separating the two. 1968 catapulted the car to an immediate level of fame, thanks to its celebrity status in the Steve McQueen film Bullitt and the TV series Dukes of Hazzard. Redesigned for the model year to look more muscular, along with its blunt front-end and square roof, it’s no wonder why this is the model most think of when they think of the Dodge Charger. From auspicious beginnings to launching across TV screens across the world, the Charger quickly made itself known.
The Many Generations of the Dodge Charger
The third generation of the Charger was originally hampered by safety and emissions regulations that made for a slimmed down model in response. It was designed more in-line with its “Coke bottle” shape and a grille that was split in two. For the fourth generation, the Charger saw a redesigned roof, grille and only minor interior changes. The Charger for the fifth generation was marked as the Omni 024. This edition was modeled after a three-door hatchback style, which saw a major difference in this 1979 version than any Charger before. The name would eventually be shook for the 1983 Charger models. Its engines were upgraded in the next few years, slowly adding new redesign elements like a new front end, colour options and even a third brake light in 1986, until its final year (for the time being) in 1987.
Dodge Charger Revitalization
The Dodge Charger was revitalized in 2006, after a 19 year absence, the popular muscle car was back. This time it took some cues from its FCA compatriot the Chrysler 300 in a similar rear-wheel drive style. Two trim levels were available, the SE and the luxurious variant, the SXT. A mixed reaction followed its reintroduction onto the muscle car landscape as this next generation of Charger was a four-door, instead of the previous two-door coupe. This ruffled the feathers of some purists, even though it maintained better handling, performance and passenger space than ever before. This new style of Charger led into the always evolving version we see today, balancing the height of power with all the comfort and utility its four-door body has brought.
Shop our entire inventory of Dodge Charger muscle cars, as well as the rest of the Dodge lineup. Contact us at Southtown Chrysler with any questions you may have about our sales, service and parts departments.