Charger photo6

The Dodge Charger was one of the most popular cars during the muscle car era, but after its fifth generation, the car vanished. Between 1987 and 2006, Charger fans were left with nothing but the occasional rumor of a new concept car or talk of a revival. In 2006, however, the new Dodge Charger was unveiled, and once again, the car has become very popular. History of the Charger The first Dodge Charger appears in 1964 at a car show. Heavily based on the Dodge Coronet, this car would later go on to become one of the most popular and famous muscle cars in the Dodge catalog. The Charger underwent a number of different changes over the years, moving from sports car to larger vehicle. However, while the second generation was easily the most popular, the Chargers developed and sold during the early 1980s proved to be unpopular thanks to the many different changes the model underwent. By 1987, Dodge had decided to retire the Charger brand, a move that many applauded due to the issues the fifth generation was having. Dodge considered bringing the Charger back in 1999. A concept car for a rear wheel drive was under development. This vehicle incorporated many different things from the second generation of the Charger, although it was a four-door instead of a two-door. However, the concept was abandoned, and Dodge wouldn't launch another Charger until the brand returned in 2006.

1968 Dodge Charger (15942903475)

Popularity The Charger was at its most popular during its second generation. In 1968, Dodge expected to sell around 20,000 Chargers, but by the end of the year, more than 96,000 Chargers had rolled off the assembly line, and many people believe Dodge could have sold even more. However, the popularity of the car would decline over the next two decades due to major redesigns. While some of the following Chargers were faster, more powerful, or larger, none could recapture the popularity of those made in the late 1960s.

Features The Charger had a number of different features, some of which were incredibly noticeable. The taillights, for example, were longer than normal, and on some models actually went almost completely across the back of the car. The headlights were recessed and almost hidden from sight during the day, while the dashboard was somewhat unusual in that all of the instruments were located in four small circles. New grilles were added over the years, giving each model a slightly different look. The Charger was redesigned multiple times over the years, and each change brought with it different features. For example, the 1971 Charger had a smaller wheelbase, and some models had hideaway headlights.

Charger photo2

Evolution of the Charger from Inception to the Muscle Car Era The first generation of the Dodge Charger hit the market in 1966. The idea behind the car was to produce something that would appeal to younger audiences. To meet that goal, the designers took the Dodge Coronet and refined it into a faster sports car model. In fact, there were few differences between the two--the Charger had some different trim and a two-door fastback roof. That was it. There really wasn't anything special about that first model of the Charger. As expected, since it was so similar to the Coronet, the Charger wasn't a huge success right away. However, as one of the very first premium muscle cars, it did provide a unique option. The second generation of Chargers, built between 1968 and 1970, somewhat broke away from the Coronet to become its own car, and it's the Charger that became a huge hit. This Charger looked very different from the previous one. In fact, it looked different from anything else Chrysler had ever made, but the car was actually still more or less a Coronet under the new finish. Still, the new look was a huge hit, and it cemented the Charger's popularity.

1971 Dodge Charger Super Bee (16368030743)

The third generation of Chargers was built between 1971 and 1974. A few changes were made, several of which were done in order to comply with safety and emission regulations. This generation features six different models ranging from the basic Charger to the luxurious 500 SE and the Charger R/T hardtop. With the elimination of the two-door Coronet, the Charger became the only Dodge midsized two-door on the market. The fourth generation (1975-1977) was considered a failure. In fact, you won't find many of them around. Nothing about these cars resembled the sports cars that drivers had loved. The lines were different and outright awkward in some places, and in 1978, the Charger was actually replaced by the Magnum for a year. While some consider the muscle car era to include the fifth generation of Chargers, the fact that these cars were so different and eventually led to the retirement of the name for almost 20 years has resulted in most Charger fans discounting those models.