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Daimler's abuse of the Dodge Charger legacy.

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Comments

  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    Well, I work for Ford now, so I'm pretty much resigned to the buttons, but I miss the stalk.
  • In the aftermath of this Charger fiasco have you noticed how many Daimler spin doctors that there are working the chat rooms, magazines and other forms of the media.

     

    Recently, one suggested that Dodge wants to return to the car business. Why then, did they put a Chevy S-10 truck front end on a Maverick body and then call it a Charger?

     

    In addition, a promotional video shows Kasey Kahn, Jeremy Mayfield and an apparent Daimler exec gloating over the new Charger at a race track. Of course, the Daimler exec tries to spin the new Charger as something it is not...an heir to the legendary muscle car of the seventies. They even have King Richard fawn his approving eye at the eyesore as it passes around the track.

     

    First of all, the fact that Daimler managed to get Kahn, Mayfield and King Richard within their propaganda ministry only indicates everyone has their price.

     

    You know what? It turns out that if you pay people enough money they'll give the trophy for "The Cutest Baby" to the ugliest kid on the stage. Not only that, but they'll smile about it too.

     

    Actually though, behind the scenes reports have Nascar crews that were seeing the car for the first time commenting (and I paraphrase), "It looks like the family Truckster from the movie National Lampoon's Vacation" and "Thank goodness for the template."

     

    Now you tell me, how many Nascar teams have you ever heard sing the praises of the template? Well, until the 2006 Charger came along my guess would be zero.

     

    Because of its ungainly and disproportionate Streisand-like nose they should call the car the Dodge Focker. Only this time the ones getting focked are those of us who actually appreciate the thoroughbred stance and aesthetic appeal of the original Chargers and that doesn't include the arrogant and clueless Fockers who designed this mutation of automotive engineering.

     

    What was that line? "I knew John Kennedy and you're no John Kennedy." Well, I knew the Dodge Charger and this is no Dodge Charger, plain and simple.

     

    To expedite damage control, there is yet another group of spinners that are defaming the original Chargers to make the 2006 appear to be "not so bad."

     

    Instead it turns out that the 2006 Charger has as much in common with the legendary muscle car of the sixties & seventies as a mosquito has with the American Bald Eagle.

     

    All of you youngsters who have just received your learners permits may disagree with me, it's a free country, but apparently I'm not alone.

     

    You see, Creed, the head of the know-it-all Charger design team admits that an inordinate influx of hate mail is running 30-to-1 against this flounder of a car.

     

    A novel idea would have been for the design team to have actually looked at some of the original Chargers before they even set out to design the car, but they put the quick buck and German automotive tastes first.

     

    I'm not certain, but I don't even believe Trevor Creed is American. How would the Germans or British like it if an American were the lead designer to bring back a classic Porsch, or Jaguar.

     

    In closing, if the car was that great would the Spin Doctors really be necessary?

     

    Have a nice day.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,386
    .... How would the Germans or British like it if an American were the lead designer to bring back a classic Porsch [sic], or Jaguar.

     

    It's a global economy and there are Americans in charge of styling @ BMW and Ferrari, can Porsche and Jag be far behind?
  • Remember the Charger from the Fast and the Furious that got rolled near the end of the movie? It's for sale at volocars for $36,000...in rough shape.

          Hate to see classics destroyed in movies.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    I'm sure the head honchos of Daimler-Chrysler smile when they ponder the controversy over the return of the Charger as a four-door. The publicity is priceless...

     

    Mopar purists are undoubtedly disappointed, but let's be realistic - a mass-market company cannot design cars for purists and hope to remain in business (let alone a mass-market company). The debate over whether the Charger should return as a coupe is lost on over 90 percent of the car-buying public.

     

    The simple fact is that unless the car has a galloping horse on the grille and a "Mustang" nameplate on the side, reasonably priced coupes that share no sheetmetal with a sedan variant are dead in the American market.

     

    People, for whatever reason, do not want them anymore. The days of Chevy Monte Carlos scoring 300,000+ sales annually and Oldsmobile Cutlass Supremes sitting on top of the sales chart are over. Daimler-Chrysler knows this.

     

    At the same time, "Charger" is Dodge's most recognizable nameplate, the marketplace is becoming increasingly cluttered with new entries, and Dodge is coming from behind in the sedan segment...so, the new car is christened "Charger." Like it or not, this makes perfect sense from a business standpoint.

     

    As for the car itself - so far I like it, although I'll reserve final judgment until I actually see one in real life. Judging from the photos, it's distinctive and has a business-like look. Yes, it polarizes people, but I give Daimler-Chrysler credit for making an end run around the Japanese competition and trying something different.

     

    Last time I checked, that strategy seemed to be working pretty well with the Chrysler 300...
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    ...I consider the Charger the best-looking of the 300/Magnum/Charger triplets.

     

    All 3 are head-turners, no question. The high beltlines and the gun-slit windows grab your attention, no doubt. But I really like the fastback rear glass of the Charger and the 60s-like kickup of the rear quarter panels, kind of reminiscent of 1965-66 full-size Pontiacs.

     

    But personally, I prefer a lower beltline for visibility and airiness, and although I do prefer more upright windshields, the windshields of these 3 cars are too far forward from the driver's seat for optimum visibility.

     

    I grew up in the heyday of the original Charger, but I was a GM fan back then. Now I buy Japanese, so what do I know ;-)
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,447
    "The simple fact is that unless the car has a galloping horse on the grille and a "Mustang" nameplate on the side, reasonably priced coupes that share no sheetmetal with a sedan variant are dead in the American market."

    as a mustang owner i say; no guts, no glory.

    the 5 year old(pre d-c) concept was much better.

    i think the whole 300 look is because the 'hemi' is such a tall engine(designed to go in a ram pickup).
  • rik4rik4 Posts: 90
    well not all you say is true. HOw do you explain the 2 door viper and the very low market it is aimed at the amount of capital it took to produce it in such low numbers and then there is the crossfire . it seems they can make a 2 door and justify it when they want too. Truth is they are out of touch with the mass public. 2 dr cars or coupes will sell if they are reliable and aesthetic to the eye. THen mustang and Ford GT prove that. Use your theory and make a 4 door mustang and see what happens in sales. Ford tried a 4 door T bird and it bombed. Why is there a sebring 2 door and convert. why not 4 doors there too. If you cannot make a 2 door and make money why have they been building the sebring for almost 20 yrs. Maybe they should stop it now and invest in a more lucrative style. No from the beginning some idiot decided it should be a family car with a big engine and they never explored the alternative and now they will reap what they have sown. ANd i think heads should roll when the car does not sell. DCX is not cash rich and this is a very big mistake and could in the end be the downfall of dodge. Diamler did not want dodge or for that matter chrysler they really wanted jeep and the jeep patent rights on 4 wheel drive. This is a mistake just like the bangles BMW diaster. If someone has the email address of deiter Zeitsche then post it and we can all email him by the thousands of this mistake and let them know. If he fails to respond then his head should roll too when it fails. remember if you plant a crab apple tree you will not get any macintosh apples.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    in those on-line polls. It's too easy to skew them. All you'd need is for a Dodge Charger club or a Mopar club in general to get ahold of a website like that, and it's all over.

     

    Oddly, at certain angles, the Charger actually makes me think more of a vintage 300 Letter Series than the new 300 does! It's mainly in the "face" of the car...makes me think a bit of the snout on the '57-59 cars, or even the trapezoidal openings on the 60 and '61-62 models. Or heck, even the '63-64 a bit.
  • "Why is there a Sebring 2 door" rik4 asked? Well I believe in 2006 it goes away. I was told no more 2 doors will be made by Dodge other than the viper. Simply economics, like the demise of the 2 dr Neon. They didn't sell enough to justify the 2 dr models.
  • In the aftermath of this Charger fiasco have you noticed how many Daimler spin doctors that there are working the chat rooms, magazines and other forms of the media?

     

    Recently, one suggested that Dodge wants to return to the car business. Why then, did they put a Chevy S-10 truck front end on a Maverick body and then call it a Charger?

     

    In addition, a promotional video shows Kasey Kahn, Jeremy Mayfield and an apparent Daimler exec gloating over the new Charger at a race track. Of course, the Daimler exec tries to spin the new Charger as something it is not...an heir to the legendary muscle car of the seventies. They even have King Richard fawn his approving eye at the eyesore as it passes around the track.

     

    First of all, the fact that Daimler managed to get Kahn, Mayfield and King Richard within their propaganda ministry only indicates everyone has their price.

     

    You know what? It turns out that if you pay people enough money they'll give the trophy for The Cutest Baby to the ugliest kid on the stage. Not only that, but they'll smile about it too.

     

    Actually though, behind the scenes reports have Nascar crews that were seeing the car for the first time commenting that (and I paraphrase), "It looks like the family Truckster from the movie National Lampoon's Vacation" and "Thank goodness for the template."

     

    Now you tell me, how many Nascar teams have you ever heard sing the praises of the template? Well, until the 2006 Charger came along my guess would be zero.

     

    Because of its ungainly and disproportionate Streisand-like nose they should call the car the Dodge Focker. Only this time the ones getting focked are those of us who actually appreciate the thoroughbred stance and aesthetic appeal of the original Chargers and that doesn't include the arrogant and clueless Fockers who designed this mutation of automotive engineering.

     

    What was that line? "I knew John Kennedy and you're no John Kennedy." Well, I knew the Dodge Charger and this is no Dodge Charger, plain and simple.

     

    It turns out that the 2006 Charger has as much in common with the legendary muscle car of the sixties & seventies as a mosquito has with the American Bald Eagle.

     

    All of you youngsters who have just received your learners permits may disagree with me, it's a free country, but apparently I'm not alone.

     

    You see, Creed, the head of the know-it-all Charger design team admits that an inordinate influx of hate mail is running 30-to-1 against this flounder of a car.

     

    A novel idea would have been for Daimler to actually take a ride in some of the original Chargers and to talk to some owners of the cars before starting their work.

     

    Also, I believe I detected an accent while reviewing a promotional (propaganda) film with Trevor Creed.

     

    I have no problem with MR. Creed being from another country if that is the case, but common sense dictates that an American with an American Muscle Car heritage be given the assignment.

     

    How would the British or Germans feel if an American headed up the reintroduction of a classic Jaguar or Porshe? I wouldn't blame them if they were concerned in that case.

     

    Now, if the the 2006 Charger was that great I don't believe the Spin Doctors would really be necessary?

     

    In closing, Daimler missed a platinum opportunity when they didn't go forward with the 1999 Dodge Charger prototype which enjoyed widespread appeal. The bottom line is, if they had done that, instead of the Bait & Switch, there wouldn't be all of this controversy now.

     

    Have a nice day.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    How many times will you say the same thing over and over?

     

    And no, I don't work for DaimlerChrysler...in fact I work AGAINST them in lemon law suits.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    rik4: HOw do you explain the 2 door viper and the very low market it is aimed at the amount of capital it took to produce it in such low numbers and then there is the crossfire . it seems they can make a 2 door and justify it when they want too.

     

    In my post, I specifically said "reasonably priced" coupes.

     

    I should make myself clearer: reasonably priced = affordable to the majority of buyers.

     

    Neither the Viper coupe nor the Ford GT fit into that category. They sell at the upper fringes of the market.

     

    Their sales success is no more relevant to the mass market than that of Ferrari.

     

    The Crossfire, meanwhile, has pretty much flopped.

     

    Please also note that the Sebring and Stratus coupes will be phased out within two years because they never sold that well.

     

    Convertibles are a different matter - although I would note that the Sebring convertible is based on the sedan platform, so that makes it profitable to keep in production, even with the phase out of the coupe.

     

    rik4: Truth is they are out of touch with the mass public. 2 dr cars or coupes will sell if they are reliable and aesthetic to the eye. THen mustang and Ford GT prove that.

     

    Do not confuse diehard Mopar fans or even the posters on this site with the "mass public." The average car buyer has entirely different standards and expectations - not to mention knowledge of automotive history - than we do.

     

    rik4: Use your theory and make a 4 door mustang and see what happens in sales.

     

    The Mustang is a completely different case. It has remained in production, uninterrupted, for 41 years. During that time, it has always been available as only a two-door. It has never strayed from its original concept - a moderately priced, highly styled coupe or convertible available with both "average" engines and high-performance options.

     

    Mention "Mustang," and most people will think of the car first and the horse second, and they will have a good idea of what that car looks like.

     

    Plus, since there was a 2004 Mustang (and a 2003 Mustang, and a 2002 Mustang, etc., etc.), people expect a reasonable degree of continuity with the format and layout of the 2005 Mustang. There is a ready audience of Mustang buyers.

     

    The Charger went away for over a decade, and I doubt that most people could recall what one looks like. If they do, it is because of The Dukes of Hazzard. At best, the general public has a vague memory of the name, as much because news articles about the new one continually mention the old ones.

     

    Nor do most people remember the 1999 Charger showcar (which, I agree, is beautiful).

     

    People are going to compare this new Charger to the Impala, Grand Prix, Five Hundred/Montego, perhaps the upper-level V-6 Accords and Camrys, maybe the Pontiac Bonneville, and the Intrepid (current Intrepid owners who want to stay in the Mopar family).

     

    For 95 percent of the car buying public, the old Chargers and the 1999 show car are irrelevant to their purchasing decision.

     

    Of course, I guess Dodge could christen it the "Dart," and offer it in trim levels named Seneca, Pioneer and Phoenix.
  • andyman73andyman73 Posts: 368
    As long as they keep the price in control, it will sell. Very few of it's direct competitors have V8 power available. So far just the Pontiacs. So, if you can get the Charger for @27.5K with V8s, it will go. They can even throw in the 4.7 as the starter V8, with say 275hp and 325 torque.

      

    It is interesting to see all the Impalas on the road. Talk about an emotional icon that managed to make it okay as a FWD car. So, I think the Charger will do just fine with RWD and AWD. And the Impy isn't currently available with 8 boiling pots for motivation. Unless thats now available for 05, I don't know. And everybody that is crying about the Charger knows the history of the Impala. I mean, we're a long way from the Bubble top 409s.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    I remember a lot of people crying when the Impala nameplate was resurrected for 1994. It wasn't so much the fact that they were calling it Impala though, but Impala SS. The purists were moaning because it was 4-door, automatic-only, column shift, no tach, and all sorts of other nitpicks they could find.

     

    And Chevy sold every single one they made. For 1996, GM sold about as many Impala SSes as they did Caprices, Fleetwoods, and Roadmasters combined!

     

    Then, when the name went away for 1997, everybody was crying. That '94-96 had been put on such a pedestal that when work was begun on the 2000, there's no way it could've lived up to its predecessor's name. Yet the nameplate seems to do just fine today.

     

    One thing in the Impala's defense though, is that its name was never run through the mud like the Charger's was. SS models aside, the Impala was always a good, honest, capable family car, although by 1982-85 it had been pretty much downgraded to a taxi/police car, with most buyers going for the better-trimmed Caprice.

     

    As for the Charger, and the 300, I was kinda hoping that the 4.7 V-8 would've made its way in there, myself. While the Hemi's a great engine, not everybody needs a Hemi, but still might want V-8 power. However, the Hemi is actually CHEAPER to build than the 4.7, and in EPA testing, at least, probably doesn't get any worse mileage than the 4.7, so maybe it just doesn't make good economic sense to offer it in the cars?
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,584
    Sales will tell the story, not message board postings or emails.

     

    I'm 42, and really have limited personal experience with the original Charger, and I'm a car nut (and have been since I was a kid). Most people (the 99% of the population that isn't like us) probably couldn't pick a Charger out of a crowd of cars, unless it is orange with a flag on the roof.

     

    So, if the target audience isn't concerned that it has 4 doors, it has to sell on it's merits. And all this pub if nothing else will make people notice it. Maybe even some of the antis will check it out (morbid curiousity?), and end up wnating one!

     

    Didn't some of the real early "muscle" cars come as 4 doors? The letter cars, some Caddys, etc?

     

    GTO proves that an iconic name isn't enough. The car has to be worth it.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    the first 4-door musclecar was the 1973 Pontiac Grand Am. The Grand Am took over top billing from the GTO that year, and while most of them were coupes, they did build a few thousand 4-doors. So think of it as a 4-door GTO.

     

    But prior to 1973, there were plenty of high-performance packages available on regular passenger cars. For example, way back in 1957, Oldsmobile offered a package called the J-2. It was a triple-2bbl setup on an Olds 377, or whatever displacement Olds was using that year. Put out something like 300 hp, and was a real screamer. Being an engine package, and not an actual model, it was available on any body style, so you could even get a 4-door or station wagon J-2.

     

    That same year, Dodge offered two packages. One was called the D-500. It was a 325 Hemi with either a 4-bbl or dual quad, I can't remember which. Then there was the D-501, which was a 354 Hemi with dual quads and, IIRC, 330 hp. Again, these were just engine packages, and could be had in any model, right down to a cheap Coronet 2-door sedan. In contrast Plymouth, DeSoto, and Chrysler fielded low-production high-peformance musclecars, the Fury, Adventurer, and 300C. Sure, the term hadn't been coined yet, but essentially that's what they were: high performance cars with beefed up suspensions, improved steering, wheels and tires, and high-output (not just big displacement) motors.

     

    Then, there was Chevy, which had a 283 with 270 hp, using dual quads in 1957, or 283 hp with fuel injection. I believe you could get these engines with any body style, not just the coupes and convertibles. And Pontiac was offering some multiple-carb options in the late 50's and 60's, which I don't think were limited to any one body style.

     

    As for the Charger, even when it was introduced, it wasn't a pure muscle car in the vein of the GTO. It was actually more of a cross between personal luxury coupe and musclecar. And they were available with just about any engine, whereas something like a GTO would've always started off with a 389 or 400, and a Roadrunner would start off with a 383. You could actually get a 225 Slant Six or a 318-2bbl in a Charger. That's not exactly a musclecar.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    But wouldn't the first "muscle car" with a special name, powertrain and unique trim that was a four-door be the 1957 Rambler Rebel?

     

    It was available in only one color (silver, with gold anodized trim "stripes" on side) and in one bodystyle (a four-door hardtop). It came only with AMC's hottest engine.

     

    stickguy: The original Chrysler "letter series" 300s were never available as four-door sedans or hardtops. Chrysler did bring out a tamer "non-letter series" 300 in 1962 to capitalize on the 300s image, and those were available as four-door hardtops.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    I had totally forgotten about the Rambler Rebel! Yeah, I guess, then, that it could be considered the first 4-door musclecar.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    One could argue that "muscle cars" existed before 1957. There were Chryslers prior to 1955 with hemispherical engines that produced robust performance for the time. Going back further was Buick's supercharged Special of 1938. There were of course Marmons, Cords, Dusenberg's, and Packard Roadsters of the early to mid-thirties that had "high performance" engines.

     

    Dusty
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