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Daimler's abuse of the Dodge Charger legacy.



  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    So basically, the Charger is a parts bin car. Great. I'll take two of them :confuse:
    Most of what Chrysler has produced lately has been pretty fresh and exciting. The
    original photos of the Charger project looked like a sporty car; one worthy of a Charger
    nameplate. A charger is a two door car. Why not call the current one what it is, the 300se,
    or Sports Edition. Everyone likes something different in styling, and may easily argue their point one way or another as to what makes a sexy and muscular car, but this is all to obvious that this in not a Dodge Charger. It is a modified Chrysler 300. The 2005 Mustang may have taken the retro a step too far, but at least you can say it truly is a Stang. If there was no label on the Charger, you would think it is a highly modified 300. So what will the Dodge Dart look like, and Mitsubishi Galant? Parts is parts. If ya like the Charger, and I take it there are those that really like the car, that's cool. Everyone likes something different, and thus making the world go 'round. But it ain't a Charger.

  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    While I like the new Charger, I'm beginning to wonder why Dodge didn't simply call it the "Magnum sedan". I mean they were originally sedans, right?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    the Magnum was only offered as a coupe, too. Ironically, the Magnum was what most directly replaced the Charger in the first place!

    Considering the Magnum was only sold for two years (1978-79) and wasn't very popular, I doubt may purists would moan about a 4-door Magnum. After all, they're not crying about a station wagon Magnum! :P

    Originally the 300 was only a 2-door car (the Letter Series were ONLY 2-door models), as was the Grand Prix, yet they're only offered as 4-doors these days. If anything, the 300M was about as UN-300 as it gets...FWD, V-6, 4-door, smallish platform, etc. But nobody complained.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    ...really enough of a MOPAR guy, as I just can't understand some of the rancor against the new Charger.

    I mean, sure, it's not the car the classic one was...but this isn't the late 1960s either. Gasoline is about to top 3 bucks a gallon, the automotive marketplace is ruthlessly competitive, and most people simply aren't interested in buying a take-no-prisoners muscle car. Given these constraints, the new Charger seems to me a pretty good car for the time.

    I guess it's a sort of automotive absolutism...either it's at at the mythic level of the 1969 (or whichever), or don't build it. I can understand that. But as a matter of preference, I prefer my Mustangs. They may have their relative ups and downs (Mustang II... :P ), but they'll keep making them, and there'll continue to be a market for them as new generations get to experience the fun...
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    a Mopar guy, and I don't even understand some of the hatred against the new Charger! Now I guess I can see some of the disappointment by those who want a modern incarnation of the '68-70 Charger. For instance, if they tried a revival of some old cars that I liked, such as the DeSoto or the Dart, and they ended up sucking, I'd be kinda miffed.

    And I always liked the old LeMans and Malibu. My first car was a 1980 Malibu, and I've always wanted a '76-77 LeMans (finally found and bought one back in April). I was pissed when they put the LeMans nameplate on that nasty little Korean travesty, and I also think the current Malibu is underwhelming, and a bit of a slur on the name. But in the case of the Charger, it doesn't suck! Okay, so it has 4 doors. It would have to, otherwise it wouldn't make it in the marketplace. Chrysler gave up on a "true" Charger-type car way back in 1983, when they axed the Cordoba and Mirada. If the market had been there, these types of cars would have continued, but it isn't. The only car left that's even remotely in this type of category is the Monte Carlo, and that's a sad beast.

    Love it or hate it, the Charger's still on my short list when it comes time for a new car. It ain't the drop-dead gorgeous beauty that the '68-70 was, but hey, I can live with it! :shades:
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    ...I've yet to hear a reason other than the 4-door thing for why the new Charger isn't a proper muscle car.

    I mean it has the requisite power (and the SRT-8 appears poised to be the modern-day performance equivalent of the 426 Hemi-ed version of yore), it's rwd and is based on an existing sedan. It comes in different flavors, from mild to wild, as did the originals.

    It seems to me then that it really is the door issue that's driving the animosity.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    If Chrysler wanted to revive a performance name for what became the Charger, but wanted to use one that was appropriate for a four door, it could have used...Rebel!

    After all, the original AMC Rambler Rebel was apparently pretty quick for its day (1957) and was only available as a four-door hardtop. Since Chrysler bought AMC, the use of the name would have been appropriate.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Naming it that would definitely have helped sales in NASCAR-land... ;)

    I've always thought that "Fury" was a good name. Sure Plymouth is gone, but "Dodge Fury" sounds pretty cool, even more so "Gran Fury" for an uplevel model.

    Now excuse me while I head over to Ford forums to advocate the return of the "Maverick" name... :surprise:
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    How about the old name - Duster. Good thing they did not name the New Charger as the Duster. I really like the Duster, Dart, Demon line of cars. Is BMW the only one making an inline 6 these days? Can't think of any new American cars with an inline 6, though most are FWD, which explains a lot. I imagine many slant 6 cars are still toolin' along the roads of America. If or is it when, the new Challenger comes out, I hope it is a good challenger to the Mustang. Bring on the pony wars II.

  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    The Duster name did get revived briefly in the early 1990s, on the Dodge version of the Plymouth Sundance I think it was...small FWD econo-cars. :surprise:

    As for the pony wars II, that would be the best...throw in a new Camaro with styling cues from the '69, and that would be about the coolest autmotive thing for which I could hope... :)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    I'm thinking that the Duster name was also put on the Volare for a few years. Wasn't there also a Plymouth Turismo Duster? In the 90's, it was a package on the Plymouth Shadow. Small, fairly lightweight 2-door hatchback with a Mitsubishi 3.0 under the hood. Almost a musclecar, for those days!

    Now Duster was a cool name, but to me, names like Duster, Valiant, Demon (good luck selling that one in the Bible belt, that's why the name was dropped in the first place!) and Dart conjure up a compact car. I think the biggest car that those names would work on would be something Neon sized, or whatever ends up being the replacement for the Stratus/Sebring. If you're going to bring back an old name for the Charger, it needs to be a mid- or full-sized name, IMO.
  • plum500plum500 Posts: 12
    Me thinks by the time any Challenger comes out, the war will have been over, and won, by the only participant.

    Given the state of things now, I can't imagine that the are not targeting some other place "on the curve" that will not result in a pure pony, Challenger inspired, Challenger.

    Right now, I just don't see it happening.

    Not to say that there won't be "something" with the Challenger name on it.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Given the inertia of the Big 3, I wonder if you're not right about any Challenger coming out too late/too garbled.

    But another part of me thinks that GM and Chrysler must be looking at the success of the new Mustang (both in direct sales as well as for the indirect "halo" effect) and thinking they're fools to be so readily ceeding the pony car market entirely to Ford. :confuse:
  • chuck1959chuck1959 Posts: 654
    Well, theyare fools already for ceeding the taxi/police car market to Ford. YES I know the Charger/Magnum now offers a police car. (I didn't want to get critizied for not mentioning that point!) LOL Just look at how many years the have not.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    is that most police departments are only buying the V-6 version for police duty. It doesn't stack up so great compared to the Impala and the Crown Vic. The Intrepid was offered as a police package for a few years (all of a sudden, they've popped up all over in the next county over from me), and performed very well in the Michigan State police testing. But it's not going to take the pounding and abuse that a simpler, body-on-frame Crown Vic would.

    It's interesting that, over the years, what had traditionally been the weakest player in the police car market was the one that would ultimately win out. Back when Chrysler had the R-body (Newport, St. Regis, Gran Fury) in 1979-81, it was no contest. And a '79 Volare copcar with the 360-4bbl would actually give the current crop of police cars a run for their money. The M-body police cars (Gran Fury, Diplomat) were good for awhile, but just became more and more outdated as the years went by. The Crown Vic and Caprice went to fuel injection, while the M-bodies stuck it out with carburetors right up through the end in 1989 (oddly, they were GM Rochester Quadrajet units from 1985 onward). Ford and Chevy went to 4-speed automatics in the early 80's (and were troubleprone, but fuel efficient) while the M-bodies stuck it out with a 3-speed Torqueflite right up through the end. As a result the things were horrible guzzlers, EPA-rated at 13/15! In contrast, I think the police Crown Vic and Caprice were rated at 19-20 on the highway.

    There had been a few prototypes for a Dodge Dynasty police car, but they never came to be. It would've never been a replacement for the durable, beefy-type cars like a Gran Fury/Diplomat, Caprice, or Crown Vic, but would've fit in well with stuff like the Taurus, Lumina, and Grand Prix police cars.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    I was thinking something smaller as a new Duster. Something closer to the original in every way including size and weight. Now, if that thing had a HEMI !!! Or maybe a slant six.
    Wish the inline six would return to RWD autos. This is not to say the 3.5 V6 is not a good value in the 300/Magnum/Charger line-up of cars. That is the one I'd pick. Gas is only going up!

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,451
    k-car dodge daytona. white/orange stripes. it looked mint, then they stepped on the gas and a big cloud of blue smoke came out the exhaust. there goes the daytona legacy! ;)
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Blue smoke? Was that a Mitsu engine :D I did like most of my Stealth experience.

    Anyway, back to the Charger....
    Saw an old Dukes of Hazard, with the real Charger, on TV yesterday. My-my, that machine was fly!

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    would be roughly comparable to the original Duster. Actually, VERY comparable! The Duster was around 192" long, although I think the 5 mph bumpers did add a few inches. 108" wheelbase. Around 3,000 pounds base weight. That's close to what a current Sebring/Stratus is, except that they'd be a bit heavier.

    I almost forgot about that little K-car Daytona. Another grand old name run through the muck! They could be pretty quick with the turbo 4-cyl, though. I think later versions had the Mitsu 3.0 V-6 available. With all these other examples of Mopar nameplates run into the ground, the new Charger actually seems like it deserves praise!
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Every now and again, I see an old K-car Daytona on the road.

    To be perfectly honest, I always kinda liked them, and I think the final early 1990s version was a pretty good looking sport coupe (certainly better than than its replacements in the stable, the Avenger and the Stratus coupe). :blush:
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