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Daimler's abuse of the Dodge Charger legacy.

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  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    ...you didn't think I'd forget about the Rambler, did you? Somebody has to remember poor old AMC.

     

    dustyk: I guess it depends on how one defines "muscle car."

     

    To me, a muscle car should at least have a unique name, trim and drivetrain compared to its more pedestrian counterparts.

     

    Many people, for example, consider the first Olds 88 to be the first "muscle car." I view it as a regular model that offered exceptional performance for the time, thanks to its ohv V-8.

     

    The first Olds muscle car, in my view, was the F-85 based Jetfire of 1962-63.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,301
    I thought a muscle car was supposed to be a smaller-sized car with a big engine, and little else. That is, only the stuff required to go fast. Like a Road Runner with dog dish caps, vinyl bench, etc.

     

    Actually, the Shelby Charger probably fit the profile pretty well, if you have a broad enough mind to be flexible about engine and drivetrain layout. Small car stuffed with big power (relative), designed to go fast without too much unneccesary stuff on it, and there you go.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    would be essentially any-sized car, whether it be compact, mid-size, or full-size, but with a high performance engine and beefed up handling. Now sometimes they can make a smaller car fast by just dropping in the engine from a bigger car. For instance, the Olds 88s that used 98 V-8's, or the Buick Centurys which used Roadmaster V-8's.

     

    However, those particular V-8's aren't high-performance specialty engines. Just bigger engines in smaller bodies, and they went faster by virtue of having less weight to push.

     

    However the 1955 Chrysler C300 used a special, high-performance 331 Hemi that put out 300 hp. IIRC, the regular 331 Hemi in the New Yorker and Imperial only put out 250 hp. And I think the Windsor only had a 301 poly.

     

    Same with the DeSoto Adventurer and Plymouth Fury for '56. Now, some people will argue that you can't have a full-sized muscle car, but I don't agree with that. First off, a '64 GTO, which is a muscle car, rides a wheelbase the same length as a '56 Fury. 115 inches. Furthermore, I think a '64 GTO is about the same length! And something like a 1973 GTO is going to weigh nearly as much as a '57 Chrysler 300C or DeSoto Adventurer.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,647
    Valid points Andre but I think it depends on who you're talking to. Since the GTO started the "Muscle Car Era" it's generally considered by most enthusiasts to have set the template for the "classic" Muscle cars i.e. a big (@ least 350 cid)V8, intermediate-sized coupe or convertible body.

     

    If someone wants to consider a '96 Impala SS or a

    '64 426 Fury a Muscle car, I can understand that but it doesn't fit the orthodox definition. The were lots of perfectly good performance cars that

    don't quite fit the "accepted criteria:

     

    Some were based on compacts, not intermediates--

    Chevy Nova SS/327/396, Studebaker Lark R3, Dodge Dart Swinger 318/383.

     

    Many were pony car-based: Camaro SS 427/396, Boss Mustang 429

     

    A lot were based on full -sizers:

    Galaxie 406/427, Fury 383/426 Hemi.

     

    Is a '62 Biscayne 4dr with a b-post a "muscle car".? It is if you want it to be and it could outrun many of the classics.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • andyman73andyman73 Posts: 368
    Lots of good rides there! Things sure have changed. I suppose the SRT-8 300C would classify as a muscle car. Bigger but hipo powerplant with suspension and brake upgrades. Hopefully that 6.1 will find its way into the Charger, too. What's the going price on the SRT-8? 39-40K? Would change the horsepower performance wars bigtime. Especially at that price! You will have to double the cost to get the same from the Old World manufacturers.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    well one could argue that Chrysler and Dodge products are now part of the "Old World Manufacturers"
  • andyman73andyman73 Posts: 368
    Well, I was hoping to avoid that connection! LOL
  • jtrikjtrik Posts: 11
    I have to say how much fun i have reading this board lately. I love some of the passion of the anti Charger crowd, although i believe it's a hair misdirected, but it's their opinion and it is great. I've also enjoyed the other sides arguments, and now it's evolved into the muscle car debate...just love it.

     

    Someone mentioned AMC...I've always been a fan of the underdog and i've always made my purchase of cars different from the mass produced stuff...Since Chrysler swallowed up AMC, do they have the names of AMC as well? Javelin would be a great name to bring back..imho..
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    I think the SRT-8 version of the Chrysler 300C is going to start off at around $50,000. On one hand, when you figure that it's not hard to load up a regular 300C to $40K+, even if they do start at $32,995 or whatever, maybe the $50K is a pretty good deal.

     

    However, I think in 0-60 it gets you down from just under 6 seconds to just under 5. It's wonderful for bragging rights, but I dunno if it's really worth the extra money. I know I wouldn't pay it!
  • xmf314xmf314 Posts: 154
    Having seen the Magnum at the Los Angeles auto show, I can only describe it as a homely beast. However, I can see the hemi versions taking over police duties from the Crown Victoria.

     

    I'm sure that a police version would have better chassis dynamics than the Crown Vic, and it is spacious enough to carry perps in the back.

     

    If I were a fleeing evildoer, those cross hairs closing in on my rear bumper would get my attention.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    Mopar is also offering the 3.5 V-6 as a police package on the Magnum, which is called a "special service" package. The Michigan State Police tested such a beast when they rounded up a bunch of 2005 models for their annual test.

     

    You can download the pdf file of the test here: www.nlectc.org/pdffiles/msp2005bulletin.pdf

     

    In 0-60 it was slower than the Impala or Crown Vic. The Crown Vic has really improved in the past couple years, especially with the 3.55:1 axle ratio. The Magnum is just a hair quicker than the Intrepid 3.5 it replaced. Which, when you figure it's also about 300-400 lb heavier, maybe that's not too bad.

     

    And once you get up to higher speeds, it does start to make up for it. It hits 100 mph slightly quicker than the Impala, but still behind the Crown Vic. And it's electronically limited to 117 mph. The old Intrepid 3.5 was limited to 135 mph, according to the MSP test of the 2003 models.

     

    I'm sure a Hemi Magnum would more than level the playing field though, and send the Crown Vic and Impala crying home to their mommies ;-)
  • xmf314xmf314 Posts: 154
    Thanks for the information. I haven't driven a Magnum, but I sat in a couple of Magnums and the pinched rear windows restrict rear vision. The Charger with better rear vision would appear to be more suited for police work.
  • Rapper 50 Cent To Get First Dodge Charger

     

    POSTED: 11:03 am EST January 18, 2005

     

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- It appears rapper 50 Cent gets what he wants.

     

    DaimlerChrysler said it's rushing production on its 2006 Dodge Charger to make sure the hip-hop star gets the first one.

     

    The update of the classic muscle car doesn't go on sale until the spring, but 50 Cent reportedly says he can't wait that long.

     

    A Detroit newspaper reported that he told an industry magazine that, "I need to know what I gotta do to get that Dodge Charger first."

     

    The same situation played out last year when the automaker made a special delivery of its Chrysler 300 for rapper Snoop Dogg.

     

    The company said the connections are "worth more money than any advertising you could do in the marketplace."

    So what their saying is that Daimler is not only catering to, but seeking publicity from an industry that advocates drug use, thuggery, cop killing and rape.

     

    How many Charger sales do you think Daimler will be making to law enforcement when they learn that?

     

    Apparently, at the same time Daimler is wooing thugs, hoods and murderers some of its executives are telling Chrysler's lifelong customers to take a hike if they don't like the 2006 Charger.

     

    My response to that is okay, I wouldn't give you "50 Cent" for that Ford Maverick look-alike anyway.

     

    P.S. With the violent reputation of the Hip Hop and Gangster Rap music industries Daimler may want to make that an armored Dodge Charger.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,852
    a hemi magnum might be good in limited use(pursuit vehicle), but it's probably too expensive to maintain/repair for a whole fleet. cv's are pretty simple and cheap to maintain.

    btw, i'll let you know if i see '50' rolling in his charger. he owns the biggest house in town.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    jtrik: Chrysler got the rights to AMC's model names when it bought the company. Whether it is has kept those rights (companies have to file periodically to retain the rights to a name, if it is not being currently used) is another matter.
  • andyman73andyman73 Posts: 368
    If he puts it in one of his vidoes, it will do more for sales than anything DC could come up with. Take a look at the Escalade crowd. The Charger is much more affordable to the hip hop crowd. They live and die by the words of their hip hop heros.
  • Yeah, and this way they can corner the market by selling to both sides of the law...

     

    While I agree with all those upset about only offering a 4 door Charger, I'm surprised that no one is complaining about the lack of a manual shift option in a so called muscle car.

     

    GTO sales are averaging quite a few more 6 speeds sold compared to automatics. The new GTO may have sedate styling, but it is a true muscle car in every aspect otherwise. Serious affordable V8 power, manual shift RWD 2 door sports coupe with an AWESOME interior. The new Charger may sell better to the wannabe crowd but the new 400HP 05 GTO with hood scoops and split duals is the REAL muscle car. Take a test drive, you'll be impressed!!
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    while it was the 2004 model, not the upgraded 05, I test drove the GTO and wasn't really wowed by it. Wasn't "rowdy" enough for me and the styling was a real turn off. Also, I didn't really see an impressive interior. Center stack felt a little cheap to me for the price (although to be fair, it wasn't anything different than you'd find in an Infiniti G35)

     

    Hopefully the '05 model feels a little "hairier" for lack of a better term.

     

    Not sure I'd really put the V8 Charger in a "wannabe" crowd. Although yes, I do wish they offered a stick as I'm a manual fan. But I know that would account for a very small percentage of sales in today's market. Still would be nice to offer it though.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    like to buy old ex-police cars, so there has always been a demand for both sides of the law wanting the same car! When I used to deliver pizzas in my '89 Gran Fury ex-sheriff's car, you'd be surprised at how many teenage kids were actually lusting over something more square than the box their playstations came in!

     

    I think some of them like the idea of taking something that was once used for law enforcement, and suddenly having their own control over it.
  • In comparing the GTO and Charger directly I'd argue that the center stack in the Charger is much cheaper looking as is the interior in general. The seats in the GTO are far superior.

     

    If the 350HP wasn't "hairy" enough the 400HP certainly should be. The Charger Hemi is 340HP and heavier so I doubt it will feel very hairy.

     

    I concider an automatic 4 door sedan a wannabe muscle car even if it has a V8. It wants to be too many things to too many people which immediately makes it a compromise. It will likely sell more(especially to the police) but it is a pretender.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    my use of the word "hairy" was more in regards to feel rather than the actual power. The GTO I drove sure would scoot, but it didn't feel wild and rowdy. It was a real nice GT that's for sure though. Although I do realize it is a muscle car in the modern sense. They are just more refined these days.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    cars of today are just too sophisticated for their own good sometimes, and I think that takes some of the excitement and adventure out of them.

     

    One of my co-workers has a 300C Hemi. When you hear it run, it's actually kind of depressing. There's a bit of whine in one of the pulleys that detracts from it, and overall it just doesn't SOUND all that powerful. If I want to hear a sound like that, all I have to do is fire up my '85 Silverado's 305!

     

    And one of the dumbest things they do with the new Hemi, is put a huge shroud over it! Now the first thing everyone wants to see is that "big" V-8, but you pop the hood and all you see is this big shroud that says "5.7 HEMI" on it. And since OHC heads are so prevalent these days, even those massive Hemi heads have lost a bit of their mistyque. Well, that, and the fact that physically the new Hemi is pretty dainty compared to the old 426 Hemi of days gone by, or the old Dodge Red Ram, DeSoto Firedome, or Chrysler Firepower Hemis of the 50's.

     

    Maybe they cover up the engine because the designers of the new car get "head envy" when they get a look at those massive, beefy, thick heads that the old cars had, so they feel a bit inadquate in comparison and are ashamed to show theirs off? ;-)
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    ...that engine shroud on the 300C Hemi can be easily lifted off (without tools) and kept off if you so desire!
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    ...what is the point of those shrouds anyway? I don't get why looking at the engine is such a sin. Only thing the shroud does is that it one more thing to remove to work on the engine. Maybe it cuts down on complaints since people can't see if a valve cover seal is leaking or something like that? I've never really got the point of these things (plus I think they're ugly).
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    but doesn't the engine shroud direct air flow under the hood a bit? Probably in the end though, the main reason they put them on is because they might make the engine look more modern than it really is, and hide some of the clutter.

     

    Y'know, all this talk about the Charger IS starting to make me want one, more and more. And I'm getting an HELOC this Friday, so I'm starting to feel like I'm in a precarious position! ;-)
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    ...help to silence the engine somewhat, as heard from the driver seat. But who'd want to do that with a lusty V8 in a performance car?

     

    And clearly, they add some supposed "class" to the engine compartment.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    from BMW and Mercedes vehicles, where covering up the "guts" of the engine gives a more refined look. It isn't like most BMW or MB owners would ever wonder what's under there, anyway...
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    unfortunately, you could say that about any manufacturer's buyers these days save maybe porsche or ferrari.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,647
    My 5 y/o BMW (528iA) has hardly any shrouding. I think it was the Japnese makers that pioneered Shrouding the engines.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    I've looked under many German car's hoods, as part of my job - the Japanese copied the Germans, now the Germans are using shrouds in their domestic vehicles...
This discussion has been closed.