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Daimler's abuse of the Dodge Charger legacy.



  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Well, if the window sills get any higher, we'll be back to 1954!


    About cars looking alike, I read a novel published in about 1959. One of the main characters had a new Pontiac Bonneville.


    At some point in the book, someone remarked that all modern cars looked alike. In 1959 no less, the year General Motors went wild! And Chrysler was into its third year of the gigantic fins!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,535
    the letters to the editor section of an old Consumer Reports from the late 50's, where one reader was griping, asking if GM could possibly roll their sheetmetal any thinner! I would've loved to have seen the look on that poor sap's face, maybe 20 or 30 years later (or today), since sheetmetal has only gotten thinner!


    I think people have always been griping about how "they don't make 'em like they used to", and probably always will. And I don't think it's necessarily about things being better or worse. Just different from what you're used to. For instance, I got used to a lot of those plush, padded cushy interiors of the late 70's and 80's, so in contrast when I see some of these new cars that are out, the interiors just look stark, at best. Who would've ever dreamt you could do so much with plastic?!
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    It seems while cars do look different over the years, it is not always better. An example is a 1959 Mercedes SL

    which in the 1960's became more squared, and is now once again a beauty. And look at the new SLK - what a beauty. I think there are some good looking cars being built today and more on the way for 2006 models, though I do wish I could hang an elbow out the window without throwing my arm out of the socket. The new car door window sills seem to match about chin height to the driver. That's just wrong. OK, at the least it looks bad, feels bad, and you don't have that feel for speed as you are driving along. Heck, parking may be dangerous, as you can not see what is on the other side of the car.


  • andyman73andyman73 Posts: 368
    Sorry about your Grandpa. When my Grandpa-in-law, was on his downslope, after 40 years of Parkinsons...he started seeing all sorts of construction equipment in the cornfield behind the house. He passed on 7 years ago, and cornfield is still cornfield.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 47,964
    My grandpa's bad spell was mercifully short. He always complimented the fintail, but the newer car he just couldn't grasp.


    And kind of on subject...he was a Mopar man back in the 60s and 70s, he liked Chrysler sedans especially. His favorite was a red 65 that he kept for about 5 years - a long time for him. I have to wonder if he'd like the 300 or the upcoming Charger. I know he was not happy when Chrysler went FWD and got smaller - he went to GM after that. I think he'd like the big RWD newer cars, and maybe even buy one. I wonder if these new cars will win over old Mopar fans who lost interest 20 years ago.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,535
    I lost a lot of interest in Chrysler when they started switching en masse to FWD. That ended up pissing off a lot of older Mopar fans, and in fact, roughly at that point Chrysler itself got divided into the "Old Chrysler" and the "New Chrysler". The "New Chrysler" pretty much started when Iacocca took over, and while a few RWD models were introduced after that, such as the R-body (1979-81 full-size) and J-body (1980-83 Cordoba/Mirada and '81-83 Imperial), they were still considered products of the "Old Chrysler", and weren't really all-new. The R-body was just a heavy facelift of the old '71-79 B-body intermediates, and the Cordoba/Mirada, Imperial, and M-body LeBaron/Diplomat/Gran Fury/New Yorker/5th Ave were all based on the '76 Volare.


    Nowadays though, even with the return to V-8 engines and RWD, and all that other cool stuff, I think the excuse among the die-hard Mopar fans now is that it's a German company, and not really a Chrysler!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 47,964
    I think he could have handled that...he never minded my Mercedes, and didn't react poorly when I told him the 126 wasn't a Chrysler. I consider the new RWD cars to be real Chryslers, unlike the billion K-car clones etc.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    It seemed as though a fair number of Mopar fans went to Olds and Buick in the early 1980s, when Chrysler had its near-death experience.


    Somehow, I doubt that they will go for the new 300C or Charger, as they are now most likely behind the wheel of a Buick Century or LeSabre.


    I can't imagine a group of owners less likely to switch to the in-your-face Mopars.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 47,964
    I think some older people are buying them. Who buys the ones with the landau tops? There's a little development of hilariously overpriced little homes for retirees on a spur off my street, and there are two 300s living there. Although these people might be younger than those who gave up on Mopar at age 60 20 years ago.
  • andyman73andyman73 Posts: 368
    My afore mentioned Pappy in law, his last new purchase was a 79 LTD w/302. By then Grandma was diagnosed with Alheimer's so, no need for a second car.


    My own paternal Grandfather...his last new purchase was a 72 Beatle for Grandma. Her first was a 46(?) Beatle bought new in Germany. Moved to U.S. in early spring of 48. But Grandpa(died in Jan of 74 when I was 2 mos. old.) was a die hard Chrysler man, Hemis all the way.


    Dad and Grandma went together to get their driver's license, in 63, in a 63 Chrysler wagon w/413 Hemi.


    Maternal grandparents are still alive and kicken, they are mid 70s, and drive a 15 Jimmy 4X4, and an 98 Camry. They were die hard Chebby, and bought a new one every other year. Until the stock market crash of 89. That was the year he retired, and they decided to spread out their purchases. I guess it was a financial wake up call for them.


    Dad tells me that when his father was a student at Drexel U., his roommate and best friend, would loan him his car for dates and stuff.(Grandma was born when Grandpa was 18yrs old.) Roommate was a Philly mainliner, car was some late 20s model Duesenburg. A new one, at that. According to Grandpa, as told by Dad, the Duesey was good for about 135mph! So, that's where my like of all things automotive come from.


     I just wish I could have gotten to know him. He would have been 95, two weeks ago. I'll have to wait till I get to heaven to hear all his car stories.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    They can call it what they may, but a 300 is never going to be a Charger. The Charger R/T future car looks so promissing, but what the heck went wrong? If you go to Dodge website and view the future cars, the Charger R/T looks petty darn cool. Give me one of those cars with a 250HP V6 and I would be ever so happy. The one they are passing off as the Charger looks like some amateur customization of the 300. The 300 is what it is, an in your face car that looks somewhat like a Bently, or any big box luxo car. That is fine. How do you go from that to sporty? The designs work on Charger R/T and the Razor and put some fun back into Dodge. The Magnum is pretty cool = super station wagon. The 300 conversion works pretty good there. The Razor is a cool idea, though I already have a Miata. Hope the Razor is a skosh larger than the Miata, as it is pretty tight. If they could get it to market soon, you would have the Miata and Solstice to choose from. The new Eclipse looks interesting. The Mustang is likely to lead them all by a wide margin. Gosh, one does miss the days of competition between Mustang, Challenger, Baracuda, Camaro and AMX/Javalin. While I have own Stangs, and think they look fine, I always loved the others = all those aforementioned.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    The Charger R/T concept car wouldn't sell all that well. Like it or not, most mainstream buyers don't want swoopy, low-slung four doors. And the market for true coupes is limited.


    Dodge needs a volume car to replace the Intrepid, and a car based on the Charger R/T concept (which had four doors, if I recall correctly, even though it was styled to resemble a coupe) would probably not have been a big (enough) seller.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    "" The Charger R/T concept car wouldn't sell all that well. Like it or not, most mainstream buyers don't want swoopy, low-slung four doors. And the market for true coupes is limited.


    Dodge needs a volume car to replace the Intrepid, and a car based on the Charger R/T concept (which had four doors, if I recall correctly, even though it was styled to resemble a coupe) would probably not have been a big (enough) seller

    "" end quote.


    You may indeed be correct. Most people don't appreciate cars as art, nor have fun driving them. This is sad. Only the minority seem interested in the auto these days. Most like the boring SUVs and bland and boring cars to take them from point A to point B. And currently we have all these cars with armored doors, which have the door sills up to the chin. Guess those are ready to do battle with the SUVs of this world. I hate it! Not only can you not hang an elbow out ( when safe to do so ), you can not see anything on the other side. Poor kids in parking lots? And instead of the feel of speed and the roadside seems to be rushing by, you get nothing but a closed in feeling, like driving in your coffin. If they keep this up, used cars will look pretty darn good in comparison. Not sure about the Mustang, as I think it is somewhat in-between as far as door height. The 300 line of Chryslers have the tall doors with the chop top look. Can we all say, Mercury chop tops, at your local Chrysler deal. Is that a good thing ;-)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,535
    would be if Dodge had just held onto the Intrepid nameplate for their volume car, and then gone ahead and release that close-coupled, swoopy 4-door and called it "Charger".


    Actually, at one time, that was the plan. A few years back when taller cars started catching on, Chrysler was planning on releasing a taller, family oriented LX car that would be sold under Dodge and Chrysler nameplates, and then a sportier, high performance, more low-slung model was to be offered: 300 in the case of Chrysler, and Charger for Dodge.


    I guess somewhere along the line though, they figured that they could get away with just one body for the Chrysler and use it to span everything from the entry level models on up to the high performance C. And Dodge just kind of got forgotten, as the final Intrepids rolled off the assembly line in September of 2003. While the Magnum has been a decent seller for Dodge, they can't expect a station wagon to pick up all the volume of a mainstream 4-door sedan!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 13,735
    i think the high beltline was determined by the hemi engine, which was designed for a truck, and has a taller body.
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  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556

    i think the high beltline was determined by the hemi engine, which was designed for a truck, and has a taller body.

    "" [end of quote]

    I wish that was the case, but most all the new cars have that strange look and feel to them. Even sports cars like the Tiburon have those awful high door sills. The 350Z is just ridiculous, with those little side windows. Are these things army tanks now??? As far as looks go, I wonder if there was a poll taken for those liking say the 300 vs 300M, which car would win? Just look at the lines on the Intrepid and how it looks like a futuristic concept car at the Detroit Auto Show. As a box goes, the 300 is not as bad as the so called Charger pretending to be a sporty car. OK, it is not the worse looking car of all time, but it is a far cry from the future car concepts presented prior as the Charger. Oh well, if it sells and makes money, that is good for DCX. I am sure someone will simply fall head over heels for the new Charger. I say bring on the Razor... that will be a cool looking car. Perhaps too small though. I say this, though I have a Miata -- talk about micro!
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 32,961
    one of the columns in this weeks issue of Autoweek was about this topic. Don't remember exactly what he said, but he did bring up the '70 models (024, etc.), and basically told the whiners to suck it up, that Chrysler wasn't going to change the name for them.


    I beleive he referred to the noise makers as 35 YO trekkies living in their mothers basement, but that could have been in another article.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,535
    because in its final season, "The Dukes of Hazzard" got tromped by Webster! ;-)


    I saw Tom Wopat doing a little concert at Hershey Park back in 1995, so I guess his career didn't exactly skyrocket after that. Actually, let me rephrase that. We went to Hershey Park that day, and Tom Wopat just happened to be there. We did NOT go there just to see him!!
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    but John Schneider is Clark's (superman's) father in Smallville!
  • I don't see what the big fuss is all about - Chrysler has used the "Charger" name on a LOT worse cars back in the 70's and 80's.
  • You know good and well you went to see Tom Wopat. Betcha sat in the front row and yelled, "Woohoo!! Luke Duke!!! Over here, dude!!! Woohoo!!! ;-)


    As for which looks better, the 300M or the 300C, I'm gonna have to go with the C. The new design really makes the LH cars look ooooold to me. And I liked the M when they came out! Plus, given the choice of the mediocre looking Charger with a Hemi and RWD and a 300M with V6 and FWD, I'll take the Charger every time.


    High door sill? Yep, I hate 'em, but that seems to be the trend now. <shrugs>


  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,535
    I pretty much gave up on the Dukes of Hazzard that season that they replaced them with Coy and Vance. I think that was also the season that they tried to do more and more spectacular car stunts to compete with Knight Rider. It had already been proven that the General Lee was a better jumper than KITT, which is why Knight Rider went to the use of miniatures for a lot of the stunts. Well, they decided to go so over the top that even the General couldn't handle it, so the Dukes started using miniatures as well!


    Now, big budget sci-fi movies, and to a lesser extent, big-budget sci-fi tv shows, can get away with miniatures and matte paintings, especially when they're showing stuff like outer space scenes, spaceships, etc, stuff that you've never seen full-size, so when you see it as a miniature, it doesn't look that bad. But when you see a real Charger in one shot, and then a 1/25th scale Ertl Charger jumping over a toy house with lichen trees and a yard made out of moss, it looks really bad!


    So, Coy & Vance pretty much killed it for me. And the stories and acting was getting so bad by that time that they were making the characters on "Mama's Family" look like honorary members of Mensa!


    Also, in that final season, the Dukes went up against Webster on ABC and "V" on NBC. I was a sci-fi nut back then, so I was tuned into "V" every friday night. Now if it was Jane Badler or Faye Grant up on that Hershey Park stage, then yeah, I would've definitely been doing some whooping and hollering! But Tom Wopat? No. Not even for John Schneider! ;-)
  • I just recently had the opportunity to see the

    2006 Dodge Charger at an auto show. While many people were clustered around the new eye catching Ford Mustang, I never saw more than five people looking at the ungainly Charger and two of them were women polishing the car. This is no exaggeration.


    Based on the auto show, if Daimler's future is hanging on such a lame offering I believe it is time to unload DCX stock.


    While Daimler management continues to spend an exhorbitant amount of money in an effort to re-educate us as to what we want, other companies are delivering what we really want.


    Instead of stepping up and acknowledging their mistake, I believe that Daimler management will ride this abomination until they are tossed upon the scrap heap of automotive history.
  • blh7068blh7068 Posts: 375
    "I don't see what the big fuss is all about - Chrysler has used the "Charger" name on a LOT worse cars back in the 70's and 80's."


    Agreed 100%. The Charger started becoming tarnished to me after '70.


    Granted, the shelby offerings back in the 80s were pretty quick and offered performance that was absent from the anemic v-8 offerings of the mid to late 70s- but they too like most everything else made at the time were pretty crude. After all those "Chargers" were really nothing more than a hopped up Omni 024/Plymouth Horizon.


    So that begs the question- did the fuss really start back when there was no internet? Or is the proclaimed legacy "abuse" merely because of the 2 added doors?


    That said- imo the thread should be titled

    Diamler's continued abuse of the Dodge Charger legacy, as the so called abuse started LONG ago.


    Slipping an anemic v-8 into a rebaged Cordoba or a turbo motor into a Horizon or 024 hatchback and calling them "Chargers" is not abuse of the legacy, but a four door with some muscle is?


    Unless of course one wants to include those of the mid to late 70s or worse yet the crappy econoboxes of the 80's as part of the "legacy" lol.


    Doesn't make sense to me.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    at least THIS Charger will have a 345 hp Hemi engine, some styling, and will out-handle the Chargers of the muscle car days - with the exception of the old school Hemi and 440 six pack cars, it'll outrun the old school Chargers in the quarter, and don't dare show up with an old one at an autocross track when the new one is there.


    DCC has a literal gold mine on its hands with having another vehicle to strongly compete with the Crown Victoria for police and municipal sales. I have no doubt that they can take 40-50% of the cop market.


    The '71-74 Charger was the most ungainly, overweight, and anemic car there was, it seems - again, the Dodge Omni platformed Shelby Charger was "spritely", as one magazine put it, but it was still an Omni/Horizon underneath.


    Face it, coupes have a limited market - a 4 dr car has much more appeal to the masses, esepecially when you can take the family with you, go on vacation, get some groceries, and still be able to run a 13-14 second quarter and 0-60 in 6 seconds. That's before the obligatory modifications, of course.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    Andre and I saw the new Charger at the Philadelphia Auto Show. I agree with driftracer - DaimlerChrysler has another hit on its hands. The car has a bold, aggressive stance and a distinctive look. Comments from people who were standing around the dislay were uniformly favorable.


    The main reason it wasn't attracting as much attention as the Mustang was because the Mustangs were out on the floor, and people could get inside them. The Charger was on a raised platform, and not accessible to the general public.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    was smart and didn't want all their radio knobs, AC controls, antennas, and dipsticks stolen....
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,535
    seeing it in person, that I want one. So, when it comes out, at least they'll be guaranteed to sell at least one! Well, not when they FIRST come out, because I'm enjoying life with no car payment right now. However, once my current Dodge becomes more Decrepid than Intrepid, I'll definitely consider the Charger!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 13,735
    "DCC has a literal gold mine on its hands with having another vehicle to strongly compete with the Crown Victoria for police and municipal sales. I have no doubt that they can take 40-50% of the cop market."

    there are a couple of obstacles to overcome with the charger. one is that there isn't really a need for the 5.7 in a cop car. 4.7 would be better. the other is that it better be durable and cheap to maintain and repair. i got these opinions from a site that has crown vic threads, but they make sense.

    it seems the michigan state police kind of set the standard for testing. they already had '05. guess it will have to wait until '06 for the charger.
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  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    having been a police officer, and having known hundreds of police officers, these guys aren't into the "don't need a bigger engine when a wimpy one would do" train of thought.


    Maybe for supervisor or administrator vehicles the 4.7, or even a V-6 would do, but for highway action, that extra 100 hp is definitely usable and necessary.
This discussion has been closed.