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Daimler's abuse of the Dodge Charger legacy.



  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,036
    the current philosophy is 'don't chase' and 'you can't outrun the radio'. you might be able to justify a few pursuit cars in the grand national, mustang, camaro scenario. but not 40-50 percent.
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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    the MSP actually tested a Magnum with the 3.5 V-6, not the Hemi. Here's the test, if anyone's interested.


    The 3.5 Magnum did 0-60 in 9.1 seconds, which was slower than the Impala 3.8 (8.76 seconds), and Crown Vic (8.15 or 8.42 seconds, depending on the axle, 3.27:1 or 3.55:1). While the Magnum did come off as the slowest, that's still not too bad, considering they're using a fairly small engine in a fairly heavy RWD body. And FWIW, that 9.1 seconds is faster than the 2003 Intrepid, Impala, and Crown Vic that the MSP tested.


    The 4.7 V-8 was actually slated to go in the LX cars at one time, and would be adequate as a police engine, especially when you consider that the Impala only has a 3.8 and the Crown Vic uses a 4.6.


    However, the Hemi is a cheap, simple, durable design, and is actually cheaper to build than the 4.7 OHC V-8. It's faster when you need to stomp on it, but once you're just loafing along, mileage really isn't that much worse.


    Also consider that police cars tend to get beefed up, which adds weight, not to mention all the equipment that goes in them. So a civilian car that might be just fine with a certain engine might actually be underpowered as a police car.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,036
    "However, the Hemi is a cheap, simple, durable design, and is actually cheaper to build than the 4.7 OHC V-8. It's faster when you need to stomp on it, but once you're just loafing along, mileage really isn't that much worse."

    the durability of the hemi is still to be determined. assuming that is fine, there is also the rest of the vehicle to consider, as far as maintenance and repairs go. putting a light bar on the roof is pretty much most of the 'bling' you need!
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  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,966
    I asked if the Charger was going to be at the Phiily show and the folks from Dodge said no, so I was semi-surprised to see it there. As the platform the Charger was on wasn't turning or lights set up to highlight the car when we got there, it struck me that it was a late edition to the show. I liked the look of it in person better than the pictures I had seen. I came back to the display a couple of times during my time at the show just to see how people were reacting to the Charger. Some nods of approval and some picture taking, but a fair amount of headshaking and "what were they thinking?" comments as well.


    My 14 year old nephew thought it looked like they had slapped a Ram front end onto a car.


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  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Do you recall the Matador? What's a Matador commercials where pretty funny. A company making fun of themselves. Maybe these are like the good ol' days when we will have a few awkward looking cars along an auto's lifetime. So after the Charger comes what, say fins on cars? That's the ticket!!! Maybe add a bullet nose? You wake up one day, just like the dream or nightmare, Porsche cars are morphing into SUV's. It was a dream - right?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    than the AMC Matador was the Dodge Matador. It was a one-year only offering in 1960, and didn't sell very well. That year, Dodge went downscale in a major way, replacing their entry-level Coronet with the smaller Dodge Dart lineup, which basically mimicked the whole full-sized Plymouth lineup. The Dart was a hot seller that year, moving over 300,000 units, and the only reason Plymouth as a whole outsold Dodge was because Plymouth had the compact Valiant that year.


    Further up the line though, in what was more traditional Dodge territory, the 1959 Royal and Custom Royal were replaced by the 1960 Matador and Polara, respectively. They were good looking cars, but were dated looking compared to Ford and GM rivals, and even the DeSotos and Chryslers that year were cleaner and more modern looking! They also really didn't look that much different from a Dart, so most buyers probably couldn't justify the added expense to move to a Polara/Matador.


    I always thought "Matador" was a cool name. I wasn't too crazy about those later sedans that it went on though, that had single headlights and an exaggerated Dart-like beak. Those coupes that were sold from around '74-78 though, were so ugly they were cool!
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    the Six Million Dollar Man (Lee Majors), drove a Matador...
  • jimhemijimhemi Posts: 223
    OK, so now both names are officially ruined. The new for 2005 limited edition Charger Daytona will be available. Well here you go

    And the good folks at for this

    You can all see for yourselves, no need for me to say anything about this atrocity.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    I think they actually look pretty good. I'd rather see the paint/striping combo on a proper musclecar than on those "RumbleBee" pickups. <shrug>


    And isn't it better that the R/T designation is back on RWD V8 cars rather than Stratus coupes and Neons?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    Too bad they couldn't put a unique nose cone on it though, to make it look more slicked back. Oh, and a huge wing on the back, as well!
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Hey, I'm sure they'll add the nose in a year or two for the really limited Superbird version. They'll also add a Lancer Evo-like wing to complete the effect. And then, just like last time, it will be a total sensation (maybe it'll appear in rap video) but it won't really sell and dealers will be ripping all that off to try to move them.


    And 30 years from now, the few that did survive intact will be worth huge bucks to generation "Z" or whatever who fondly remember them from their youth... :-)
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    I assume that you are talking about the nose and tail on the cars built to win NASCAR races back when... Well they did. Richard Petty, if I recall correctly was driving Dodges to victory. The nose and tail actually worked too well. As for sales to the public, nahhh, it did not sell well, but they had to make X number of cars to make it a stock car for NASCAR. Now-a-days, the NASCAR has nothing to do with the street car, as they are all the same. And yeap, those cars are worth a fortune. If you plan on driving around 180 MPH, you may want to order the wing. We could start a whole new thread for, " what was the worse car you spotted going down the road with a home made looking spoiler." Final word: Let's all hope the actual Charger looks better live and in person, than it comes off in photos. That said, everyone likes something different.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    at the Philly auto show, I thought it looked a lot better than the photos suggest. It does have a few awkward angles here and there, but truthfully, most cars do. I think my biggest complaint is that the hood is too short and the passenger cabin is too long, making it visually awkward. However, there's really nothing Chrysler could do about that, at least not cheaply. Remember that the new Charger is about 8-9 inches shorter overall than the classic '68-70 Chargers, yet has a much bigger back seat. Up front it's probably about the same, except that the new one is taller, and the trunk on the new one is smaller, at least going by the specs.


    However, since the front has kind of a forward thrust, it does seem to give the car a longer looking hoodline than on the 300, which slopes back a bit. So at least they tried! Well, a little.
  • jimhemijimhemi Posts: 223
    I know some of you have said that you have seen the 2006 Charger upclose,in person and it's better in person then in photos still doesn't bode well. If it looks good in person it should look good in a photo. I've never seen a super model that didn't look good in a photo.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Oh, I don't know...many people (inc. me) think the new Mustang looks better in person than it does in the photos.


    In the end, I can't imagine that Charger is going to be largely reviled...after all, it's not like there is a sea of other options out there if you're looking for a full-sized rwd heritage musclecar.


    And considering that the last Charger I remember was a 4 cyl econo-hatch, this version looks pretty darn good. Esp. so when you consider its main competitor, the new GTO...whatever negative you can say about the Charger design, it can't be worse than "bloated Cavalier"... ;-)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    I think it's just the opposite. Often people look better on tv and in pictures than they do in real life, because they've been made up to take advantage of lighting, contrast, etc.


    Wanna see a perfect example of pictures looking better than the real thing? Just go on any online personals website and look at the pictures. I can guarantee you that most of those pictures look better than the real thing! Although that's because people often use pics that were taken 5 years ago, pics of other, better looking people, etc ;-)


    And I agree, the Mustang does look better in person than in pictures, although I think it looks good in the pics, too! My biggest complaint about the new Stang is the rear...just has a cheap, unfinished look to it, and occasionally you can see some sloppiness in the way it was put together. But then, that's how the original was, so they're sticking with heritage! ;-)


    I also don't think the new Stang looks quite right on the GT models with the extra lights in the grille. I think it's because the grille is a bit narrower on the new model than the old ones, and the lights are just too big, and too close together.


    As for competition, I know the Charger is being compared to the GTO, mainly because they're both bringing back classic names that competed with each other in the past. I don't think they really compete any more, though. The GTO is more of a purpose-built 2+2 sporty coupe with a high performance engine and very limited market. But the Charger, as far as I'm concerned, is just another entry in the mid-to-almost-fullsized sedan category that contains a wide array of cars such as the Malibu, Impala, Accord, Camry, Altima, Ford 500, LaCrosse, LeSabre, Bonneville, Grand Prix, Avalon, etc. It just happens to be RWD and happens to offer a V-8 model, but it's still a mainstream family car, just as the Intrepid was.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    I almost bought a '69 Charger back in the early 90's. It only had a 225 slant six. It was a beautiful, aggressive, good looking car, but it would've had no power whatsoever. Probably about on par with those 4-cyl Chargers of the 80's, and the turbocharged 4-cyl Chargers would've blown it away!


    Even in its heyday, the Charger wasn't a dedicated muscle car like the GTO was. The GTO started off with a 389-4bbl as the base engine (400-4bbl for '67). I don't think the '66-67 Charger offered a slant six, but it did offer engines as mundane as the old wideblock 318-2bbl. You could get a 383, 440, or 426 Hemi, but that was an extra-cost option. Every single Charger didn't automatically come as a musclecar, right out the door. And by 70, you could get a slant six, which was definitely NOT a musclecar, although it might have looked the part.


    The Charger was actually a bit of a hybrid, intended to offer a bit of musclecar and a bit of personal luxury coupe, but it never went 100% into either category.
  • My 69 Charger with a 383hp was blown away by my 91 Shadow Turbo.


  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    had a '66 Charger for about a year, a few years back. It had a 383-4bbl, but had some work done to it so it was more powerful than stock. It was a pretty quick car. I got to drive it once or twice, and that kick-in-the-pants feeling you'd get when you punched it at highway speeds to pass could get really addictive!


    I had an '88 LeBaron turbo coupe, but it was just the 2.2 liter 146 hp Turbo-I. Not bad for the time, but nothing to brag about. It was a good blend of power and economy, with 0-60 around the 9-9.5 second mark, I'd guess, and fuel economy of around 20 around town, and 28-30 on the highway. I've heard that the real hot one is the Dodge Spirit R/T. I think it had something like 224 hp and would do 0-60 in about 5.9 seconds!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,960
    This is a little off topic, but different cars are being mentioned, so what the hell.


    A relative of mine has a 93 Sundance Duster that he loves. It's the V6, and he's put more agressive wheels and some suspension work into it. He got it a couple years ago at a relatively low mileage, and has had almost no trouble with it, including a couple almost cross country trips. Are they actually decent cars? He's only in his early 20s and has previous experience with worse cars, like a Lumina, Neon, K-Car etc. But he sure likes this little car.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Those Dodge Spirit R/Ts are the coolest...they only made a few thousand of them, and they're all sought after now with as much desire as the mid-1990s Impala SSs.


    Apparently they are total roller-coaster rides, with enough torque steer to jump you a lane of traffic if you really punch it. Can't beat those kinda kicks when it comes to everyday automotive fun! :-)
  • They are pretty good cars. Don't forget their Mopars, so you have to put up with little things breaking/failing at all times.


    I sold my 91 Shadow Turbo (0-60 was around 7.5 sec, and I wasn't ding a clutch dump to acheive that either) to a couple who promptly turned around and traded it in on a Neon. The Shadow was probably more reliable. I thought about going to the dealer and offering him 50 bucks for it, but the insurance on that little joker was sky high.


    That 3.0 in your buddies car is a known oil burner. Bad valve guides IIRC.


  • I came oh so close to buying a Daytona R/T with the same motor. It was a beast on the street. The head had all sorts of issues, but by now the ones you find for sale have generally been dealt with. Head was designed by Lotus, and if you squint at the Neon DOHC, they kinda look the same. Some guys were even putting the Neon DOHC on the turbo 2.5 and making insane power at stock boost. Lots of machine work, though.


  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    I think they had most of the bugs worked out of the K-cars and anything that was based on them. Now my '88 LeBaron crapped out in a major way, but for the most part it held up pretty well until around the 110,000 mile mark.


    The Mitsubishi engines such as the 2.6 and 3.0 were troublesome, mainly known for burning oil, but I'm sure they had other problems as well. The Mopar 2.2 and 2.5 were pretty good though, and relatively simple to work on. They had an iron block and aluminum head though, which over time could play hell with the head gasket, as the two metals would expand and contract at different rates. And the turbos could get troublesome as they aged, but that seems to be the case even with modern cars. In my case, the turbo blew and the head gasket went, and the head warped all a bit past the 110,000 mile mark. Thankfully though, I was divorced by that time and it was the ex-wife's problem! The a/c also went around that timeframe.


    The current 2.0 and 2.4 4-cylinders are based on the old 2.5. For some reason though, the 2.0 in the Neon became known for blowing head gaskets very early on. Maybe that was because they increased the power too much? Those old 2.2 and 2.5's only had around 96-100 hp unless you went turbo, but then this little 2.0 comes out with 132 hp, which was pretty astounding for the time. Maybe it was just too much for the engine?


    I dunno if the 2.4 blows head gaskets like the 2.0 tends to. It seems like most of the hype was on the 2.0.
  • jtrikjtrik Posts: 11
    I see those pics and they look great...hope to see it in person soon.


    Since we're talking about late or early model brother had a 83 Plymouth Turismo 2.2 and ended up with over 180,000 miles before he sold it...I had a 88 Chrysler Convertible with the 2.5 and i just gave it away to charity this year with over 190,000 miles on it...i never had the mechanical problems people are talking about here...clutch was the same even! I love Mopar products even though i went on to BMW's and now drive wifes Fords...but i can see myself in one of those Chargers R/T' the looks....
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Since we're now on Chryslers generally, speaking of "abusing a legacy", what ever became of those odd Chrysler-Maserati TCs?


    Does anyone covet them these days...I haven't seen one in years. Does anyone even know someone who owns one? What was the Maserati part of them looked like a LeBaron with a portal-ed window hardtop.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,960
    I've noticed that, turbo. It does puff when he starts it. I always assumed they weren't good cars, but he's had good luck with his, and he speaks very highly of it, so I thought I might have been wrong. For a domestic of that era, I guess it is pretty good.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    " Since we're now on Chryslers generally, speaking of "abusing a legacy", what ever became of those odd Chrysler-Maserati TCs?


    Does anyone covet them these days...I haven't seen one in years. Does anyone even know someone who owns one? What was the Maserati part of them looked like a LeBaron with a portal-ed window hardtop. " -end quote-


    Saw one in a used car show room, with some other more expensive model, left and right. Looked pretty good, but has a few rough spots. Not bad considering the age. The BODY is by Maserati and the engine is Chrysler. I assume, like the Scion tC, the Chrysler "TC" stands for Touring Coupe.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    Mopar Nationals at Carlisle, PA in July, and you'll probably see about 20-30 of them! The TC actually does have a following, but I think it's mainly like the people who put away Allantes and Reattas. They'll get together for club meets and shows, and drive them around on nice days and weekends, but that's about it.


    I don't think they're a bad looking car, but personally, I think the '87 LeBaron coupe and convertible just came out much better looking, and at a much lower price. There's a reason the cars look so similar, though. From what I recall, the TC style was actually thought up first, around 1983-84, but then got put on hold. So they ended up cribbing that style and modifying it a bit for the '87 LeBaron. But then they turned around and decided to produce the TC anyway, and since it came out second, the cheaper LeBaron pretty much stole its thunder, and making it look like an also-ran.
  • My Dodge K-Car had "2.6 HEMI" badges on the fenders. It was funny, back then I got asked "That thing have a Hemi?" and "Can I look under the hood?". The balance shaft Mitsubishi 2.6 engine did have hemispherical combustion chambers. I suppose one could argue the HEMI name may have been ruined by its use on the K-Car but I doubt many people remember or care. Back then the K-Car saved Chrysler from going out of business.
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