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History of: Dodge Challenger

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front end of purple dodge challenger

American muscle cars have a rich and long-standing tradition as some of the most prized and popular vehicles ever produced in history. From the beginnings of the Ford Motor Company to the branches of other American car companies, these vehicles have been favorites for decades.

While some of these popular muscle cars have been around for decades, one of the biggest fan favorites, the Dodge Challenger, is a relative newcomer. With just a handful of models, however, the Dodge Challenger has become one of the most popular muscle cars ever made, even becoming a part of the "pony show" of top of the line muscle cars. NFCPerformance has Oracle halo headlights for Dodge Challengers, so we are excited to walk you through the proud history of this beastly machine.

First Generation

Also known as a "pony car," the Dodge Challenger was a late entrant to the group of popular muscle such as Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro.

Making its original debut in 1970, the Dodge Challenger was essentially an enlarged Plymouth Barracuda that featured more interior space. Complete with a two door body, a hard-top or convertible design, nine different engine choices, and wide range of unique colors, the Dodge challenger was truly revolutionary and the most versatile vehicle of its kind in circulation at the time.

Over the next few years, however, a wide variety of both emission and insurance-related adjustments around the country began to hurt the Challenger, as it was forced to make an extensive number of changes with each year's model, including limited engine choices and edits to the grill and both front and rear bumpers. In 1974, Dodge discontinued the production of the Challenger altogether.

classic blue dodge challenger

Second Generation

Four years later in 1978, a new version of the Dodge Challenger was introduced to the public, under the revamped body of a Mitsubishi Galant Lambda. This model, however, did not possess the same design features and qualities that the first generation Challenger did and didn't feel like a traditional muscle car in any form of the phrase according to the test review from Car and Driver.

Thanks to the changes that did not reflect the original Dodge Challenger, this new model failed to take off and was once again discontinued in 1984. This time, for far longer.

21st Century Generation

After more than 20 years, the Dodge Challenger finally made an appearance to the public once again, as a concept was originally shown at the International Auto Show in Detroit in 2006, with the official production model being unveiled in 2008.

This modern take on the classic Challenger finally brought back the original body from the first generations of Challengers, complete with the four round headlights and taillight strip. This rear wheel drive muscle car added the SE model in 2009 and has become one of the most popular all-around muscle cars in circulation today.