Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

Previous in Blog: Mother Road to Turn 90; New Route 66 Preservation Organization Begins Work   Next in Blog: “Experience a long road trip the way it was then:” The Highways to Travel in Addition to Route 66
Close
Close
Close
14 comments

The (Original) Dodge Charger Marks Its Golden Anniversary

Posted December 22, 2015 9:00 AM by dstrohl

If ever there was a car with an identity crisis, it was the B-body Dodge Charger. Introduced in 1966 as a sporty personal luxury car, the Charger would evolve to become a legitimate performance standard-bearer for Dodge before ending its life, in 1978, as a rebadged Chrysler Cordoba. In 2016, the B-body Charger marks its 50th birthday, and given the car's impact on the American landscape, it's one worth celebrating.

As the 1960s reached the halfway point, Dodge dealers were impatiently pressuring the automaker for a response to the Ford Mustang. At Chrysler headquarters, the challenge was to market the Barracuda more effectively in an effort to counter Mustang sales, which did nothing to help the Dodge brand. The compromise was to create a new car, on an existing platform, that would drive traffic into Dodge dealerships without pirating customers away from Plymouth showrooms.

You know it: that things gotta Hemi.

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Wannabeabettawelda

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 7266
Good Answers: 420
#1

Re: The (Original) Dodge Charger Marks Its Golden Anniversary

12/22/2015 3:46 PM

Looks a lot like the lines on a Dodge Coronet R/T my older sister drove back in the day.

Her car was the same color blue as the picture below (from Wikipedia) but I remember she had the locking hood pins protruding through the hood. I remember as a kid being fascinated by the little yellow tell tails on the corners of the front fenders that blinked when using the turn signal. Back when people actually used them.

Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Evolution - New Member Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member

Join Date: May 2006
Location: The 'Space Coast', USA
Posts: 11112
Good Answers: 918
#2
In reply to #1

Re: The (Original) Dodge Charger Marks Its Golden Anniversary

12/22/2015 7:09 PM

That was before the EPA banned blinker fluid.

Reply
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Wannabeabettawelda

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 7266
Good Answers: 420
#3
In reply to #2

Re: The (Original) Dodge Charger Marks Its Golden Anniversary

12/22/2015 7:12 PM

I've often wondered what happened.

Reply
2
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4357
Good Answers: 53
#9
In reply to #3

Re: The (Original) Dodge Charger Marks Its Golden Anniversary

12/23/2015 8:15 PM

Yes, the ban started with Cal OSHA and the fluid being unsafe. Then it went to the US Congress and they banned it in the other 49 states. Next, Germany found it to cause cancer. The EU followed and finally England said no too. Japan gave it a NO, same for Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and the rest of the Americas. The last to hold on was Korea (they said no in the late 80's, then finally the Middle East said they didn't want kids born with 2 heads, so they banned it.

So, the last stronghold is China and since the rest of the world has barrels upon barrels of this stuff leaking out of rusty steel drums, China has gracefully agreed to accept all of it. They found out that it makes a great release agent when doing injection molding of plastics and since they got caught using lead (remember the kids toys with lead), they now have an inexpensive replacement. The left over stuff can also be dumped in the ocean.

And since we banned muffler grease, the muffler bearings have been failing too fast. I heard all the muffler grease was given to China and used in their factories as a base for kids toys (paint). It's also used as a replacement for lead.

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
2
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 42296
Good Answers: 1662
#10
In reply to #9

Re: The (Original) Dodge Charger Marks Its Golden Anniversary

12/23/2015 8:28 PM

Thank you for that well researched explanation.

For me, that answers a question that has been nagging me for years. Now, I understand why no one uses their blinkers any more.

They must still be laboring under the incorrect assumption that blinker fluid is vented into the atmosphere every time they signal a turn.

Of course we in the engineering community know that solid state blinkers do not require any lubrication to function properly unlike the older, analog blinkers.

I think it's high time the U.S Department of Transportation establishes a Bureau of Blinker User's Education Division.

Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4357
Good Answers: 53
#11
In reply to #10

Re: The (Original) Dodge Charger Marks Its Golden Anniversary

12/24/2015 2:35 PM

We always deal in FACTS here!

By the way, do you know where I can get a couple quarts of blinker fluid? I ran out last week.

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Reply
Guru
Fans of Old Computers - ZX-81 - New Member

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: 18N 65W o
Posts: 954
Good Answers: 27
#13
In reply to #9

Re: The (Original) Dodge Charger Marks Its Golden Anniversary

12/27/2015 11:55 AM

Here in PR and in the entire Caribbean for that matter, Customs removes the lever, and with it the Hi/Lo dimmer switch. Operational brake lights only distract the drivers behind.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 42296
Good Answers: 1662
#4

Re: The (Original) Dodge Charger Marks Its Golden Anniversary

12/22/2015 7:18 PM

I never liked the oversized pig. Too big and heavy for me, as if I could afford one.

Now, a Superbird, or a Barracuda, those were cars.

Reply
Member

Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 7
#5
In reply to #4

Re: The (Original) Dodge Charger Marks Its Golden Anniversary

12/23/2015 12:33 AM

I remember when it came out and I believe it was a reporter with Road & Track who voiced his disappointment that it was oversized, looked cumbersome. Since it was a Dodge he had hoped it would have been based on the Dart. I agree, but I guess since Chrysler already had the Barracuda, they didn't want to compete with themselves in that size category. If they did think that way, it didn't make sense since the Dart and Valiant already competed with each other. But in the long run it didn't matter what anyone thought since the car turned out to be successful with a long run.

Reply
Active Contributor

Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 14
Good Answers: 1
#6

Re: The (Original) Dodge Charger Marks Its Golden Anniversary

12/23/2015 9:33 AM

I got back from Vietnam, bought a 1969 Plymouth Road Runner that I loved, the Charger just seemed heaver when I drove it and didn't pull out as well. Trying the charger I drove a used '66, '68', and new '69.

My buddies had all kinds of muscle cars, during the next few years I had a 396 Chevelle, Boss 302 Mustang fast back, and 396 Corvette, all with 4 speed tyranny's. Loved them all and wish I still had them.

Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Power-User

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 128
Good Answers: 9
#7

Re: The (Original) Dodge Charger Marks Its Golden Anniversary

12/23/2015 9:34 AM

Oh, I have a few fond memories of this car. One of my good buddies in high school (early 70's) had an older brother who had a Charger like this. White with a medium blue interior. The rear seats would fold down to make a flat area all the way back into the trunk. I thought that option was cool. His brother was off to college and the car just sat in the garage. Well my buddy couldn't resist and he occasionally took the car out for a drive. 383 and a 4 speed - it could go. His favorite place was a new pc of lonely blacktop on a slight grade. After rolling backwards a bit he unleashed that 383 and the tire smoke literally rolled in those big side windows causing a bit of coughing. Oh but our grins were wide and the hooker on the blacktop was wider. I smile a little right now thinking about it. I don't think his brother ever caught on.

Hmm, those tires just don't hold up like they used to!

Reply
Power-User
United States - Member - New Member Hobbies - HAM Radio - AC9JZ extra

Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 156
Good Answers: 9
#8

Re: The (Original) Dodge Charger Marks Its Golden Anniversary

12/23/2015 2:35 PM

I have the 2010 Charger now, but would love one of these too. This is a funny ad from 1970.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYF9k_8r8OM

Makes you want a Charge Dodger.

__________________
The only dumb question is the one you didn't ask.
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4357
Good Answers: 53
#12

Re: The (Original) Dodge Charger Marks Its Golden Anniversary

12/24/2015 3:03 PM

For all you muscle car enthusiasts out there, I have a question. The Gen 2 and Gen 3 Dodge Chargers with a 426 Hemi puts out 425 HP (or so the factory said). Okay, lets assume they were 10% low - that puts it at 467 HP. Good for the 60's, right!

Fast forward to today and let's take a look at the Dodge Scat Pack (485 HP) and Hellcat (707 HP)models. Whoa! That's more than 467HP.

Let's look at 1/4 mile times. The fastest stock Charger was a 1969 Hemi Charger 500, which did 13.48 seconds vs a stock Scat Pack at 12.6 seconds and the Hellcat Charger at 11.0 seconds.

How about going around corners - okay, you can stop laughing.

And braking?

So, I understand there's the nostalgia tied into the old Chargers, but why pay more a lesser car? There's a lot of them out there, so they're not that rare, but the Hellcat is very hard to get. A future collectors car?

I think some of the old cars are cool, but I'm not a muscle car fan. I don't own one now and most likely I won't buy one. Maybe that's why I don't get it.

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Instrumentation Engineering - New Member Hobbies - Automotive Performance - New Member Technical Fields - Education - New Member Fans of Old Computers - TRS-80 - New Member Hobbies - Musician - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 1331
Good Answers: 30
#14
In reply to #12

Re: The (Original) Dodge Charger Marks Its Golden Anniversary

12/27/2015 5:12 PM

True, but there weren't ANY 2016 vehicles for those 1966 HEMI vehicles to race against (wink,wink).

__________________
...and the Devil said: "...yes, but it's a DRY heat..!"
Reply
Reply to Blog Entry 14 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

70AARCuda (1); Anonymous Hero (1); Autobroker (3); Brave Sir Robin (2); justajo (1); JustCurious (1); JWthetech (1); lyn (2); Mike Proctor (1); Quality Matters (1)

Previous in Blog: Mother Road to Turn 90; New Route 66 Preservation Organization Begins Work   Next in Blog: “Experience a long road trip the way it was then:” The Highways to Travel in Addition to Route 66

Advertisement