The first generation Dodge Challenger was produced by the Chrysler Corporation in 1970. It was a beautiful automobile with a long hood and wide stance that practically screamed muscle car. When built with the 440-cubic-inch big-block or the near race 426-cubic-inch Hemi V8 engine that muscle car look was transformed into reality.
First Generation Dodge Challengers Now Highly Valued
The first generation Dodge Challengers were built from 1970 until 1974. The cars came to market near the end of the 1960s and 1970s muscle car craze in America. While for some time they lost their popularity their muscular good looks and blistering performance are highly valued today. Nostalgia by a generation or two of well-heeled baby boomer Americans as to the car’s place in American feel-good history has led to a rapid appreciation in value.
The rarest of the Dodge Challengers that are in excellent condition, the Hemi-powered coupes and the Hemi-powered convertibles, now sell at auction for anywhere from $200,000 to well over $1 million. I knew I should have tucked away one or two of those classic handsome muscle cars, how about you?
Brilliant Move to Bring Dodge Challenger Model Back into Production
Someone in the Chrysler Corporation Dodge division had a brilliant thought, probably sometime in 2006 or 2007, which was to bring back the Dodge Challenger for the model year 2008. Fortunately, for the muscle car enthusiast, the thought was approved by Chrysler’s management team. The 2008 Challenger was built in only the top of the line Challenger SRT8, which sported a 6.1 liter Hemi engine rated at 425 hp. The brilliance of the 2008 Dodge Challenger was that it followed the look of the 1970 Challenger model, but had refinements that made it even more of a classic looking muscle car than the original.
The 2008 Challenger SRT8 had a longer hood and wider stance than the 1970 model. In addition, the car was fitted with 20 inch forged aluminum rims and had Brembo four piston disc brakes both front and rear. The Challenger SRT8 had a base price of $37,995, but plenty of baby boomers brimming with nostalgia were around and most were sold at a premium.
2011 Dodge Challenger Has Fantastic Muscle Car Look With High Tech Features
One really great thing about the return of the Dodge Challenger model is that the classic muscle car great looks have been improved and matched with cutting edge automotive technology. For 2011 the legend has been optimized with a 392 CID Hemi V-8 engine rated at 470 hp. The powerful engine is mated to a TREMEC six speed manual transmission. In addition, the 2011 Challenger is a much better built car that it’s 1970 – 1974 predecessor with tighter fittings all around, far better handling, and a well trimmed interior featuring all of the modern optional accessories.
For all the baby boomers out there, and there are many, the 2011 Dodge Challenger offers a nostalgic trip down memory lane beginning with an affordable manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $24,670. Of course, to score a top of the line Challenger you will be paying closer to $40,000 than $25,000. Still judging from the appreciation that the classic 1970-1974 models have achieved it might be a good idea to carefully garage one or two of the full bore Hemi V-8 2011 Dodge Challenger models rather than investing the funds in the stock market.
Of course, it would be hard to resist taking one of the muscle cars out for an occasional energetic eye-popping spin. Just think of all the envious looks you will be getting as you pull into your local drive-in.
Edmunds.Com: “Dodge Challenger History”
MuscleCarFacts.Net : 2008 Challenger
Dodge.Com: Dodge 2011 Challenger