General Challenger

  • What is a CVT Transmission?

    Some say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. But the innovative continuously variable transmission (CVT), which Leonardo da Vinci conceptualized more than 500 years ago is now replacing planetary automatic transmissions in some automobiles. Since the first Toroidal CVT patent was filed in 1886, the technology has been refined and improved. Today, several car manufacturers, including General Motors, Audi, Honda, Hyundai and Nissan, are designing their drivetrains around CVTs. Cars with...
  • The Origin of Scat Pack

    The Dodge Scat Pack was originally introduced in 1968 with the Charger R/T, Coronet R/T, Dart GTS, and Super Bee. In order for a car to enter the Scat Pack it had to be capable of running the quarter mile in the 14s (14.99 or faster). Mainly a marketing term, Scat Pack cars got twin bumblebee stripes and special decals. It became legendary in the enthusiast community and symbolized one of the most feared groups of street machines every to rumble from stoplight to stoplight. In the early...
  1. Crumple Zones

    Crumple zones, crush zones, or crash zones, are a structural safety feature used in automobiles, to absorb the kinetic energy from the impact during a collision by controlled deformation. This energy is much greater than is commonly realized. A 4,409 lb. car traveling at 37 mph.,before crashing into a thick concrete wall, is subject to the same impact force as a front-down drop from a height of 47 ft. crashing on to a solid concrete surface. Increasing that speed by 50% to 56 mph. compares...
  2. Development & Evolution of the Hemi Engine

    Three generations of Hemi engines have been built by Chrysler for automobiles: the first (known as the Chrysler FirePower) from 1951 to 1958, the second from 1964 to 1971, and the third beginning in 2003. Although Chrysler is most identified with the use of "Hemi" as a marketing term, many other auto manufacturers have incorporated similar designs. The Hemi engine is named for its hemispherical cylinder head. It provides an efficient combustion chamber with an excellent surface-to-volume...
  3. Development of Airbags

    Airbags, like lap belts/shoulder belts, are a type of automobile safety restraint system designed to mitigate injury in the event of an accident. These gas-inflated cushions, built into the steering wheel, dashboard, door, roof, and/or seat of your car, use a crash sensor to trigger a rapid expansion of nitrogen gas contained inside a cushion, that pops out on impact to put a protective barrier between passengers and hard surfaces. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)...
  4. Dick Landy- Mopar Drag Racing Pioneer

    Dick Landy, a legendary drag racer and a major pioneer in Super Stock, Funny Car and Pro Stock, was also known for his innovative race cars and wild wheel stands. His nickname "Dandy Dick" came from his neat appearance in pressed white pants and jacket and long unlit cigar clenched between his teeth. Landy was among the drivers who popularized late-model Super Stock cars in the 1960s, campaigned the first Funny Cars in the middle of that decade and helped establish the popularity of Pro...
  5. Dim to Bright- Headlight Technology

    From its humble origins, the headlight has evolved from what was considered an accessory of the 1900s to a necessity safety feature (half of all deadly accidents occur at night). Since its first generation, headlights have traveled a long way from a simple flame to a high-tech laser. Carbide Headlights The first vehicle headlamps were officially introduced during the 1880s and were based on acetylene and oil, similar to the old gas lamps. Originally developed for mining purposes, Carbide...
  6. Drag Racing Classes

    The NHRA has a huge variety of categories and eliminators. Class eligibility is based on requirements that include type of vehicle, engine size, vehicle weight, allowable modifications and aerodynamics. Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, Top Alcohol Dragster, Top Alcohol Funny Car, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street and Pro Mod feature a single class of vehicle in heads-up competition. Comp, Super Stock, and Stock are made up of a variety of classes equalized by a handicap starting system....
  7. Drag Racing Primer- Tips with Street Tires

    Here are some drag racing tips to make your trip to the drag strip safe and successful. Before you arrive at track Remove the floor mats, child seats (if applicable) and other non-essential cargo. Every bit of weight you remove can help. Try to plan so you have about ¼ tank of fuel when you arrive. Extra fuel adds weight and you won’t need more than ¼ tank. Don’t show up with your tank on empty. The fuel is usually expensive at the track and you don’t want to be “running on fumes.”...
  8. Dual Clutch Transmissions

    Most drivers know that cars come with two basic transmission types- manuals, in which the driver changes gears by depressing a clutch pedal and using a stick shift, and automatics, which shifts using clutches, a torque converter and sets of planetary gears. But there's also something in between that offers the best of both worlds- the dual-clutch transmission- also called the semi-automatic transmission, the "clutchless" manual transmission and the automated manual transmission. In the world...
  9. Featured

    Engine Control Unit (ECU)

    An engine control unit (ECU), also commonly called an engine control module (ECM), is the brain of your car. It is the main reason that we are now in the second era of muscle cars, despite restricting emission regulations. The ECU controls a series of actuators on an internal combustion engine to ensure optimal engine performance. It does this by reading values from a multitude of sensors within the engine bay, interpreting the data using multidimensional performance maps (called look-up...
  10. Entertainment Systems- from AM Radio to Bluetooth

    Over the past 97 years, “entertainment systems” in cars have evolved from primitive 6-volt dry-cell AM radios to high-tech Bluetooth units. It is interesting to take a look back to see how technology has changed over the years. Here is a brief, illustrated chronology of these devices: 1922: First radio in a Car The first radio (“Marconiphone”) appeared in a Daimler car at the Olympia Motorshow in England. 1927: First Radio in Mass-Produced Car The “Transitone” radio appeared in a...
  11. Evolution of Hood Scoops

    Back in middle school science class, we learned that in order to make fire, you need three ingredients: fuel, ignition and air- or, more specifically, oxygen. You’ll also remember that cold air is denser than hot air, putting more oxygen in the same amount of volume. While the modern internal combustion engine does a fine job of delivering fuel and ignition, that cold air part becomes tricky as you try to route fresh air from outside through a hot engine compartment. In response, in the late...
  12. Evolution of Racing Stripes

    Racing stripes are usually a “must have” for owners of muscle cars. These stripes, originally called “go faster stripes,” first appeared on Cunningham race cars in 1951. Two parallel blue stripes ran from front to rear in the center of the white car body. Their main purpose was to help spectators identify the cars during races. They evolved from the traditional FIA registered U.S. Racing color of a white body and blue chassis, which dated from when racing cars had the chassis exposed. The...
  13. Evolution of Rear Spoilers

    A car spoiler is a stylish automobile accessory that can be mounted on the rear of most cars. There are many different styles of spoilers. The general shape consists of a slender slightly downward angled piece of metal, fiberglass, silicone or carbon fiber that is usually the width of the vehicle. Some seem to appear to mold into the vehicle and others stick out with two small ledges on both sides. The term "spoiler" is often mistakenly used interchangeably with "wing." An automotive wing...
  14. Exhaust Headers

    A component of any car or truck engine is an exhaust manifold for each bank of cylinders .In most production engines, the manifold is a cast iron assembly designed to collect the exhaust gas from two or more cylinders into one pipe. Engineers like cast iron because of its heat management properties and its superior longevity over any other type of exhaust outlet design. They also use the least metal, occupy less space and have the lowest production cost. Although these design restrictions...
  15. Forged vs. Cast Wheels

    When choosing aftermarket wheels for your Challenger, there is a considerable amount of choice. Car wheel technology has evolved considerably, over the years, from steel- once the preferred material- to lighter weight aluminum alloys. Among all types, you have the option of choosing between forged and cast wheels. In discussing the difference between the two, it is important to distinguish between the advantages and disadvantages of forging and casting. The strength of any metallic product...
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