General Challenger

  • Tire Speed Ratings

    Tire speed ratings first originated in Europe in the 1960s, as a way to make sure increasingly faster vehicles were equipped with appropriate safe tires. These early speed ratings set the foundation for the current speed rating system used by the DOT and tire manufacturers. Every tire approved for highway use by the Department of Transportation comes with a particular speed rating. The speed rating is a letter corresponding to the maximum safe speed at which a tire can be driven, as...
  • Driving Dangerously in Motown- 1900-1930

    The first gasoline-powered vehicle driven on the streets of Detroit was built by engineer Charles Brady King in 1896. It went as fast as 20 mph, which was described in the newspaper as "tearing along the street at a lively rate, dodging people and teams." The transition from the horse age to the motorized age would prove to be very dangerous. At first speeding vehicles were not a big problem, with only a few of them on Detroit streets, but the situation grew serious quickly. As early as...
  • 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...
  • Tim Kuniskis- A Real Car Guy

    Timothy (Tim) Kuniskis was appointed Head of Passenger Cars- North America in June 2019 and Global Head of Alfa Romeo in February 2018. He has been a member of the Group Executive Council (GEC) since October 2015. In other words, he oversees the Alfa Romeo brand around the world while leading Chrysler and Dodge passenger car programs in the United States. Kuniskis has connected with enthusiasts far better than many automotive executives at his level. He attends events like Roadkill Nights...
  • All-Wheel Drive

    Four-wheel drive, 4WD, 4x4 ("four by four"), or AWD ("all-wheel drive") is a four-wheeled vehicle with a drivetrain that allows all four wheels to receive torque from the engine simultaneously. While many people associate the term with off-road vehicles and sport utility vehicles, powering all four wheels provides better control in normal road cars on many surfaces, and is an important part in the sport of rallying. The first application of four-wheel drive, occurred in 1893. In 1937, the...
  1. "Grandfather" of the 2018 Dodge Demon

    Did you know that the controversial Dodge Demon name goes back 48 years? In 1970, the restyled Plymouth Valiant, named the Duster, was a massive success. Dodge immediately insisted on getting its own version. That car became the 1971 Dodge Demon. 1970 Plymouth Duster 340 Both the A-body Plymouth Duster and Dodge Demon were fantastic cars for the money (starting just over $2,100). The two cars were virtually identical, underneath. The attractive-looking Demon came with four optional...
  2. 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.”...
  3. Development & Evolution of the Hemi Engine

    Alan R. Welch and his brothers, owners of the Welch Motor Car Company, are credited for pioneering the first hemispherical engine. The power plant was a simple 20-horsepower, 2-cylinder engine with a single overhead camshaft. Although the General Motors discontinued the HEMI in 1910 when it bought Welch, Peugeot developed its own hemispherical engine. BMW mass-produced a HEMI version before Chrysler engineered it for modern use. Three generations of Hemi engines have been built by Chrysler...
  4. History of the Dodge Logo

    Dodge was founded in 1900 by Horace and John Dodge (The Dodge Brothers). It was initially known as the Dodge Brothers Company and used to sell bicycles, but then within two years it became a major supplier of axles, engines, and transmissions to the automobile industry. The company started by producing chassis and engines for the Ford Motor Company and Olds Motor Vehicle Company. However, with the stress and demands of the booming automobile industry, the brothers decided to tinker with the...
  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. Nitrous Oxide

    Juice. Squeeze. Laughing gas. Nitrous oxide has many aliases. It can inject a healthy dose of horsepower into an engine, via direct port, carburetor/throttle body plate, air intake tube or, air cleaner injection, to give a race car the winning edge at the track. In racing, nitrous oxide (often referred to as just "nitrous") allows an engine to burn more fuel by providing more oxygen than air alone, resulting in a more powerful combustion. The gas is not flammable at a low...
  7. Paddle shifters

    Paddle shifters, once exclusive to race cars and exotic sports cars, like the Ferrari F430, are now becoming commonplace on performance cars with automatic transmissions. This is because manual transmissions are going away faster than the landline telephone. Critics of automatics say that they take the passion and command out of driving. Paddle shifters, however, bring some of that joy and control back by allowing drivers to manually shift an automatic transmission with steering-wheel or...
  8. High Impact Paint

    In the late 60s/early 70s, Dodge was already offering some of the hottest cars of the muscle car era- awesome machines like the Hemi Challenger and 440 Six-Pack Super Bee. Designers, however, decided to rev up the cars’ visuals to match, creating a far-out assortment of vibrant exterior paint colors. These special colors (a $15 option) generated a big buzz in the showrooms and launched an industry trend. The color palettes used by all the automakers were opened up, giving paint designers...
  9. 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 sec. 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...
  10. 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...
  11. 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...
  12. 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...
  13. 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...
  14. Hood Pins

    Hood pins are used as a secondary restraint for the hood and are attached by a pin and plate drilled through the hood. They were originally made for the racetrack to keep hoods buttoned down at high speeds, but found their way onto muscle cars of the late 60s/early 70s. Hood pins (two per hood) were most prevalent on Dodge and Plymouth muscle cars of that era (e.g., Challengers, ‘Cudas, Road Runners, Daytonas, GTXs, Super Bees, etc.). They were, primarily, a styling element used to give a...
  15. Challenger- Concept to Production

    The planning and design of the Challenger concept car started in 2004. At that time, Chrysler’s Pacifica Studo was given the assignment to work with the exiting LX platform (i.e., Charger, Chrysler 300 and Magnum) to develop a 2-door, rear-wheel drive concept car. Many of the designers were musclecar guys and a new Challenger was proposed to be built around the 6.1 Hemi engine. There was a lot of conversation as to how much retro design features should be built into the car. Based on a...
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