General Challenger

  • 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...
  • Mopar Engine Colors

    Automobile engines are usually painted bright colors, like red, orange or blue. This just isn’t for appearance. There is a practical purpose. Bright colors enable leaks to be spotted easily. Here is a list of engine colors (and paint codes) used by Mopar, from 1962 to 1971. Race Hemi Orange- Mopar P4120751 1962-1964 Max Wedge engines (413 and 426 Cross Ram) 1964-1965 426 Race Hemis Street Hemi Orange- Mopar P4349216 1966-1971 426 Street Hemis 1969-1971 High performance 383 and 440...
  • How Rev Limiters Work

    Simply put, rev limiters restrict the maximum speed an engine can achieve. They are there to prevent an engine from damaging itself by extending beyond its limits. Any engine is only designed to be able to function up to a certain speed, which is measured in revolutions of the crankshaft per minute. Out of the factory, the rev limiter is set at the point the engine’s maker is happy for it to rev to on a regular basis. It’s not to be confused with the redline, although it can sometimes be...
  • 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...
  • Crash Test Dummies

    A crash test dummy is a full-scale anthropomorphic test device (ATD) that simulates the dimensions, weight proportions and articulation of the human body during a traffic collision. Dummies are used by researchers,automobile and aircraft manufacturers to predict the injuries a person might sustain in a crash. Modern dummies are usually instrumented to record data, such as velocity of impact, crushing force, bending, folding, or torque of the body, and deceleration rates during a collision....
  1. 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...
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. 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...
  5. 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...
  6. 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...
  7. 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 1969, the Charger Daytona joined the Pack. 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...
  8. 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...
  9. 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...
  10. 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...
  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. 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...
  13. 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...
  14. Ralph Gilles- A Real Mopar Guy

    Mopar enthusiasts owe the fantastic array of performance models to Ralph Gilles, Head of Design for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. We are truly fortunate to have a cool car guy in charge. Gilles, as a boy living in Quebec, was drawing concept vehicles at the age of eight. When he was fourteen years old, his aunt sent one of his sketches to Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca. A reply came from K. Neil Walling, Chrysler's design chief at the time, suggesting he attend one of three design schools....
  15. The Meaning of "Mopar"

    Short for the Chrysler Motor Parts Corporation, Mopar made its first appearance in the late 1920s and became its own brand in 1937. The name Mopar was created by a committee to market cans of "Chrysler Motor Parts" antifreeze. From there, the Mopar catalog expanded to include waxes, cleaners, filters, engine parts and more. Now, in its 85th year, Mopar encompasses the full line of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles parts, accessories, and customer service, including Fiat and Alfa Romeo brands...
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