Welcome to my 1972-1974 Dodge Challenger Homepage. Being aware of lots of information in the net about the Dodge Challenger, this site is exclusively dedicated to the late ´72-´74 Challengers, one of the last whitness of the downgoing
early 70th muscle car age. As owner of a 1973 Challenger I am gripped by its look and I guess there is a somewhat like a link to my childhood in it. That is also why I tried to create this site in the 70th style.
The rest of the story... In 1970 when Chrysler launched the Dodge Challenger to be more competitive in the pony car market of the american
youngsters, the US car world was still allright. Based on the all new Chrysler E-Body platform and offered with nine different mills (from 225ci six-cylinder to
440ci and 426ci HEMI-V8) and two body-styles (2-door hardtop and convertible) the Challenger had a great potential to gain a significant share of the muscle car
market, dominated by Ford and GM. And so he did. - Supported by Chrysler´s entry in the SSCR Trans Am racing series with the 340T/A Challenger the first
years sales counted 83,012 Challengers. But at the end of 1970 the muscle car heaven seemed to become more cloudy when Washington´s demand for car safety and emission regulations was growing up. Minor changes were made for the 1971 Challenger with revised front grille and taillamps and alteration of
compression ratio for some engines to meet state regulations. Sales droped in the second year to 29,883 units and announced a near end of the perfomance car market.
With the introduction of the 1972 Challenger, Dodge was already facing the reality of the market. Rising insurance fees for high powered cars, stronger regulations for gas guzzling and
emission control as well as safety regulations forced Detroit and customers to rethink. Dodge canceled all big-blocks for the Challenger and lowered
compression ratio for the remaining V8´s. The 1972 facelift should be last for the rest of lifecycle. The front-end got its “sad mouth” grille and the taillights were devided in 4 units. Only two models, the Base Challenger and
the Rallye, with 3 engine options (225, 318, 340) weres offered. The convertible was also dropped off the line and marketing strategy was now focused on lifestyle, enhanced equipment and ride conditions of the car. Not
less than 24 standard safety features were numerated in the 1972 sales brochure.
For 1973 only minor changes were made like the huge bumper guards that became standard to meet the new 5-mph
impact regulation, a simple technical solution that was added to all models that year. The slant six engine was canceled and the Rallye model was only available as a option package on base Challengers. Nevertheless Dodge
realeased 32,596 Challenger out of the showroom in 1973, the second best result in Challenger sales. 1974 Dodge left the Challenger nearly unchanged in production and the only remarkable news was the replacement of the 340ci with a new 360ci engine due to better emission ratio.
The oil-crisis was for shure one of the least arguments that lead to Chryslers decision to shutdown Challenger production on April 1, 1974 with only 16,437 units built in that year. - The changing market
environment with its upcomming demand for more fuel efficient and comfort orientated cars drove the efforts of the Chrysle Corp. like the others as well and so the already projected F-Body successor never saw the
daylight. Right at the time when Chrysler prepared to enter the muscle car field with a new challenger, the league to came to its last showdown...
Just to remark it, the name Challenger was used by Chrysler Corp. once again in 1978 when a Mitsubishi-Import was
introduced under Dodge label as Challenger for about 4 years. Plymouth sold the same type of car and used the original MMC-name Sapporo for their label untill 1982. As the car was also a personal sports compact (1978 Ad) there
might have been some affinities to the real Challenger, but it never can be considered as a real successor for the child of the 70th.