Brothers in Arms: Dodge Charger and Challenger

1966 Charger

 

Today, the original Dodge Charger and Challenger are recognized as two of the great icons of the muscle car era.  Both proudly bear the Dodge brand, of course, but these two cars share more than fans may know.

 

The 1966 Charger (shown here) was created when Dodge dealers clamored for a sporty cruiser that would appeal to the red-hot youth market. Starting with Chrysler’s B-body platform and using the same cowl, door, and windshield as the standard Dodge Coronet hardtop, designer Carl “Cam” Cameron added a dramatic flying roofline that extended all the way to the rear bumper, creating a radical new look.

 

At the front, Cameron employed hideaway headlights, an advanced feature in those years, and an elegant, squared-off grille with vertical teeth so fine it was labeled the “electric razor” grille.

With its head-turning design and the full Dodge lineup of available power plants, including the legendary 426 Street Hemi, the Charger had all the style and performance the market could handle.

 

Just a few years later, Cam Cameron was called upon to design the new 1970 Challenger, Dodge’s entry in the pony car category, going head-to-head against the Mustang and Camaro.  For the Challenger, Cam dusted off his original Charger drawings and selected an alternate grille design that had been set aside in favor of the “electric razor” version.  While different in detail, the two grilles shared a square-jawed, no-nonsense look.

 

To this day, styling experts regard the Challenger as the cleanest and purest of all the early pony cars and one of the top designs of the entire muscle car era.  But both these muscle car icons, the Charger and Challenger, owe their handsome looks to one set of sketches created by one of Detroit’s great stylists, Cam Cameron.

 

 

To build your own Dodge future classic, go to Dodge.com.


  • dieselsub

    Love this early Charger my wife feels differently. She Hates it.

    • Multiple 426 Hemi Man

      LOVE IT!

    • Dodge// for life

      i cant bekive anyone would hate it…beautiful

  • Multiple 426 Hemi Man

    early ’66 Charger dealer launch and drivaway!

  • http://www.facebook.com/clinton.h.davis Clinton H Davis

    It’s a shame he can’t sketch you guys something to fix your sedan with. (He must have helped with the new challenger though, because it looks great.)

  • F1.4

    Very nice to know this piece of history! I had no idea they had such “hidden” similarities!

    Also, maybe you guys would like to check a Teaser video I recently uploaded to Youtube, about a brazilian mechanic who built himself a Dodge Charger RT and now races burnouts races with it. Anyways, here´s the link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nZUsHWV5m4