Dodge Challenger Forum banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm starting a thread here for people to tell their story about how they fell in love with the new Challenger. Whether you've bought one already, ordered one, or just want to order one, tell your story here. I apologize if there is another thread like this already, but I couldn't find one so I figured I'd start one up. Here's my story, it's kind of long so I hope it won't bore anyone :)

Just to frame things a bit I was born in 1974 so I didn't get to experience the first wave of muscle cars first hand too much when the cars were new (it was 1990 before I could drive legally). I grew up with my dad really loving Dodges and muscle cars though. When I was about 5 he had a really nice 340 duster that was yellow with the black hockey stick stripes. I grew up with stories from my dad about how "when he was a teenager, you could walk into a dealership and by a musclecar with a hemi straight off the showroom floor".

Well as you know in the 80's and 90's there wasn't much chance of buying a musclecar off the showroom floor. Even though in the 80's I would see my dad looking at the Dodge Daytonas on the showroom floor and get a gleam in his eye (even though we'd leave the dealship with them buying a crappy K-Car). So as a teenager I got into the classic 60's musclecars, starting off with a beater 67 Mustang with a straight 6. Then I upgraded to a 67 Barracuda fastback which was in decent condition and I drove throughout high school. Of course what kid the grew up in the late 70's and early 80's wasn't a fan of Dukes of Hazzard. So when I was 19 I picked up a 1969 Charger R/T 440 (which I still have). It was an awesome car and in pretty good condition, but the engine blew up only a few months after I got it. It took me another 15 years to afford to be able to get it back on the road.

All the while driving these classic musclecars I always dreamed what it would be like to have one that was brand new. You know, go into the showroom and sit in the car with just a few miles on it. Smell the new car smell. Put the first miles on the car yourself as you listen to the roar of a big V8 :) My hopes were lifted slightly in the late 90's when Pontiac came out with the Ram Air Trans Am. It had a V8 and over 300 horsepower, so that got me pretty excited. But at the time they were out of my price range, and production was stopped in 2004.

Then a few years ago it happened. Dodge started showing the concepts for the new Challenger. Now this was the car I was dreaming of. Wow it was a beautiful car - had the classic looks of the early Challenger with a big powerful engine to boot. But would the car ever see production, let alone look anything like the concept car? Well in 2008 we got the answer to that question. Dodge delivered an awesome car that was finally a modern musclecar with the looks and the power to back it up.

So now in January of 2011 I finally saved up enough to get my modern musclecar. I went into a dealership and they had a blue and white 2011 SRT8 392 Inaugural Edition with an automatic transmission on order so I ordered it on the spot. So this is pretty much the end of my long winded story. In a few weeks the lifelong dream of this big kid will finally come true :)

On a funny anecdote note, I didn't see the movie Vanishing Point until about a year ago ;) How did I miss that one?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
568 Posts
I've always owned GM cars so I never noticed the Challenger saga as it developed in the mid 2000s. And for 25 years GM had carefully nurtured my growing dislike of their crappy, boring, uninspired cars.

I have a work friend who is Mopar-or-no-car; we were in LA traveling, eating at a Chinese restaurant. His fortune said "Quit procrastinating, buy that car and take a trip today". To show me what it meant, we walked down the street from the restaurant to the Dodge dealer. They had four Challenger SRT8s in the lot. It was instant infatuation. A real live brand new muscle car was there in front of me. I never thought I would see that again in my lifetime.

Back at work, I looked up information on the 2010 models and found that PCP was an optional color. The infatuation turned to love. I couldn't find any within 500 miles, so I went with a broker who found one in Illinois.

With a rebate, $2k mopar bucks, and no down payment--how could anyone say no?

I'm driving it today. And that $860 payment only serves to remind me every month how luck I am to live in this society.

And that Chinese fortune that started it all? Turns out that was really my fortune! The cookies just got swapped.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23 Posts
After driving TR's and MGB's, back in the mid to late "60's, bought a '69 Charger 440 R/T when i was graduating from Nebraska, getting a commission as a new 2ndLT, going first to Germany. Took the Charger over, loved it there, but eventually sold it to a sergeant who went off the road in it. I bought a '71 VW Squareback, and to this day, I don't really know why i did that, perhaps it was the family with child thing. Owned the VW for a quarter million miles, with lots of upgrades. Then a period of sports cars, and for the last decade, driving daily a Superformance 427 Cobra replica, with about 140K miles on it. Lots of track and drag times. In fact, in a few minutes, I am taking it up to the race shop in NC where i bought it new, for them to sell. It just gleams now out on the driveway. I love that Cobra.

But in the past few years, when i would see the occasional Challenger out, i just admired them; in a sense, they reminded me of my beloved Charger. My wife has been nagging me to get something she will ride in, as she rode once long ago in my Cobra, and said never again. Plus, i have now given up on tracking and dragging, it is a "been there, done that" sort of thing for me. Plus, I am getting older, and stiffer, and it is harder to drive the Cobra.

I was reading Autoweek before Christmas, and saw the short comment about the revised suspension, and handling tweaks, and bigger motor coming in the SRT8's, and then and there decided it was time.

So, went up to my local dealer, near charlotte, and negotiated on the incoming blue/white stripe IE they have coming in. Should be here in about a week.

I am really looking forward to having a true muscle car again, and reliving my past in a fashion. I will pat my Cobra's fender later today, and probably never see it again.

But i am sure driving my new Challenger will put new thrills and pride in my life.

All the best.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
I was lucky enough to live and drive thru both "Musclecar Eras". I was really interested in purchasing a 1969 Roadrunner but after looking at a few co-workers 1968 Chevelles I ended up buying my first new musclecar a 1969 SS396-375hp Chevelle with a rockcrusher 4 speed and 4:10 rear end. Over the years I stayed mostly loyal to the GM brand. When you couldn't really buy a new musclecar anymore I ended up buying some of the first era musclecars I missed mostly used Covettes and Camaros of the 1965 to 69 era. In 2001 I bought my first Mustang a green "Bullitt". In 2005 I bought one of the new Mustang GT's. In November of 08 I started looking at the new Challenger but was about $4,000 away from the deal I wanted and felt the dream of owning a new Challenger was over. Along came February 09 and EPP, $1,000 rebate and 0% financing. With all these incentives the search was on again. I ended up getting a better optioned out Challenger for the price I wanted in the fist place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
My story starts back in high school in 1977. The first Challenger to catch my eye was a Yellow 1970 383 R/T. Even though I was a dumb 16 year old kid, I was smart enough to know that this particular car was an abused wreck. I went through high school with a '71 Chevelle and a '69 Cougar convertible. After graduating HS in 1980 a friend of mine scored a really nice red '70 Challenger R/T 440 Convertible which started my heart pumping Mopar once again. The following summer I scored a yellow '70 Coronet R/T (440) convertible. This car was a blast to drive and got all the looks when I was out in it. Typical story here, got married, 1st child born, car sold for house. :( With money being tight, and my career just starting, picked up '70 Challenger 318 convertible in the early 90s that was a decent driver but needed work that I did not have the time or resources to perform so I sold it in the late 90. My struggle was that my heart really went wild for the old cars but I knew I would never have the time to properly restore or maintain one. Finally in 2003 I decided that the only way I would have a performance car would be to buy a modern one so after first visiting my local Chrysler/Dodge dealer and finding that they offered nothing but a Crossfire (Yuck). I looked at Prowers, Corvettes and finally pulled the trigger on a yellow 2003 Mustang Cobra convertible. I had a great time with this car until I laid my eyes on the Challenger prototype that was displayed at the 2007 Minneapolis auto show. My plan was now clear. Sell off the Cobra, pay down my '06 Charger R/T and wait for the right color Challenger. Then in March 2010 I laid my eyes on a yellow R/T Classic. It actually called to me from the freeway as I was passing by (I saw it through the dealer's window). My wife thought I was nuts but knew by the gleam in my eye that this car was coming home with me. It's been ear to ear smiles ever since. Can you spot the yellow theme here? lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
389 Posts
I always liked the Challengers, Chargers, Roadrunners and 'Cudas of the early 70s. In 2005, I'd given up my 1999 Camaro SS for a pretty nice Euro sport sedan. But after 5 years, I missed the power and feel of American performance V8s. I'd seen ads for the Challenger, and it looked a lot like the MOPARs of the early 70s I always liked, so I decided to check one out. Looking over a 2010 SRT8 and taking it for a drive was all that was necessary. I like it a lot better than my 2 previous Camaros in all kinds of ways. On top of that, I've always had good experiences with Chrysler products - I had a Durango for many years and drove it across the US a couple of times, as well as my current 2007 Jeep Wrangler Sahara. My 2010 SRT8 is no exception - very satisfied on a daily basis!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,192 Posts
My first Dodge experience was at the ripe old age of two years when my dad bought a brand new 1960 Town Wagon Power Wagon. I literally grew up in that truck and my "first car" was a brand new 1974 W200 Power Wagon. I first coveted the Challenger at the ripe old age of Twelve (in 1970) and bought my "basket case" 1970 R/T SE in 1986 and spent the next three years on restoration. I patiently waited and waited for Chrysler to get back in the game. When I first saw the concept I knew it was only a matter of time before I would own one.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
766 Posts
I'm 29, but I've always been a car nut. My dad was in his 20s during the first musclecar era and owned several great cars. His rap sheet was: '65 Mustang GT, '65 Corvette, '69 Boss 302 Mustang, '70 Boss 429, '71 GTO, '81 Corvette, '84 Corvette, and now a '09 Corvette Z06. So, from an early age, he brought me to countless car shows, but it was Corvettes that was his passion. Hell, I was brought home after I was born in the '81 Vette.

So being a car nut, one of my dad's favorite movies to watch with me was the cheesy horror movie "Christine." We watched that movie countless times and when I saw Dennis's 1968 Dodge Charger, I fell in love. Sure I love Corvettes like my dad (I've had three to my dad's four) but as soon as I saw that blue beauty in "Christine," I was in love with Mopar muscle and wanted a '68-'70 Charger.

Fast forward to the 2006 Chicago Auto Show, I saw the Challenger concept car. I fell in love and I knew I had to have one. So in June 2009, even amidst all of Chrysler's trouble and the Challenger's existence in doubt, I bought my B5 Blue SRT8 beauty. Hell, I even paid over sticker. 18,000 miles later, I don't regret any of it - I enjoy it even more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,564 Posts
It's a 70's thing.

I was born the last year that the original Challenger was produced. My interest in cars began at the age of 10 & while the Trans Am, Charger, Challenger & Mustang of the early 70's were cool, I was expecially interested in the Chevy Corvette, Monte Carlo & Camaro.
In my teens, I wished that I had been born earlier, to experience the whole 70's culture: driving a new 70-73 Camaro RS, going to a Led Zeppelin concert, partying at Studio 54, etc.
In 2005 when the retro Mustang came out, followed in 2008 by the Challenger & in 2010 the return of Camaro, I saw my opportunity to live this part of Americana which I had missed. After seeing how GM botched the Camaro with their retro/futuristic design, I knew that I wanted a Challenger. I don't mind at all driving a base SE trim, because it brings me a little closer to what it was like owning this car back in the day.
I only wish that the Pontiac Trans Am & Mercury Cougar would've survived to be a part of it all. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,371 Posts
for me, it was the instant i saw those photos leaked of them testing the concept. it was parked in the shade under a tree at what looked like a track. i knew i had to have it right then and there. started putting money aside from that day on. i think that was in November or December of 2005 that those photos leaked.

mopars have always been my favorite though. i grew up with my dad's 73 road runner and watching the dukes of hazzard.

edit...did a little searching and it was these 3 shots that made the decision in my mind..

http://www.insideline.com/dodge/challenger/2008/2008-dodge-challenger.html
 

·
Registered
2015 SRT, 6 Speed, Sublime Green
Joined
·
1,470 Posts
I worked doing the paper route and lawn mowing for a long time as a kid because I knew I would need to buy my own car as my mom could not afford to. I was 17 and saw a beautiful 1970 hemi orange Challenger for sale in my neighborhood. I was not a savvy car buyer by any stretch, but I was proud to buy and own that car. 340 with a 4 speed... I loved it. I learned a lot about maintenance and replacing parts in those years... because it needed parts replaced frequently. Those of you who owned cars of this vintage know what I'm talking about.

Fast forward 32 years to 2009. I had seen magazine articles about the concept car. I thought they would be way out of reach financially, so I moved on. I had occasion to pass a local dealer frequently and would admire the cars as I passed by. I never stopped though because I thought I would never fit in one. I'm 6'4", and I had to wedge in a 2005 Mustang that my son owns, so I assumed the Challenger would not be an option.

I decided one night while passing to look closely at one after the dealership was closed. I loved the lines of it.... really brought me back to 1977. I did this several times, and each visit got me more interested. This is during Chrysler's troubles in Spring of 2009. I went in one day and asked to sit in the one I had been admiring. It was a black RT with Chrome clads and fender stripes sitting on a display ramp. And of course, it was a manual car. I was ready to be disappointed because I couldn't fit in it with out banging my head. I was so happy to sit in there and discover I fit fine... in fact, I had to slide the seat slightly forward to reach the pedals properly! I talked them into letting me take it for a ride. I was with my 16 year old son who is 6'7"! Believe me when I tell you that the sales guy was folded in the back seat like a pretzel. I may have scared him when I pushed it a little on a local expressway (ha ha). The ride was awesome. I was then on the hook.

Funny side story... We were driving near a golf course on the test drive. An errant "worm burner" golf ball snuck through the fence, struck the curb next to the car, and bounced and dinged the car on the right front fender. Million to one shot. I asked him if he wanted to report it, and he said no.

With the scarcity of cars because Chrysler wasn't making any at the time with the factory closed, dealers were not dealing. I walked away because they would not budge any lower that 7k above sticker.

I started a statewide search for a hemi orange RT with a 6 speed. I found one at a dealer 120 miles away, and negotiated a deal over the phone. They were reasonable in their approach as they had 5 cars on the lot. That was a lot at the time. I was a little leery, but I drove there the following Saturday with the family and drove it home. The dealer lived up to everything they said on the phone. I'll never forget that ride home.... I felt like a rock star the whole way. We stopped at a burger joint and parked it out a ways, and at least 5 separate cars stopped at it to check it out over a 30 minute period. I knew then that I loved the car... and still do today.

I want to thank everyone who bought Mustangs over the years. I believe the commercial success of the Mustang as a modern pony car, particularly after 2005, made the Challenger resurrection a reality for us. Ford's success was a good indicator for Chrysler about the possibilities of the Challenger. Just my opinion... no flames please.

Sorry this was so long.... my index fingers are numb now!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
I agree with you fyr, the success of the '05 Mustangs started a domino effect in regards to demand for the "retro" renaissance.

I never considered the Challenger originally, it was the Camaro that originally caught my eye. But for some cosmic reason, I changed my mind. Glad I did. It's a great big beautiful machine. Going from 190 V6 to a 370 HP V8 was a kick in the pants. Nothing beats the roar of a hemi when it gets going. So now I'm afflicted with a permasmile.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,751 Posts
I wouldn't say I'm in love with my Challenger, but I really, really like it. Like love it's going to take some time. If I can get past these broken/cracked plastic parts I've mentioned before, and the car holds up well given regular maintenance, I'll come to love it.

If not, it will be a 3 year or less romance and gone before the warranty runs out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,364 Posts
To make a long story short, it was love at first sight.

Sept '10, a little Dodge dealer that I was driving by had a 2010 RT Classic in "DY". Had to stop cause it just "looked right". I checked it out and went home.

The wife and I are both 57, and have been around a lot of the "oldies", and have been thinking about a resto or project car for some time. When I told her about the RT, we headed back to the dealer.

Spent just a couple of hours dealing, driving the car, and getting a great price too.

It was "meant to be". It's not perfect, it's a machine, and I love it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
My story starts with the first Blade movie: watching the '68 Charger prowling the city opened me up to a world of cars with soul and character. Previous that I had thought of cars as appliances (thank you, '90s cars).

So began my love for the Charger and discovery of the muscle era. It was the car I knew I had to get one day. After I heard about the reintroduction of the Charger in '05, I was ecstatic... until I saw what they had actually released.

My heart fell but I still longed for a new Charger as finding a '68 was proving near-impossible. I had consigned myself to the fact that the '05 Charger, while not a carbon-copy of the '68, was still the best looking car released in ages.

Then the Challenger concept came out but I was still set on the Charger; my first love was the Charger and I would be a Charger that I'd buy. When the production Challenger was released I started to have doubts about getting the Charger and was wracked with indecision between the Charger and the Challenger.

Finally it was announced that the 2009 models would be coming with manual transmissions. I had longed for a manual car and for some reason Chrysler believed it unnecessary to provide one on the Charger. My indecision came to an end: the Challenger was to be mine.

Funny how some things work out because about a month ago (6 months after receiving the Challenger) I discovered a red '68 Charger 440 manual on sale. I was actually thinking of selling the Challenger to get it but I have no garage to keep it and I'll be damned if I have to keep a '60s vintage muscle car in the driveway exposed to weather. So the Charger will have to wait for now.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,777 Posts
My dad died two days after being medically discharged from active duty with USAFSS when I was 17. I am an only child and my mother and I wanted the luxuries in life like electricity, water, and groceries. I stayed in school and worked one full time and one part time job in addition to school. There was a dentist that lived three streets away that had a PCP 'cuda convertable. I use to see that car at 6:30 am heading for school and at after midnight getting home.

That car became the car I would NEVER be able to afford - my dream car - so when the 2009 Challenger came out fundamentally based on that car - I had to buy it for a 17 year old kid that had to deal with WAY too much
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,751 Posts
My dad died two days after being medically discharged from active duty with USAFSS when I was 17. I am an only child and my mother and I wanted the luxuries in life like electricity, water, and groceries. I stayed in school and worked one full time and one part time job in addition to school. There was a dentist that lived three streets away that had a PCP 'cuda convertable. I use to see that car at 6:30 am heading for school and at after midnight getting home.

That car became the car I would NEVER be able to afford - my dream car - so when the 2009 Challenger came out fundamentally based on that car - I had to buy it for a 17 year old kid that had to deal with WAY too much
Congrats; you've certainly EARNED yours. So many people today just feel they're entitled to whatever they want, whether they can afford it or if it even makes sense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
My first car was a 68 Roadrunner. I loved that car, but being young, I didn’t take care of it like I should have. After getting married and starting a family I had to get rid of it for a more practical car. Year later, after my kids were grown Dodge came out with the Magnum. I loved look of that car and bought one. Of course 3 years later the Challenger came out, and I knew I wanted one. I test drove an automatic, and loved the power but not the auto. I took the Magnum in and tried to trade into one, but they were so new, and I was still upside down on the Magnum, I couldn’t strike a deal. Two years later, having just returned from Afghanistan, I told the wife I was taking the Magnum for a wash, and then to the dealer to trade for a challenger. She said yea right. I get to the lot and they had just unloaded a TorRed with a 6 speed. I got in and within two minutes I knew I had to have it (needless to say I didn’t get the best deal, I should have haggle more). An hour later the wife calls (as I’m signing the paperwork) an asks what color did I buy, I said bright red. Needless to say she was a little stunned (she actually though I was joking) Call it a mid life crisis or whatever you want, but this is a great car and brings out the child in all of us.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top