Classic Cars

Dodge Challenger 2nd gen. (1978-1984)

January 15, 2015

Dodge Challenger 1979In 1978 Dodge Challenger returned to the Dodge lineup. The second generation Dodge Challenger two-door coupe was actually an early Mitsubishi Galant Lambda coupe, which was known overseas as the Mitsubishi Sapporo/Scorpion.

The car retained the frameless hardtop styling of the old Challenger, but had smaller engines. Nevertheless, it acquired a reputation as a reasonably brisk performer in its class, not least because of its available 2.6 L engine. Four-cylinder engines of this size had not usually been built due to inherent vibration, but Mitsubishi pioneered the use of balance shafts to help dampen this effect, and the Challenger was one of the first vehicles to bring this technology to the American market.

The second generation Dodge Challenger was offered with a standard 1.6-liter, 77 horsepower I-4 engine, with a 2.6-liter, 105 horsepower four-cylinder as an option. It was identical except in color and minor trim to the Plymouth Sapporo with the Dodge version emphasizing sportiness, with bright colors and tape stripes, while the Plymouth emphasized luxury, with more subdued trim. The cars were slightly restyled in 1981 with revised headlights and other minor cosmetic changes. Both cars were sold until 1984, until being replaced by the Conquest and Daytona.