Charger was the Dodge brand’s first production fastback, high-speed street racer. The first generation Dodge Charger was introduced on Jan. 1, 1966. Dodge Charger was built on Dodge Coronet’s chassis but had its own body.
The Chrysler Corporation stunned the racing world on Feb. 23, 1964, when stock cars equipped with its powerful 426 HEMI® engine swept the Daytona 500, taking first, second and third places in stock car racing’s most prestigious event. The engine also set a new average speed record for the track of 154.33 mph. While the engine’s life on the racing circuit was brief – NASCAR quickly imposed stricter engine specifications in an effort to level the playing field – that February day was enough to set the public clamoring for HEMI-style horsepower.
The Dodge Challenger made its debut in the fall of 1969 as a 1970 model. While it shared Chrysler’s E-body short-deck, long-hood platform with the third-generation Plymouth Barracuda, Dodge Challenger’s wheelbase was 2 inches longer, creating more interior space. The Dodge Challenger was originally offered as a two-door hardtop or convertible.