1970 Dodge Challenger, Dodge, USA

2009: Brave + Bold. America’s Next Iconic Vehicle.

Full Size Vehicle on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


The first Dodge Challenger made its debut in the fall of 1969 as a 1970 model and today is considered the icon of the Challenger series.  Despite being the last pony car entrant of the Detroit-based automakers, the Challenger arrived with something its competitors didn’t have: the greatest range of powertrain choices in the industry, from the small yet durable 225-cubic-inch “Slant Six” to the awesome “Elephant Motor”— the 426 HEMI®.  Driveline choices for various engines included Chrysler’s TorqueFlite automatic transmission and a three- or four-speed manual which could be equipped with a Hurst “pistol-grip” shifter. Big-block Challengers could be ordered with a heavy-duty Dana 60 differential with limited-slip.

Originally offered in two-door hardtop and convertible body styles in a choice of four trim levels:  base, SE (Special Edition), R/T (Road/Track) and T/A (Trans- Am), the Dodge Challenger shared Chrysler’s “E-body” short-deck, long-hood platform with the third-generation Plymouth Barracuda in a two-inch longer wheelbase, giving it more interior space. The T/A version was one of the first production vehicles to offer different size tires front to back – E60 x 15-inches front and G60 x 15-inches rear.

Even the paint schemes said “performance,” with colors carrying names like Plum Crazy and HEMI Orange, accented with “bumblebee” stripes. Customers could further personalize a car with twin-scooped hoods, “shaker” hoods and rear deck wings.

And although it lasted only five model years, the Dodge Challenger became one of the most storied muscle car nameplates in automotive history, with meticulously restored and rare examples today selling for six-figures.