The Dodge Challenger has a storied past, with more twists and turns than Route 66. But like many American icons, the Challenger's story is built on its strength, individuality, and longevity. You'll find the same great story at Salsbury's CDJR in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  

There Really Was a Dodge Challenger in 1959


In 1959, the Dodge Challenger was introduced as the Dodge Silver Challenger. This was a value version of the popular Dodge Coronet. Many sports car enthusiasts gloss over this first sighting of the Challenger, but the Challenger's story cannot be told without the preamble.   

As the name implies, The Silver Challenger was available in one color. You guessed it, silver. It was a two-door with high sculpted fins in the back. The front end had a downward slanting, sculpted portion over the headlights, giving the Silver Challenger a rather menacing look.   

There were two engines available: a 230-cubic inch V6 engine that produced 135 horsepower, and a larger 326-cubic inch "Red Ram" V8, generating 255 horsepower.   
This Challenger was not the barn burner it is today. And as quickly as it emerged, the 1959 Silver Challenger disappeared until more than a decade later.  

1970 Marks the "Official" Introduction of the Dodge Challenger


The first Dodge Challenger that most hot-rodders recognize is the 1970 model year introduction. This Challenger shared the E-platform with the Plymouth Barracuda. However, it was 2 inches longer, allowing for more interior space. Its long hood and wide front end characterized the early Dodge Challenger look.   
But it was the vast array of engine choices that made the first "official" Dodge Challenger generation unforgettable. Nearly every engine the Chrysler Corporation made could be ordered in the Challenger-9 engines in all. From a small 225-cubic inch inline 6-cylinder that produced 145 horsepower, to the huge 440-cubic inch V8 that generated 390 horsepower and the 426 Hemi V8 that had 425 horses running, you could choose the powertrain of your dreams. The first generation of the Dodge Challenger production run spanned from 1970 to 1974, generating over 188,000 car sales during that period.   

The Second Generation of the Dodge Challenger was a Challenge


The second generation of Dodge Challenger began in the 1978 model year. This vehicle was actually a rebadged Mitsubishi Galant Lambda. The years of the Middle East oil crisis were reflected in the second-gen Challenger. It was a small car that bore little or no resemblance to the Dodge Challenger of the past, which took on the likes of Ford and its Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro.   
Higher gas mileage 4-cylinder engines were what the second-generation Challenger specialized in. It offered two 4-cylinder engine options- a 1.6L, 77-horsepower engine and an optional 2.6L 4-cylinder that managed to produce 105 horsepower. Being a far cry from the early seventies model, this Dodge Challenger ceased production after the 1984 model year.  

Modern Muscle - Today's High-Powered Dodge Challenger

The current third-generation Challenger revives the first-generation Challenger's looks, horsepower and mission-taking on the Mustang and Camaro. Reintroduced in the 2008 model year, today's Challenger has a wide array of engine choices so you can make the Challenger your dream car.   
The 2019 Dodge Challenger has five engines available. The base engine is a 3.6L Pentastar V6, producing 305 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque. The 5.7 V8 Hemi ups the ante, generating 375 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of rubber-burning torque. A larger 392 Hemi V8 creates a lot more thunder at 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque.   
At the top of the Dodge Challenger engine options are the 6.2L Supercharged Hemi SRT Hellcat V8 engine and the 6.2L Supercharged Hellcat Hemi Redeye V8, two absolute monsters of horsepower production. The 6.2L Supercharged Hemi SRT Hellcat V8 generates an amazing 717 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. The 6.2L Supercharged Hellcat Hemi Redeye powers up 797 of fire-breathing horses and 707 pound-feet of tire-burning torque.  

Find the 2019 Dodge Challenger at Salsbury's CDJR in Baton Rouge, LA

The 2019 Dodge Challenger is powered up and ready for your test drive at Salsbury's Chrysler Dodge Jeep and Ram. Just give us a call to schedule yours. When you grab the wheel and hit the accelerator of a 2019 Challenger, bringing all those horses to life, you'll be driving home in polished piece of history.