Dodge Speed Week: Fond Farewell To Charger And Challenger

Dodge Speed Week: Fond Farewell To Charger And Challenger

A sad day is before us folks. Dodge is ending production of the Challenger and Charger in their current form in December 2023 and will launch an all-electric replacement for 2024. The Durango will carry on – so, for all you SUV people, you’re safe for now.

The Fratzog division has had quite a run with the Challenger and the Charger – the only memorable offspring from the doomed Daimler Chrysler marriage in 1998. The Dodge Boys almost single-handedly spurred the modern-day horsepower wars we’ve enjoyed over the last decade.

Starting with the LX body Magnum, in 2005, the Charger in 2006, and the Challenger in 2008– the company has spun every retro mutation possible by injecting the most potent automotive adrenochrome they could mix up. Huge injections of horsepower helped too, as well as cool marketing that brought us a kaleidoscope of reimagined HEMI’s, Hellcats, Redeyes, and Scat Packs.

With almost 20 years of LX body production and three million Chargers and Challengers built at the Brampton, Ontario plant, the end of the line is looming. The winds of change are blowing and December 2023 will be the finale for the Charger and Challenger. To go out in style, Dodge is celebrating the end of this era with a cascade of new swan song models. We already brought you the story on the EV Charger Daytona SRT  Concept, so let’s take a look at the rest of the best.

Dodge Challenger Drag Pak

This bare-bones Challenger minus a drivetrain enables racers to insert the powertrain of their choice. Stellantis’ new DirectConnection division will be happy to sell you a HEMI crate motor and TorqueFlite transmission to make your car go fast, or choose whatever mill your heart desires. The Drag Pak chassis comes with a roll cage, four-link live axle rear setup, Strange 9-inch rear axle, Strange brakes, Weld wheels, and Mickey Thompson drag tires. Bring lots of money as the thing will retail at just under $90,000 large.

Body In White

On the other end of the spectrum, Dodge will sell you a bare Challenger body for just under $8K, giving a builder more leeway to create an even more bespoke racer. Be forewarned there will be no VIN so these bodies will be tough to license as street cars. The body-in-whites will be just that. Complete shells are finished in white paint, although other colors will be optional. When the assembly line in Ontario, Canada is broken down, there will be no more.

Challenger Convertible

New generation Mustangs and Camaros have always had soft tops and the lack of an open-air Challenger has been a glaring omission in Dodge’s anti-aging treatment for their pony car contender. That will be a thing of the past as Dodge, with the help of a third-party builder, will offer a Chally convertible available from a Stellantis dealer.

The automaker has teamed up with Florida-based Drop Top Customs, which has been offering conversions of the coupe for several years. A participating Dodge dealer will now expedite the process by having the car sent directly from the factory to Drop Top Customs to have the work done, then send it back for delivery. Again, bring lots of money as the convertible option will add a cool $29,995.00 to the Monroney sticker.

1970 Charger Carbon Fiber Body by Final Speed

We’ve all seen classic cars swathed in carbon fiber and now, with help from Finale Speed, Dodge will be offering a 1970 Charger in the space age material. Think of Vin Diesel’s Charger in an F&F movie and you get the idea. Direct Connection customers can order a complete carbon-fiber 1970 Dodge Charger through Finale Speed, equipped with a 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI crate engine, the transmission of their choice, and several interior options; or you can choose individual body panels, like carbon-fiber hoods and trunk pieces. Barracuda and Road Runner models are rumored to follow the Charger.

Will the Mod Top make a return?

Seven New Challenger and Charger Heritage Models To Be Offered in 2023.

Although shrouded in mystery, head honcho Tim Kuniskis announced seven last year only trim packages but didn’t give us a glimpse. They won’t be announced until they are built and you can’t order one so let the second sticker wars begin.  The seventh model is rumored to be something extra special so keep your ear to Dodge for all the latest details.

At the end of the day, this is probably the most elaborate send-off in automotive history. One thing made crystal clear by this event. If you want a classic ICE-powered Mopar, the time to act us now. Call your Dodge dealer today and get an order in the queue. Go to the Dodge Garage for more info.

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About the author

Dave Cruikshank

Dave Cruikshank is a lifelong car enthusiast and an Editor at Power Automedia. A zealous car geek since birth, he digs lead sleds, curvy fiberglass, kustoms and street rods. He currently owns a '95 Corvette, '76 Cadillac Seville, '99 LS1 Trans Am and big old Ford Van.
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