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Dodge Challenger Rental Los Angeles

The Dodge Challenger is one of the original pony cars. If you don’t know what a pony car is, then here is a brief primer: Pony cars are rear-wheel drive, all-American, performance-oriented coupes or convertibles that have a short decklid and a long hood. You might be familiar with some of the other pony cars like the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. 

This automotive subcategory came to prominence during the 1960’s and has become an indelible part of American car culture—and American culture in general—ever since. The Dodge Challenger is one of the most popular pony cars and some people consider it to be the best. You can find out for yourself by contacting Lion Heart Lifestyle to take advantage of a Dodge Challenger rental in Los Angeles.

Dodge Challenger: First Generation

1970 Dodge Challenger
1970 Dodge Challenger

The Challenger made its debut in 1970 and was the last of the pony cars to hit the market. However, to make up for its late arrival, it offered by far the most powertrain options of any of the pony cars. The engine choices ranged from the basic inline six that produced 145 HP all the way up to the mighty 426 HP HEMI V8 Elephant Motor. All told, there were a total of eight different engines available at the time. It was not just the engine choices that were comprehensive, there were an array of paint choices and body styles to choose from as well. 

The Challenger was available in both coupe and convertible forms and in four different trims, base, SE (Special Edition), R/T (Road/Track), and T/A (Trans-Am). The T/A edition was particularly special because it was one of the first production vehicles to have front and rear wheels that are different sizes. Additionally, buyers could get their cars with different cosmetic options that included shaker hoods, twin scooped hoods and rear spoilers.  

Pony cars had to prove their bona fides on the track and the Challenger was no different. The T/A version participated in a variety of different races during the 70s, where it scored a few top-three finishes. There were also drag race versions produced, which were more successful. The first generation Challenger lasted until 1974 and about 165,000 of them were sold during that time. It was a decent number, but not the blockbuster success of the other pony cars. However, Challengers from that generation now fetch a hefty price on the collector’s market. They had a low production run and low survivability, so they are pretty rare.

Second Generation

Dodge Challenger 1978
Dodge Challenger 1978

When the first generation Challenger made its debut, the muscle and pony car markets were already on the wane. By the time production was in full swing, the fuel crisis of the 1970s hit and helped put a halt to the sales of any gas-guzzling vehicles. Dodge decided to revive the marque in a more modest form in 1978 when it debuted the second generation Challenger. However, this new challenger was actually a captive import, a Japanese vehicle that was known as the Mitsubishi Galant Lambda GSR in its native country. It was also known as the Mitsubishi Sapporo and Mitsubishi Scorpion in other markets.

This vehicle was called the Dodge Colt Challenger in America and it was a more unassuming vehicle than the first generation Challenger. For one thing, it lacked the brawny, muscular styling of the original, it was smaller and had the boxy proportions that were common in cars from the late 70s and early 80s. The subdued design didn’t exactly set anyone’s heart racing. The engines were similarly downsized, which is understandable since many of the post-crisis vehicles were fuel sippers. Even so, the only two engines available produced 77 HP and 105 HP respectively, a massive downgrade from the powerful array of engines of the first generation.

The former muscle car was looking rather emaciated during its second run, but it did have one feature worth celebrating. Mitsubishi came up with a Silent Shaft system that reduced vibration and created a smoother ride. That is how the four-cylinder engine was able to be built at the size of a 2.6 L engine without shaking the car to pieces. The Challenger was one of the first vehicles in America to feature this technology, which was licensed to other manufacturers and is now ubiquitous in the auto industry.

Third Generation

Dodge Challenger Hellcat
Dodge Challenger 2018

The 2000s saw a big revival of pony cars and the third generation Dodge Challenger was a big part of it. It launched in 2008 after the new Ford Mustang and before the revived Chevrolet Camaro. Whereas the second generation Challenger was like a neutered and tamed version of the original, the third generation Challenger was a full-fledged, red-blooded muscle car. The new design looked like the original Challenger had been on a steady regimen of protein shakes and Crossfit. It was bigger, badder, and brawnier than the original. It also had the engines to match that new bulk with the base model having a V6 capable of 250 HP. There was also the limited edition SRT8 which had a V8 engine that pumped out a massive 425 HP. And that was just the beginning.

Ever more ludicrously powerful engines soon followed, along with various cosmetic tweaks and upgraded interiors. The 2010 version saw fairly minor upgrades, but the 2011 model featured some big changes, including two brand new engines, the 305 HP Pentastar V6 and the new Hemi V8 that produced 470 HP. As the years progressed, the current Challenger got even more extreme versions like the Hellcat, the Hellcat Redeye, the Demon, and the Scat Pack Package. It goes without saying that the third generation Challenger is a huge success, in fact, it is the longest lasting generation so far, at over ten years and counting.

The instantly recognizable, broad-shouldered design, powerful engines, and improved handling make the current generation Challenger a more than worthy successor to the spirit of the original. Dodge has made it easier than ever to harness that power as well since the handling is now up to modern standards. You won’t dive headlong into a ditch whenever you attempt to take a corner. There is still a lot of fun to be had since the Challenger can enter into a prolonged, tire-smoking, hooligan-pleasing drift when you want it to. Put all those qualities together and you have what could be the quintessential pony car and one of the definitive muscle cars. Mustang and Camaro aficionados might say otherwise and those cars do put up a worthy challenge. But no matter which one is the best, it is guaranteed that you will have fun finding out.

Blast Off With The Challenger Right Now

The Challenger is sure to become an automotive legend if it isn’t one already and if you contact Lion Heart Lifestyle, you can get behind the wheel of one and experience it for yourself. It is not everyday that a renowned marque makes such a big comeback, but the automotive world is better off with the Challenger in it. Give it a spin and you’ll find out that your world is better with the Challenger in it, too.