Why is the Dodge Charger so awesome?
Think Charger and the first thing that comes to mind is Vin Diesel taking off from the starting line, pulling a massive wheelie on his tricked out 1970 Dodge Charger R/T in the last scene of the Fast and the Furious. At a time when Mustangs and Thunderbirds ruled the road, the Charger came in to bridge the gap between the pony car and the luxury automobile.
Ask any collector/enthusiast/maniac and they will tell you that the 1968 Charger R/T (stand for Road/Track) is one of the most legendary cars from the muscle car era. They say that a Charger running the 426 Hemi V8 was unbeatable by the Mustangs at any drag strip. Only thing was they needed their tyres swapped. The stock tyres would just spin away to glory as you unleashed the 664Nm of torque onto the tarmac. But then swap the tyres for some stickier rubber and the Charger could smoke anything that came its way. The 7.0-litre V8 produced 425PS of peak power at 5000rpm and generated 664Nm of turning force at 4000rpm. And it was available in with a choice of 3-speed automatic, 3-speed manual and a 4-speed manual gearbox. The car could do, on paper, less than 6 seconds to 100kmph and could clock a top speed well over 200kmph.
In its trademark orange colour, the Charger never had any trouble sticking out like a sore thumb. And with its hidden headlights and classic coke bottle shape the Charger can be held guilty for several dropped jaws.
But there is another Charger that could beat the 68 R/T when it came to looks. When the Charger couldn't keep up with Fords and Mercurys in NASCAR races, Dodge had their work cut out. The Charger Daytona was what this resulted in. The Daytona got a streamlined nose and a HUGE spoiler at the back. The nose decreased the drag on the car and the spoiler increased rear downforce. The aero kit not only made the car faster, it surprisingly also made it a better handler. Power of course came from a choice of 7.2-litre Magnum (375PS) and the 7.0-litre Hemi V8 (425PS). Only 503 units of the Daytona were ever made and most of them had the Magnum motors. The Hemi Datyonas are among the rarest muscle cars around today. There are of course body kits available that can make you regular R/T into a Daytona, but end of the day, you'll still know in your head that it is not a real Daytona.
Or, of course, you have to be a muscled up, bald actor who gets to drag race a kitted out Daytona in the sixth instalment of a highly successful movie franchise. We officially hate Vin Diesel now.