Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thematic Photographic 70: "Hard" v.7.0 - Hard Charging Hardtop

"1966 Dodge Charger"
Raleigh, NC - March 2009 (Click to embiggen)

Thematic Photographic hosted by Carmi - Button Image by Smarmoofus (Normally) Hosted by Written Inc.

Note: Please take a moment to stop by the Written, Inc. and visit . And pay your respects to TP's creator, Carmi, on the sudden loss of his father. Best thoughts for you and your family Carmi.

Introduced as a "concept car" based on the Polara in 1964, the Dodge Charger that finally saw production in 1966 was actually more of an afterthought than a conscious design. Chrysler's engineers had been working on producing an automobile with a gas turbine engine, and were right on the doorstep of putting a limited run of these "jet cars" into production when the project was canceled. The newly styled body developed for the turbines got a new grille, a 426 Wedge engine and the name "Charger" with production beginning in 1966. (There were also a very limited number of 1965 Darts dubbed the "Charger 273" that predated the actual Charger by a year, but this was an option package rather than a separate model.)

Despite Dodge's best marketing efforts and a considerable amount of success on the NASCAR circuit, early sales of the Charger were disappointing. (Richard Petty won three of his seven championships driving a Charger, and the 1966 Charger won the manufacturer's championship in its rookie year in near-stock form.) A complete facelift for the 1968 and later models -- even though the "business end" of the car remained largely unchanged -- reversed the lackluster sales figures and the Charger as we knew it would live on until 1975. At that point the car became essentially a slightly sportier version of Chrysler's Cordoba, a guise it would wear until 1978 when the "Charger" nameplate was replaced by "Magnum" (even though the cars were effectively the same in slightly different trim). And despite a brief attempt to attach the Charger name to a K-Car (in the form of a slightly modified Dodge Omni), fans of the Charger weren't biting. (In fact, most of them were pretty well horrified.) After the Omni Incident, Dodge retired the Charger until a 1999 concept car bore the name. It finally resurfaced in 2004 on the Charger sedan, and is back in production today in a form similar to the original concept, but obviously updated for the current auto market.

This particular '66 Charger is one I caught at a local club show back in March of 2009.

Source: Allpar.com - A history of the Dodge Charger (http://www.allpar.com/model/charger.html)

Your Turn: Got a "Hard" photo to support this week's theme? Feel free to share a link in the comments.

Breaking News: Carmi's Back! Thematic Photographic will be returning to its rightful place at this week for Edition #71, once again under the guidance of its creator. And while I've been honored to keep TP limping along in his absence, it hasn't been the same without him, and I can't think of a better welcome home than a landslide week of participation (ahem). Tune in at Carmi's this evening at 7:00 EDT for the newest theme. If you're new to Thematic Photographic or just wondering what it's about, you can find out all about it at TP's usual home.

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Anonymous said...

love your pics. this one especially speaks to me.
hub has owned many.. i've helped rebuild 69 Charger, 68 Roadrunner, 66 Fury, 72 Dart.

Mama Zen said...

Oh, be still my heart, I want it!

Love this picture, Mojo!

Shadow said...

i just love your fast car pics. they create such desire. in me at least...

Lil Bit said...

vroom vroom!
Great muscle car!