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The Dodge Challenger, an American classic, has seen three distinct generations of production since its introduction. The first generation, from 1970 to 1974, was developed on the Chrysler Electronics platform as a hardtop convertible, sharing components with the Plymouth Barracuda. Carl Cameron, who also designed the 1966 Dodge Charger, was responsible for this iconic design. The second generation, spanning from 1978 to 1983, was a transformed version of the Mitsubishi Galant Lambda, serving as an economical coupe. The inaugural Challenger, launched in 1969, was one of two Chrysler vehicles using electronic bodywork. The 1970 model featured a grille design based on an early prototype of the 1966 Charger and was initially planned to have a turbocharged engine. Despite its late entry into a declining Pony Car segment, the Challenger found its niche with distinctive features like a fiberglass front spoiler, vibrant identification graphics, and thick dual side stripes. A unique offering for the 1970 model year was the race-ready Dodge Challenger T/A, built for the Sports Car Club of America's Trans American Sedan championship. The road versions utilized a 340 Six Pack engine, with three two-liter carburetors mated to an aluminum intake manifold, while race versions were equipped with a downsized 340. Notably, the Challenger has always stood for performance, its longevity proving its enduring appeal.
Dodge Challenger owners often encounter cooling system and electrical issues over time. As mileage accumulates, the cooling system may fail, leading to frequent coolant leakages and resulting in engine overheating, with steam often visible from the radiator. The water pump should be inspected in such cases, checking for a loose pulley or worn-out gasket. The Challenger also faces electrical problems, such as difficulty starting, electrical components ceasing to work, or the key getting stuck in the ignition. These symptoms indicate potential issues with the ignition lock assembly or ignition switch, and high-usage parts like the door lock actuator or headlight switch may also wear out. Moreover, a malfunctioning hood that closes slowly or unexpectedly, or fails to stay up, suggests the need to check the hood latch. Regular maintenance of these issues can prolong the lifespan of your Dodge Challenger.
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