For years, Mopar fans have been asking why Dodge doesn’t make a two-door Charger, (and other fans have answered, “They do, it’s called the Challenger!”).
According to Australia’s carsales.com, FCA may actually bring back the two-door Charger, but with a catch: it would actually be a rebadged Challenger, sold only in Australia and, possibly, New Zealand.
Australians may be getting Dodge Challengers with the Chrysler Charger name. Above, a current Dodge Charger.
That would allow FCA to compete directly for mind-share with Ford, Holden, and everyone else, given the recent release of the chart-topping 797 horsepower Challenger Redeye; at the same time, it would cash in on the reputation of the Chrysler Charger, a loosely US-Valiant-based car developed in Australia in the 1970s. With a straight-six engine topped by three Weber carburetors — also developed in Australia — the Charger set a speed record that stayed put for decades. Racing versions dominated New Zealand circuits.
The Chrysler Charger might not make sense anywhere else, but it’s familiar to Australians, and recently enjoyed a well-sourced, thorough biography from Gavin Bridger and Gary Bridger (the second edition sold out last year, at around US$63/copy.)
Converting a Dodge Challenger to a Chrysler Charger would be very difficult, mostly because Australian cars use right-hand-drive. However, the company already exports the Chrysler 300 into Australia. Admittedly, if Chrysler had been on the ball in the first place, it would have been called the Chrysler Charger — four doors and all — and given a more Australian-Charger-ish grille. That might have boosted sales a bit, since the number of classic Chrysler 300s in Australia can probably be counted on one person’s fingers.
via Stephen Claydon and carsales.com
The author of Dodge Viper, Jeep’s Go-Anywhere Vehicles, and The Rise and Reinvention of Chrysler Minivans, David Zatz has been writing about cars and trucks since the early 1990s; he also writes on organizational development and business at toolpack.info and covers Mac statistics software at macstats.org. His latest book, for kids, is Meet the Jeep.
David has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. You can reach him by using our contact form (preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304.