Barracuda Challenger Forum

Author Topic: How did the Challenger come about?  (Read 2424 times)

Offline jeryst

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How did the Challenger come about?
« on: May 29, 2008 - 09:30:11 AM »
I was just wondering...

There were a-body Cudas before the e-bodies came out. Why wasnt there an a-body Challenger? Why was the Challenger created in the e-body platform? Just curious if anyone knows any history.

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How did the Challenger come about?
« on: May 29, 2008 - 09:30:11 AM »



Offline Super Blue 72

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Re: How did the Challenger come about?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2008 - 09:33:38 AM »
 :popcorn:   Very good question!  I'm curious too!

Was it because at the time of conception they wanted a car to compete against the slightly more luxurious cars, like Chevelles and Cougers?  :clueless:  I know I rread it somewhere but can't quite remember...  :dunno:
1972 Dodge Challenger Rallye 340, AT, Code TB3=Super Blue, SBD=8/17/1971.  Yes, a Rallye without the fender louvers from the factory because of the body side molding option.

Pic #2 and 3 of my ARII 1/24 scale model car 

Phil in New England-Massachusetts  Always thank God for what you have!

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/456046/1972-dodge-challenger

Offline 71bigblock

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Re: How did the Challenger come about?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2008 - 09:45:45 AM »
SB is right.  I'm pretty sure they even had a Cougar in the design room to go off of. 

Offline Super Blue 72

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Re: How did the Challenger come about?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2008 - 10:00:22 AM »
Looking at the book by Jim Schild, "Original Challenger and Barracuda 1970-1974", he mentions that as you said there was no A-body Challenger, maybe they felt no need at that time. 

In 1967, development of the 1970 E-body Barracuda was underway.  This design (withthe B-body cowl and firewall) would make it easier to accomodate any size engine Chrysler had and still left room for power steering and AC.

The Challenger design was less time consuming as it was based on the Barracuda platform.  There was no Dodge version of the 1st and 2nd gen Barracuda so it was the birth of an entirely new car.  The concept of the Challenger was started in late 1966 along side the Barracuda.  Initial design models were made with the clear idea of competeing with the Mercury Cougar.  It was supposed to have more luxury than the sport themed Barracuda.  If I remember correctly, Cougars 1st year was 1967.

Hope this helps!
1972 Dodge Challenger Rallye 340, AT, Code TB3=Super Blue, SBD=8/17/1971.  Yes, a Rallye without the fender louvers from the factory because of the body side molding option.

Pic #2 and 3 of my ARII 1/24 scale model car 

Phil in New England-Massachusetts  Always thank God for what you have!

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/456046/1972-dodge-challenger

Offline Carlwalski

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Re: How did the Challenger come about?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2008 - 11:35:18 AM »


We have Carl and John to thank for our beloved Challengers. Slotts has met John and Carl I believe.
He knows a lot about this subject. Some of the photos he's sent me are awesome, old drawings/concepts.

But because they include his son and him, I won;t be sharing for confidential purposes lol. :wave:

Offline KFD

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Re: How did the Challenger come about?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2008 - 04:04:19 PM »
The E body program was initiated shortly after the Barracuda's introduction, in about 1965. I think Brownlie did the first clay for the new project in 1966-67. It was slated to be on the smaller platform, along the lines of the camaro/mustang. The largest engine was intended to be the 383, largely due to Bunkie Knudsen's 400 cubic inch ban on the small and intermediate platforms. Carl Cameron, Bill Brownlie and the rest of the gang at the Styling Department had some drafts drawn up by 1967 (see my avatar pic, that is a 1967 draft).

By 1968, they had chassis mules based on the B-body platform. They did that for corporate standardization, and after trying to shoehorn the R/B 383 in to the A bodies, and rumors of that 400 cubic-inch ban being lifted, the idea to utilize the B-body cowl, suspension and various other bits seemed natural. Interestingly enough, even after the b-body derived mules were being tested, the 383 was still going to be the biggest motor. A change of heart across town regarding an engine size ban made it really easy to put the big motors in that engine bay.

The challenger's first day of production was Friday August 1, 1969. The pilot, press and show cars were assembled that day. The first Hemi Challenger off the line (Challenger #27 off Line 1) became the Diamante show car.

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Offline DAYTONA

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Re: How did the Challenger come about?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2008 - 09:11:08 PM »
The E body program was initiated shortly after the Barracuda's introduction, in about 1965. I think Brownlie did the first clay for the new project in 1966-67. It was slated to be on the smaller platform, along the lines of the camaro/mustang. The largest engine was intended to be the 383, largely due to Bunkie Knudsen's 400 cubic inch ban on the small and intermediate platforms. Carl Cameron, Bill Brownlie and the rest of the gang at the Styling Department had some drafts drawn up by 1967 (see my avatar pic, that is a 1967 draft).

By 1968, they had chassis mules based on the B-body platform. They did that for corporate standardization, and after trying to shoehorn the R/B 383 in to the A bodies, and rumors of that 400 cubic-inch ban being lifted, the idea to utilize the B-body cowl, suspension and various other bits seemed natural. Interestingly enough, even after the b-body derived mules were being tested, the 383 was still going to be the biggest motor. A change of heart across town regarding an engine size ban made it really easy to put the big motors in that engine bay.

The challenger's first day of production was Friday August 1, 1969. The pilot, press and show cars were assembled that day. The first Hemi Challenger off the line (Challenger #27 off Line 1) became the Diamante show car.

KFD


Knudsen and the 400 inch rule was GM....Chrysler and Ford never went along with it....by 1969, GM was producing a 455 in the Olds and the ban was down the tubes

also, ...the Diamante was NOT the first HEMI Challenger built....mine was, it was 100015, built August 1st, 1969....actually the car was built much earlier, but 8-1 was the first day a 1970 could show being manufactured...they didn't wait until the first day of production to start making them, many "pilots" were built before the 8-1 date for press and testing

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Re: How did the Challenger come about?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2008 - 09:20:50 PM »
The Yellow Jacket / Diamante is believed to be the first Hemi Challenger convertible made just to clear that up. It does have the lowest VIN of known JS27R0B cars.

Also, the cars were not necissarily built on the SPD, it just did not happen that way.

There is a 1970 Barracuda with the VIN ending in 100052. It's broadcast sheet sequence number is 1000001 which indicates that it was very likely the very first car down assembly line one at Hamtramck.

We may never know for sure............

Offline DAYTONA

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Re: How did the Challenger come about?
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2008 - 09:55:28 PM »
The Yellow Jacket / Diamante is believed to be the first Hemi Challenger convertible made just to clear that up. It does have the lowest VIN of known JS27R0B cars.

Also, the cars were not necissarily built on the SPD, it just did not happen that way.

There is a 1970 Barracuda with the VIN ending in 100052. It's broadcast sheet sequence number is 1000001 which indicates that it was very likely the very first car down assembly line one at Hamtramck.

We may never know for sure............


...I heard the Diamante was actually a black conv. (WOW).....is that correct ?

...BS23R0B100003 is still a Hoosier HEMI (B/Cast sheet ?)

...mine (100015) didn't have a B/Cast sheet....fender tag read "JOB NUMBER 12"

...I found Challenger #13, owned #15, and found #19 and #23 I think (been a long while ago)....#15 was the only HEMI though

...all makes no difference anyway, I'm just glad they built the Challenger in 1970 and and REALLY GLAD they are building another Challenger in 2008


Offline Moparal

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Re: How did the Challenger come about?
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2008 - 10:49:29 PM »
Plymouth was racking up the big bucks on the barracudas, so Dodge had to do something to get back into pace.  :bigsmile:

Alaskan_TA

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Re: How did the Challenger come about?
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2008 - 11:35:12 PM »

...I heard the Diamante was actually a black conv. (WOW).....is that correct ?


Yes, it started life as a black car.

Offline thedodgeboys

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Re: How did the Challenger come about?
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2008 - 06:47:48 AM »
Thanks for the short history lesson  :2thumbs:
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Offline jeryst

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Re: How did the Challenger come about?
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2008 - 09:50:42 AM »
The collective knowledge on this site never ceases to amaze me.

Thanks for the info.

Offline The Cuda Guy

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Re: How did the Challenger come about?
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2008 - 09:57:06 AM »
I love that about this site too!

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Offline MJS73

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Re: How did the Challenger come about?
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2008 - 10:56:10 AM »
I had read that Dodge dealers were demanding that Dodge come up with a version of the A-body Barracuda, but Lynn Townsend wanted to keep it a Plymouth-only deal, so they came up with '66 Charger as a way of giving Dodge dealers a sportier call to sell.

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Re: How did the Challenger come about?
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2008 - 10:56:10 AM »