There are precious few companies that have touched the American psyche as Dodge has, and there may be a reason why. Dodge is known to be an automobile maker that exists at the cross-section of affordability and performance, a nexus that combines elements of the American dream and common sense. Not wanting to be confused with its American counterparts Chevy and Ford, Dodge managed to infuse this nexus with its own unique attitude, one exemplified by the early 1990s slogan taken from Thomas Paine: Lead, follow, or get out of the way.
America’s unique needs and recent history have impacted Dodge very directly. The original Charger and Challenger vehicles kept the Detroit automaker busy within the industry for years. After some time, the vehicles were retired as the company went in another direction. The Dodge Magnum made its debut early on, as well, although the design was very different from both the Charger and Challenger. It, too, was retired.
The Magnum was revived from 2005 to 2008. The original Challenger and Charger were then reinvented in recent years. The rebirth of the Charger and Challenger vehicles from previous models sent a ripple of excitement through the classic muscle car enthusiast population, but the Magnum was also well known on the market as the reincarnation of the station wagon for families with children. The company’s emphasis on strong motors put the vehicle back into the hands of American consumers who were lusting for powerful yet practical automobiles with extra room for the kids.
The classic colors that were popular with consumers in the 1960s and ’70s have made a comeback as well. The retro look of orange, green and yellow cars have grown up a little bit over the years and are still eye-catching and reminiscent of the former car colors.
Although the reborn Charger and Challenger have retained the sporty look and powerful engines that gained them a cult following of sorts decades ago, they have targeted comfort and a smooth ride as improvements in the models. Unlike the Magnum, they largely resemble their forefathers. The new attitude station wagon has little resemblance to the coupe that helped make Richard Petty famous in the old-style B body except for its name and a comfortable back seat.
For Dodge fans, finding a used Dodge Magnum and a new or used Challenger and Charger make car shopping more of an adventure and even a bit of a history lesson.