The first generation Dodge Challenger was a pony car.
It was manufactured from 1970 to 1974, using the Chrysler E platform and sharing main components with the Plymouth Barracuda.
The Challenger came out with a longer wheelbase, larger dimensions and more luxurious interior…
…that were prompted by the launch of the 1967 Mercury Cougar, likewise a more luxurious, bigger and more expensive pony car that was targeting the affluent young American buyers.
The wheelbase, with its 110 inches, was two inches longer than the wheelbase at the Barracuda model, and the Dodge differed substantially from the Plymouth in its outer sheetmetal, much as the Cougar differed from the shorter-wheelbase Ford Mustang.
A/C and a rear window defogger were optional.
When it comes to the exterior design, it was done by Carl Cameron, the same person who did the exterior for the 1966 Dodge Charger.
(WARNING: There is another gallery on the bottom of the post, don’t miss it!)
Cameron based the grille of the Dodge Challenger 1970 Hemi off an older sketch of his 1966 Charger prototype that was to have a turbine engine.
The Charger never got the turbine, but the Challenger got that car’s grille.
While the Challenger was pretty well received among the public, it was criticized by the press, and the pony car segment was already declining by the time the Challenger arrived.
So, after 1970 sales dropped dramatically and although sales increased for the 1973 model year with over 27,800 cars being sold, Challenger production ceased midway through the 1974 model year.
165,437 Challengers were sold over this model’s lifespan.
The performance model was the R/T (Road/Track), having a 383 CID Magnum V8, rated at 335 bhp.
It was outfitted with 3-speed manual standard transmission.
Also, there were optional R/T engines:
the 375 bhp 440 cu in (7.2 L) Magnum, the 390 bhp 440 CID Six-Pack and the 425 bhp 426 cu in (7.0 L) Hemi.
The R/T was available in either hardtop or convertible.
Image Source: Bold Ride