Posted on October 1, 2017
Wheel Icons: Get Into Dodge Toronto and Mississauga
The very first Dodge automobile hit the market on November 14, 1914. After establishing itself in 1960s race circles as a fast brand, the carmaker launched the Challenger in 1970. On the Trans Am circuit, the Challenger was positioned to compete directly with Mustang and Camaro. While family cars shrank in size due to the gas shortage crisis, the Challenger and Charger models kept adding power. The association between racing and Dodge (not to mention suspenseful marketing!) continues to this day.
Racer Buddy Baker drove a Dodge Charger Daytona to speeds over 200 mph, making it the first car to reach that speed on a closed course. Marketed as “the sports car with the big difference,” the Challenger would set the tone of continuous innovation in SRT technology at Dodge. In 1971, a Dodge Challenger convertible became a pace car for the Indianapolis 500. In the same year, Charger marketing boasted a lowered price for budget-conscious Americans who still wanted to maintain their cool factor.
Dodge celebrated 60 years in the auto business in 1974, and that marked the last year for the Challenger. Meanwhile, driver Richard Petty won the Daytona 500 in a Charger. K cars and compacts along with what would soon become the beloved minivan flourished as the 1980s commenced, proving that Dodge had versatility, efficiency and adaptability top of mind. The Charger was dropped and then reintroduced as the Shelby Charger, reminding car lovers that Dodge still cared very much about having high performance cars on its roster.
Let’s leap ahead a little. When the 100th anniversary of Dodge rolled around, the Challenger and the Charger returned with special limited-edition models, then went on to dazzle drag and SRT enthusiasts. Meanwhile, back in the family category, the Dodge Caravan underwent exciting redesigns and innovations, as did many other Dodge stalwarts. Durango, anyone?
With a long history of competitive spirit, this carmaker continues to intrigue and inspire. You have to wonder if Michigan-born brothers John and Horace Dodge had any idea how exciting the future would be back when they were building bicycles together. We’re pretty glad they branched into the auto business, bringing drivers in Toronto and Mississauga a wide range of great high-performance cars, sedans, minivans and SUVs. I mean, the Viper had a TV show named after it.