Dodge Challenger Convertible
Newport Convertible engineering was first US coach builder which designed, engineered and distributed late model Dodge Challenger Convertible.
NCE will Design & Engineer your Dodge Challenger to Power top convrtible, NCE EDITION.
The first generation Dodge Challenger was a pony car built from 1970 to 1974, using the Chrysler E platform and sharing major components with the Plymouth Barracuda. The second generation, from 1978 to 1983, was a badge engineered Mitsubishi Galant Lambda. The third, and current generation, was introduced in 2008 as a rival to the evolved fifth generation Ford Mustang and the reintroduced fifth generation Chevrolet Camaro.
Four hardtop models were offered: Challenger Six, Challenger V8, Challenger T/A (1970 only), and Challenger R/T with a convertible version available only in 1970 and 1971. Although there were no factory-built R/T Challenger convertibles for 1971, the R/T continued as a model with the hardtop body-style. The standard engine on the base model was the 225 cu in (3.7 L) six-cylinder. The standard engine on the V8 was the 230 bhp (171.5 kW)318 cu in (5.2 L) V8 with a 2-barrel carburetor. Optional engines were the 340 cu in (5.6 L) and 383 cu in (6.3 L) V8s, all with a standard 3-speed manual transmission, except for the 290 bhp (216.3 kW) 383 CID engine, which was available only with the TorqueFlite automatic transmission. A 4-speed manual was optional on all engines except the 225 CID I6 and the 2-barrel 383 CID V8.
1971 Dodge Challenger convertible
The performance model was the R/T (Road/Track), with a 383 CID Magnum V8, rated at 335 bhp (249.8 kW); 300 bhp (223.7 kW) for 1971, due to a drop in compression. The standard transmission was a 3-speed manual. Optional R/T engines were the 375 bhp (279.6 kW) 440 cu in (7.2 L) Magnum, the 390 bhp (290.8 kW) 440 CID Six-Pack and the 425 bhp (316.9 kW) 426 cu in (7.0 L) Hemi. The R/T was available in either the hardtop or convertible. For 1970 only, base hardtop and R/T hardtop models could be ordered with the more luxurious SE specification, which included leather seats, a vinyl roof, a smaller ‘formal’ rear window, and an overhead interior console that contained three warning lights (door ajar, low fuel, and seatbelts). The Challenger R/T came with a Rallye instrument cluster that included a 150 mph (240 km/h) speedometer, an 8,000 rpm tachometer, 1972–1974 tachometer went to 7,000 rpm and an oil pressure gauge. In 1973, the R/T badging was dropped and these models were called “Rallye”, although they were never badged as such. The shaker hood scoop was not available after 1971.
SE “formal” rear window
A 1970-only model was the Dodge Challenger T/A (Trans Am) racing homologation car. In order to race in the Sports Car Club of America’s Trans American Sedan Championship Trans Am, Dodge built a street version of its race car (just like Plymouth with its Plymouth ‘Cuda AAR) which it called the Dodge Challenger T/A (Trans Am). Although the race cars ran a destroked version of the 340, street versions took the 340 and added a trio of two-barrel carburetors atop an aluminum intake manifold, creating the 340 Six Pack. Dodge rated the 340 Six Pack at 290 bhp (216.3 kW), only 15 bhp (11 kW) more than the original 340 engine (which also had the same rating as the Camaro Z/28 and Ford Boss 302 Mustang). The engine actually made about 320 bhp (238.6 kW). It breathed air through a suitcase sized air scoop molded into the pinned down, hinged matte-black fiberglass hood. Low-restriction dual exhaust ran to the stock muffler location, then reversed direction to exit in chrome tipped “megaphone” outlets in front of the rear wheels. Options included a TorqueFlite automatic or pistol-grip Hurst-shifted four-speed transmission, 3.55:1 or 3.90:1 gears, as well as manual or power steering. Front disc brakes were standard. The special Rallye suspension used heavy duty parts and increased the rate of the rear springs. The T/A was the first U.S. muscle car to fit different size tires front and rear to give a racing stance: E60x15 in the front, and G60x15 in the rear. The modified chamber elevated the tail enough to clear the rear rubber and its side exhaust outlets. Thick dual side stripes, bold ID graphics, a fiberglass ducktail rear spoiler, and a fiberglass front spoiler added to the racing image. The interior was strictly stock Challenger.
Dodge contracted Ray Caldwell’s Autodynamics firm in Marblehead, Massachusetts to run the factory Trans-Am team. Sam Posey drove the No.77 “sub-lime” painted car that Caldwell’s team built from a car taken off a local dealer’s showroom floor. When the No.76 was completed mid-season from a chassis provided by Dan Gurney’s All American Racers, Posey alternated between the two. Both cars ran the final two races, with Posey in the #77. Ronnie Bucknum drove the No.76 at Seattle Washington, and Tony Adamowicz drove it at Riverside, California.
The Challenger T/A’s scored a few top three finishes, but lack of a development budget and the short-lived Keith Black 303 c. i. engines led to Dodge leaving the series at season’s end. .
The street version suffered from severe understeer in fast corners, largely due to the smaller front tires. Only 2,399 T/As were made. A 1971 model using the 340 engine with a 4-barrel carburetor was planned and appeared in advertising, but was not produced since Dodge had left the race series.
The “Western Special” was a version available only to west coast dealers. It came with a rear-exit exhaust system and Western Special identification on the rear decklid. Some examples came with a vacuum-operated trunk release. Another late production version was the low-priced “Deputy”, stripped of some of the base car’s trim and with fixed rear side glass.
1972 Dodge Challenger Rallye
By 1972, the convertible version, most interior upgrades options, comfort/convenience items (in particular power windows), and all the big-block engine options were gone. The R/T series was replaced by the Rallye series. Engine choices were down to the 225 cu in slant-6, the 318 cu in V-8, and the maximum power 340 cu in V-8 which was downgraded to 240 horsepower (180 kW) to reflect the more accurate Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) net hp calculations, and altered to run on low-lead or lead free gasoline. Each engine could be mated to a 3-speed manual or automatic transmission, while the 340 could also be hooked up to a 4-speed manual if so ordered. The 1972 models also received a new grille that extended beneath the front bumper. The only 1972 convertibles which exist are actually 1971 models with the 1972 front end (grille, lights, etc.) and rear end (tail lights and their panel). These were specially built for TV programs such as “Mod Squad”. The only way to ascertain a ‘real’ 1972 Challenger convertible is to look at its fender tag. On the code line which gives the dealer order number, that number will start with an “R”, which designates “Special Meaning” (in this case, a TV ‘special promotions’ car). A cigarette lighter was standard.
1974 Dodge Challenger Rallye with added R/T stripe from 70/71
For the 1973 models, the 225 cu in six-cylinder engine was no longer available, leaving just the two V-8s. For 1974, the 340 cu in (5.6 L) engine was replaced by a 360 cu in (5.9 L) version offering 245 hp, but the pony car market had deteriorated and production of Challengers ceased in late April 1974. The A/C was not available with the 3-speed manual.
On December 3, 2007, Chrysler started taking deposits for the third-generation Dodge Challenger which debuted on February 6, 2008 simultaneously at the Chicago Auto Show and Philadelphia International Auto Show. Listing at US$40,095, the new version was a 2-door coupe which shared common design elements with the first generation Challenger, despite being significantly longer and taller. The chassis is a modified (shortened wheelbase) version of the LX platform that underpins the 2006–Current Dodge Charger, 2005–2008 Dodge Magnum, and the 2005–Current Chrysler 300. The LX was developed in America from the previous Chrysler LH platform, which had been designed to allow it to be easily upgraded to rear and all-wheel drive. Many Mercedes components were incorporated, including the Mercedes-Benz W220 S-class control arm front suspension, the Mercedes-Benz W210 E-Class 5-link rear suspension, the W5A580 5-speed automatic, the rear differential, and the ESP system. All (7119) 2008 models were SRT8s and equipped with the 6.1 L (370 cu in) Hemi and a 5-speed AutoStick automatic transmission. The entire 2008 U.S. run of 6,400 cars were pre-sold (many of which for above MSRP), and production commenced on May 8, 2008; Chrysler Canada offered a further 670+ SRTs uniquely badged as the Challenger 500 (paying homage to Charger and Coronet 500s) all of which were shipped to Canadian Dodge dealers. Chrysler of Mexico offered only 100 of these cars for that country with a 6.1 liter V8 and 425 brake horsepower (317 kW) (SAE); the version of which was the SRT8. Chrysler auctioned off two 2008 SRT8 for charity with the first car going for $400,000 to benefit the notMYkid non-profit organization. A “B5” Blue No.43 car fetched a winning bid of $228,143.43 with proceeds going to the Victory Junction Gang Camp.
Newport Convertible Eineering Started limited production of Dodge Challenger convertible in California, USA.
Production of the limited edition 2008 SRT/8s ended in July 2008, and production of the expanded 2009 line-up started in early August of the same year. The expanded offering was the same as had been unveiled earlier that spring at the 2008 New York Auto Show. Chrysler debuted the full Dodge Challenger line for 2009, with four different trims – SE, R/T, SRT8, and the SXT in Canada only. In addition to the SRT8, which remained unchanged except for the optional 6 speed manual, the line-up included the previously mentioned SE and SXT which offered the 250 HP 3.5-Liter V6. The R/T hosted a 5.7 Hemi sporting 370 hp (276 kW) and 398 lb·ft (540 N·m) of torque when coupled with the 5 speed automatic, and 375 hp (280 kW) with 404 lb·ft (548 N·m) when matched with the same Tremec 6-speed manual transmission as the SRT8.
For 2010, the vehicle cost $515 to $1,010 more than in 2009. The color, HEMI Orange, was initially dropped for the 2010 model year, then re-released later in the model year. Two new color schemes became available for the 2010 model year; Plum Crazy and Detonator Yellow. A third new color, Furious Fuchsia was announced in February 2010. But unlike previous special editions, the Furious Fuchsia version had significant changes to the interior with white leather instead of the usual black seats. Chrysler also made a late-year addition to the 2010 model year with the limited edition Mopar ’10 Challenger R/T. These cars, limited to only 500 examples, were metallic pearl black in color with three accent colors (blue, red, silver) of stripes to choose from. In addition, these cars were available with black R/T Classic-style rims along with a Hurst aftermarket pistol grip shifter, custom badging, Mopar cold air intake for a 10 horsepower increase, and Katzkin-sourced aftermarket interior. Units were built in Brampton, Ontario at the Brampton Assembly Plant and completed at the Mopar Upfit Center in Windsor, Ontario. There were 500 U.S. Units and 100 Canadian units built.
Of the 500 Mopar special edition U.S. examples, 320 had automatic transmissions, 180 had manuals. 255 had blue stripes, 115 had red stripes, and 130 had silver stripes. Out of the 255 with blue stripes, 160 were automatics and 95 were manuals. Out of the 115 with red stripes, 74 were automatics and 41 were manuals. Out of the 130 with silver stripes, 86 were automatics and 44 were manuals.
2011 Dodge Challenger SRT-8
The 2011 model year base Dodge Challenger came with the new Pentastar V6 engine producing 305 bhp (227 kW; 309 PS) and 268 lb·ft (363 N·m). The new engine featured cylinder deactivation and dual variable valve timing. The bottom grille cutout was also flipped upside down, different from the 2008–10. The new SRT8’s chin spoiler was enlarged to create more downforce. It resembles the 1970 Challenger R/T. The SRT8 received a new 392-cubic-inch (6.4 L) Hemi V8. with Variable Camshaft Timing, as well as the Multiple Displacement System that was used on the 5.7 L (345 c.i.d.) engine. The 392 was officially rated at 470 horsepower (350 kW) and 470 lb·ft (640 N·m) of torque. Dodge engineers said they sacrificed peak horsepower ratings for low-end torque, stating a 90 lb-ft increase over the outgoing 6.1-L (370 c.i.d.) Hemi V8 at 2900 rpm. Two transmissions were offered, a 5-Speed Shiftable Automatic and a 6-speed manual. With the revised 6.4-Liter engine, Chrysler engineers cited a quarter mile (~400 m) time of 12.4 seconds at 110 mph (180 km/h) – bettering the outgoing 6.1-Liter Hemi by 0.8 seconds, although that figure has varied wildly between automotive magazines. Car and Driver tested the 392 at 12.9 seconds at 114 mph (183 km/h) while Motor Trend ran it at 13.0 seconds at 111.3 mph (179.1 km/h) and Edmunds’ number was far closer to Chrysler’s claimed numbers at 12.6 seconds at 112.1 mph (180.4 km/h).
Newport Convertible engineering currently is the only US coach builder which design, engineer and distribute Dodge Challenger Convertible world wide.