Posted on October 1, 2017
Wheel Icons: Get Into Dodge, Brampton and Mississauga
On November 14, 1914, the first Dodge vehicle hit the market. In the 1960s, Dodge established itself in car racing circles as a very fast brand. The carmaker then launched the legendary Challenger in 1970. Positioned as a direct competitor of Mustang and Camaro, the Challenger hooked into the Trans-Am category with ease. And when the gas shortage of the early 1970s meant that family cars needed to shrink down and gain efficiency, the Challenger and Charger models continued to ramp up the power. The link between racing and Dodge (not to mention suspenseful marketing!) continues to this day.
A Dodge Charger Daytona driven by Buddy Baker clocked in at over 200 mph, making it the first car to reach that speed on a closed course. Marketing materials called it “the sports car with the big difference,” and the mighty Challenger would set the bar for 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.
The last year for the Challenger’s first glorious period was 1974, when Dodge celebrated 60 years in the auto business. A Charger piloted by racer Richard Petty won the Daytona 500. Family cars still had to offer fuel efficiency and compact design. K cars, compacts and the soon-to-be-ubiquitous minivan flourished as the 1980s commenced, proving that Dodge had versatility, efficiency and adaptability top of mind. The Charger was dropped and then later reintroduced as the Shelby Charger, reminding car lovers that Dodge still cared very much about having high performance cars on its roster. You can be practical AND sexy, after all.
Jumping ahead in time, the 100th anniversary of Dodge marked the return of both the Challenger and the Charger with special limited-edition models, going on to further dazzle drag and SRT enthusiasts. Back in the family category, the Dodge Caravan underwent exciting redesigns and innovations, as did many other Dodge stalwarts and newbies. Viper, anyone?
A company built on the brotherly love of John and Francis Dodge, it maintains its competitive spirit well into the 21st century. Did these Michigan-born bros have any idea how exciting the future would be back when they were building bicycles together? It’s our good luck that they branched into the auto business, bringing drivers in Brampton and Mississauga a wide range of high-performance cars, sedans, minivans, trucks and SUVs.