On New Year’s Day of 1966, the original Dodge Charger made its debut as the “Leader of the Dodge Rebellion”. It was an instant hit among the buying public. However, it was the Dodge Charger II prototype that was displayed earlier to crowds in Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Tampa that generated a multitude of Charger fans. The Dodge Charger II show car was not only displayed to highlight the styling and engineering, but also to determine reactions from the buying public on such a unique model design.
Many of the experimental car features on the Dodge Charger were retained in the production model. Every style line in the metal and glass had been smoothly blended to provide the Dodge Charger with a forward thrusting look and a low silhouette. From the sweptback roofline and full width tail lights to the tapering forward side sculpturing and scoop effect of the frontal area styling. The Dodge Charger was a car designed for the "go generation" and was introduced at a time when Americans wanted high performance and sporty styling automobiles. The Dodge Charger was one of the vehicle models credited as a trendsetter.
The two door hardtop model featured a roomy plush interior with four individual bucket seats and a full length console. The Dodge Charger offered revolving headlights that would disappear when not in use and were integrated with a unique one piece grille design. The front end of the Dodge Charger model, including its hood, grille and bumper, were designed to imply a ventured effect. The vertical rear fenders and wrap around bumpers were designed to center attention on the full width tail lights, which were trimmed in zinc die cast with bright perimeter molding. The rear window design offered a streamlined theme that curved upward at the outer ends in a gull wing fashion design.
On September 5, 2006, the automotive world mourned the passing of my good friend and mentor Mr. Carl Cameron. Mr. Cameron spent many years with the Chrysler Corporation and was responsible for the designs of the 1966/67 Charger automobile and 1970 Dodge Challenger. Mr. Cameron always had interesting and fascinating stories along with happy memories of the glory days at Chrysler. Carl Cameron was 81 years old when he passed away and he will continually be remembered for not only his design of the 1966/67 Dodge Charger model but also as the man who inspired many individuals in such a positive way.
A special thanks to Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher, for donating his story to the MotorCities Story of the Week program. Dodge Charger Photos are courtesy of Robert Tate. Please do not use any photographs without the permission of MotorCities/Robert Tate. For further information contact Robert Tate at firstname.lastname@example.org
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