DODGE CHALLENGER FOR A NEW GENERATION – CAR OF THE WEEK

DODGE CHALLENGER FOR A NEW GENERATION – CAR OF THE WEEK

With styling like this, power that thumbs its nose in defiance of rising gasoline prices, and a production run of a mere 6400 units this is truly a modern as well as future classic. Additionally, the 2008 Dodge Challenger provides a direct link to those pulse pounding days when cars with names such as Challenger, GTO, and Javelin were most every boys dream.
Chrysler design deserves an “A” for elevating the concept of retro styling to that of art. It also quickens the heart to know that the American automobile industry is alive and well.
With that said this car is a marked departure from the 1970 Challenger that inspired it. The new Challenger has doors that close with a solid feel, has seats that are comfortable though firm, and more amenities than my home.
I have always liked the styling of the Mopar “muscle cars built between 1966 and 1971. When we married my wife was driving a 1970 Charger and her mother drove a 1973 Charger SE, a 53,000 original mile car that is now in the hands of my brother in law.
I worked on used car lots in the mid 1970s and remember with clarity the issues with doors, loose windows and other components that plagued these cars when they were but a few years old. That is why the prices they now command astounds me but not the reason I never chased after them.
Simply put I am a pick up truck man. Over the years I have had a few muscle cars such as a 1965 Pontiac 2+2 but my heart was always with trucks – solid, rugged, dependable trucks.
This review of the new Challenger is not complete. I haven’t had the opportunity to “test drive” it. Stay tuned, even though I probably have a better chance to write a review on driving the legendary Duesenberg than this modern American classic form Chrysler.
This car was photographed at Martin Swanty Chrysler in Kingman, Arizona on Route 66.
WINDOW TO THE PAST

WINDOW TO THE PAST

With the exception of the post card from Bisbee these photos are from the Mohave Museum of History and Arts in Kingman.
Fig Springs Station was located on Route 66 a few miles from the eastern slope of the Black Mountains. When Jack Rittenhouse made his fact finding drive along Route 66 in the 1940s the station was abandoned.
When we moved to this part of the country in 1966 the station was gone having burned years before. Still, there were extensive ruins of which the most notable was a play house built as an exact replica of the station. Today concrete slabs and the fuel island are all that remain.
Photographs as well as post cards are more than mere time capsules, they are portals into a moment long past. As such they are truly priceless treasures.
Look at the detail of the Oatman photo taken about 1938. The glory days of the mines was over but the realignment of Route 66 was more than a decade in the future so the community still had a vitality. You may click on the photos to enlarge.
The Bisbee post card is post marked 1941. By this time the town had shaken off the wild and wooly frontier era and had settled into the comfortable roll of prosperous, rock solid community with a future.
This has long been one of my favorite haunts. As such it will be profiled in detail in my forthcoming book, Ghost Towns of the Southwest. It will also be where we will celebrate our 25Th anniversary and, maybe, someday call home.