A Look Back at the 1987 Dodge Charger

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When you really look back at it, the Dodge Charger has an interesting history from the 1960s to today.
Even though it remained mostly popular since its debut, there were several years when the model was not produced. In fact, the 1987 Dodge Charger was the last fourth-generation Dodge Charger. After that, the three-door hatchback evolved into a sporty Shelby racer, according to CarGurus.
Here’s a look back at how the 1987 Dodge Charger came to be—and what came after it.
Close-up of a hood of a blue Dodge car
The Dodge Charger has a remarkable history that starts in the 1960s.

Early history of the classic car

The Dodge Charger model has taken on many different forms, sometimes completely unrelated to each other, according to The Truth About Cars.
The very first Dodge Charger debuted in 1966, according to Motor Trend. Back then, Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Oldsmobile were putting out muscle cars that were outselling Chrysler vehicles.
So the company came out with the Dodge Charger, taking styling cues from two previous concept cars. The very first Dodge Charger featured a swept fastback roofline and four bucket seats that were split by a full-length center console.
When people think of the vintage Dodge Charger, most of the time they are picturing the second-generation, 1968-1970 version (like the car that was featured in "Dukes of Hazzard"). It had the classic Coke bottle curves, a vinyl-covered fastback roofline, hidden headlights, and was quite popular on both roadways and race tracks.
After the 1978 model year, the Charger went on a bit of a hiatus.

Here comes the 1987 Dodge Charger

Chrysler added the Shelby badge to the Charger name for a short time in the 1980s.
Then from 1983 to 1987, the Dodge Charger was based on a compact L-body platform used by the Plymouth Horizon and Dodge Omni. In addition to the regular Charger, there was also the Shelby version, which was a sportier alternative.
According to CarGurus, owners love their 1987 Dodge Chargers. The car was known to be easy on gas, reliable, and durable on both the inside and outside. Common negative comments, however, claimed the backseat was a bit cramped.
The 1987 Dodge Charger was meant to be the last version of the model—so Chrysler sold the last 1,000 Chargers to the Shelby Corporation. That company then created the rare Shelby Charger GLHS.
The Shelby Charger GLHS was available only in 1987, but there was also a 1986 Shelby GLH-S based on a modified Omni. Shelby also reportedly used the same basic idea from the Omni when the company transformed the Charger.

Beyond the 1987 Dodge Charger

Finally, in 2005, DaimlerChrysler (a merger between Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler) released the Dodge Magnum and the Chrysler 300, which were very popular. It was at this time that DaimlerChrysler thought it would be a good idea to give Dodge dealers their own sedan to go with the Magnum—the Charger.
The Charger nameplate was finally relaunched in 2006. The new Charger rode on a rear-drive LX platform, meaning it had muscle car proportions. It also featured a fastback-like roofline and Coke bottle curves.
But that model received criticism from car enthusiasts because it wasn’t a two-door muscle car like the Dodge Charger of the 1960s, according to Motor Trend. The 2006 version looked quite different, since it was a front-engine, rear-drive sedan with an optional V-8.

The modern model

The Dodge Charger went through a few changes over the following years. In 2015, the Charger got a facelift with a curvier front and a 6.2-liter Hellcat V-8, which meant the car could go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. In 2021, Dodge introduced the Charger Hellcat Redeye, which offers 797 horsepower and a 203-mph top speed.
Although there have been periods when the Dodge Charger was not produced for years at a time, it seems the model is here to stay—at least for now.

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