Comeback Cars: Deceased Vehicles That Made Miraculous Recoveries

Dodge Charger | 1966–1978, 1981–1987
Original Base Price: $3,120
Making its debut on January 1, 1966, the Charger had a Dodge Coronet chassis but its own body style — the brand’s first fastback, built as a high-speed street racer. The unique design evolved from the Charger II concept car shown a year earlier, featuring hidden headlights and four bucket seats. Standard power came from a 5.2-liter V8 engine with 230 ponies, but the famed 426 cubic-inch HEMI engine boasting 425 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque was what really put Charger on the map. In 1969 the Charger received styling updates that included an optional Performance Hood with a functional hood scoop and bold graphics that called out the engine below. The 1969 Charger found more fame when it became known as the General Lee on the popular TV series “The Dukes of Hazzard.” With the onset of fuel shortages of the mid 1970s, Charger became much more docile in its fourth generation, and after a few-year break it returned as a front-wheel-drive economy car in what seemed to be an unworthy end to the legendary Charger name.

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