The Dodge Challenger is a powerful American muscle car whose name has commanded respect for decades. First produced in 1958, the Challenger enjoyed a strong production run until 1983, pausing and then resuming production in 2008 and continuing until this day. Previously, it was a pony car that hung with the Mustang and Camaro, and it continues to do the same today. Much like the Mustang and Camaro, the Challenger is an affordable sports car that can be had by the average American, and it comes in performance variants that will rip your face off.
The Challenger starts at about $28,000, and its base engine makes a solid 305 horsepower. This is great to start off with, but the Challenger also comes with insane performance options wrapped in a Hellcat or Demon badge. With the highest trim, the Challenger is capable of making 808 horsepower, which is enough to get it to 60 miles per hour in 2.3 seconds. It also completes the quarter mile in 9.65 seconds at around 140 mph, which is an incredible performance from a production car. It has enough torque and boost that when launched can lift the front wheels 2.92 feet off the ground, which is a world record for production cars.
As with all good things with lots of appeal, there are pros and cons to tuning culture surrounding the Challenger. With a vibrant and engaged community comes a wealth of parts and knowledge when tuning, and the widespread appeal of the Challenger results in many beautiful modified examples roaming the streets. However, it means that people who have poor taste want to get their hands on this sweet car, and that often ends badly for everyone’s eyes.
This modded Challenger is one that we love, mostly because the owner is using the car for its intended purpose. Generating this much tire smoke means that this ride is packing some serious power.
The classic blacked-out look makes this car even better, and it's great to see such a powerful car deliver on looks as well as performance.
The lowering kit adds to the aggressive look of this ride, making it something we'd definitely be happy to drive.
Subtlety isn't the strong suit of muscle cars, but as far as Challengers go, this one does it well. Despite the vibrant green paint and bold black hood, this Challenger flies under the radar in terms of visual modifications.
Its main appeal comes from what cannot be seen but can easily be heard: a crazy, modified exhaust.
The car's powerful V8 motor sends forth euphonic crackles that delight the ears of all bystanders and cause the envy of most other drivers.
The appeal of this gorgeous Challenger rests mostly on its good looks. It's a custom visual package that was designed for use in a SEMA show—and for good reason. The unique styling cues and color combo set this Challenger apart. It also has the AWD system from a Chrysler 300 and a somewhat downplayed version of the Challenger's V6 engine. Incredibly, the torque produced by the Hellcat's V8 was too much for this Chrysler's chassis to handle, hence the change of engine.
Here, we have a nicely modded Challenger Hellcat that's quite eye-catching. It has exactly what we're looking for in a modified car: dark and aggressive rims that accent the dark grille and paint, an aggressive hood scoop, and a striking front splitter. The hooks attaching it to the car let us know that it means business, and the bright red paint that matches the red on the brake calipers nicely ties together the appearance of this speedy muscle car.
Since we found this on Speed Hunters, we knew it was gonna be a good ride. Boasting a tuned engine that pumps out an insane amount of power, this ride is both sleek and intimidating. The lowered suspension serves two purposes. It looks great, making the fenders sit flush with the big rims that adorn this car. It also lowers the car, making it smoother to drive and more stable at high speeds. The blocky rims accent the muscular design of the Challenger, making this a solid competitor.
As always, restored cars are favorites of ours. Older muscle cars like the Camaro, the Mustang, and the Challenger have aged quite well, especially with a little TLC. This model is no exception.
It's from 1970 and has been beautifully restored.
Its wheels look almost original, and attention to detail with paint, period wheels, and a new engine present many great qualities that make for a desirable ride. With the work that's been put into restoring this Challenger, just about anyone would choose this over a modern one.
Here, we have another good-looking SEMA car that's a unique production. The purple paint is uncommon in most cars and helps to set this apart from the competition. As you can see from the massive hood scoop, the Challenger has engine modifications that boost its power and allow it to breeze by other racers. Wide tires, custom black rims, and a lowered suspension come together to create a composed and aggressive look that makes us fall in love with this car.
Like earlier, older cars are almost more beautiful than the current generation, and that thought holds true with this Challenger.
Restored, this 1970 Challenger is sleek and has as much appeal on today's market as it did when it was first released.
Rust-free and ready to cruise, this ride would be at home just about anywhere. The paint job and the choice of rims both hold true to the original design of the car and make for a timeless classic.
This Challenger is almost too low to be appealing, but it toes the line with grace. The owner clearly put attention into the details of this car, as its flashy bronze rims match with the bronze coloring on the grille. Paired with dark tinted windows and a crisp white paint job, this Challenger looks very appealing. We'd imagine that the owner put money into the engine as well, making this a ride that looks nice and drives nice, and it's hard to ask for much more out of a modified car.
Slightly newer but in the same generation as the restored Challengers shown earlier, this example is from 1973. It's also the Ralleye model, giving it extra sporting credentials. The owner held true to the original styling of the car, keeping with sleek hood scoops and aggressive red paint. The bold chrome bumper makes this visual package quite appealing and pairs well with the shiny headlights. The chunky black rims help to ground the car and tie in with the black Ralleye strip on the side, as well as with the striking black hood.
The components of this Challenger come together well to create an aggressive and stylish ride. Beefy tires show that this car has plenty of power to put down, more than can be handled by stock rubber. The bronze rims are a nice addition, playing well with the strong design lines of the car. The Challenger is also lowered slightly, making for a more aerodynamic and composed driving experience that pairs well with its angry look, making for a solid package.
This is a truly beautiful restored Challenger from 1970. In addition to great body modifications and a brilliant paint job, this car has a powerful Hemi V8 engine that makes a desirable 660 lb/ft of torque and 650 horsepower. This amount of power, coupled with a sleek convertible top, place this Challenger high on our list. The rims, although more modern in design, work well with the look of the car and almost make it look as though it rolled off a showroom floor, brand new.
While sports cars that aren't used for their intended purpose tend to get our blood boiling, we're willing to make an exception here. This special Challenger has been modified to function as a rally car, and judging by the mud everywhere, the owner has been driving it hard. The V8 power thrown down on dirt tracks by these oversized rear tires likely makes for an exhilarating driving experience, and if this car has AWD, then it must be an absolute dream.
Any car enthusiast is familiar with Motor Trend, and if you're familiar with Motor Trend, then you're familiar with Roadkill.
These brave souls have built another off-road Challenger, but this is a much older generation that definitely doesn't have AWD.
However, these crazy tires make for a manageable drive on dirt and hills, and it'd be hard to find a vehicle that looks more fun to drive or more intimidating than this one does... and it looks more fun than many Challengers on our list.
Here, we have the Hennessey-tuned HPE1000 Hellcat Redeye upgrade to the Challenger. This tuned muscle car pumps out 1,035 horsepower, which launches the car to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds. It completes the quarter-mile sprint in 9.9 seconds at 141 mph, which is quite a remarkable time. It's hard to get much better than this Challenger. It even comes with a 1-year, 12,000-mile warranty so that you can launch it down the drag strip over and over again without a care in the world.
9 Makes Zero Sense
As beautiful as the Challenger can be, it can sure be made to look appalling and unattractive. This first example on our list is just that—awful. These rims have never been and will never be stylish, as they look thin and fragile.
They don't pair well at all with the Challenger's muscular flares. The colored headlights are overplayed as well. The Challenger is intimidating enough without a light show up front, which is just distracting and cheapens the look of the car.
8 Makes Zero Sense
Liberty Walk is known for producing some killer stance kits for a number of cars, but they're best left to German and Japanese imports.
Such a low and impractical kit may look fine on a Jetta, as that car isn't meant for the track.
The Challenger, however, has now become a pain to drive, and a rock could easily crack the expensive splitter. This car is also already big enough without the widebody fender flares, and this kit just makes it look overweight and bloated.
7 Makes Zero Sense
Even though this is a Hellcat, that doesn't make it exempt from poor choices made by its owner. The chrome widebody fenders are tacky and unnecessary and cheapen the look of the whole car.
The ride height is impractical, and you'd practically scrape on every leaf that blows in front of you.
These flaws are bad enough on their own, but coupled with the ugly silver tiger stripes, they're just awful. Unfortunately, the flair of this car makes it stand out, and we wish everyone could just look away instead.
6 Makes Zero Sense
This is atrocious. The suspension of this Challenger is much too low, and its expensive splitter could easily be cracked on a mildly sloping driveway or gutter. The blue rims and blue headlights match, which is nice, but unfortunately, the color is tacky and doesn't belong on rims or headlights. Overall, the owner would've been much better off with a mild lowering kit and some engine upgrades rather than throwing a ton of money into this mess.
5 Makes Zero Sense
This Challenger is plain tacky, for many reasons. The first is the white rims—they're not a good look, no matter what car they're on. They're matched to the body of the car, which only works well if the car and the rims are both black or both silver. The white-on-white combo looks cheap and garish, detracting from the muscular lines of the Challenger. The red accents don't go well with the white and, unfortunately, are very visible on the rims, the grille, and the hood.
4 Makes Zero Sense
Once again, people seem to be doing a great job of ruining perfectly good cars. This Challenger, like the ones before it, isn't practical in the least. The slammed suspension renders the car a mess to drive.
The camber on the rear wheels means that the traction is limited, and with this car likely making a high amount of horsepower, that could be dangerous.
An excited push of the gas pedal could overload the rubber and send the Challenger careening out of control, making for a car that's both dangerous and ugly.
3 Makes Zero Sense
The body of this Challenger is fine, but it's ruined by something that should be easy to nail—the rims. They look cheap and ugly, distracting from the attractive body of the car. Not only are they just ugly, but they're also oversized and look extremely disproportionate. The comically thin tires add to this look, weakening the Challenger's grip and losing any sporting ability it had. The huge amount of power that these cars produce can easily cause a loss of traction on any set of tires, much less these paper-thin ones.
2 Makes Zero Sense
Lamborghini doors only belong on one kind of car: Lamborghinis. They certainly don't belong on muscle cars.
This tacky look is awful and is unfortunately noticeable to every bystander.
Not only does this make the driver look moronic to car enthusiasts; it even looks moronic to people who have no idea what they're looking at, which says something. The bright-green and white paint don't go together and just pile on to make for an awful visual experience.
1 Makes Zero Sense
Worst of all is this Challenger. It has many, many flaws. The deep-dish rims look incredibly tacky and don't belong on any car. They make the already large ride look even bigger. The thin tires that adorn them are likely far too slippery on pavement to transfer the Challenger's power to the road. The purple headlights and foglights are ugly and unnecessary, making this look like a cheap ride that's bedazzled with neon, much like early Fast and Furious cars. Worst of all, this Challenger appears to have a velvet roof, which looks hideous. Not only that, but any moisture will mat it down and make it look even worse than before. This Challenger is easily the worst we've ever seen.
Sources: Wikipedia, Dodge, Hennessey