If you’re looking for a clean-cut American screen idol that won’t disappoint you in real life and won’t end up with a suspiciously jet-black top and a strange looking face then look no further, Dodge Charger is the one for you.
There have been six generations of this car to date from launch in 1966 but the one your most likely thinking of now is the second generation car which was only on sale from 1968 to 1970 but it was a movie star from day one and over half a century on it still is.
The Steve McQueen film Bullitt introduced the latest Dodge to the big screen and with its handsome square jawed lines and sharp black suit it was a perfect wheeled version of ‘one of the boys’ who a local business man might send around to re arrange your furniture and possibly your face and knee caps as a polite warning! But when Charger slipped on his plaid shirt and jeans he could be just a good ole boy as well.
The Dukes of Hazzard jumped into TV sets around the world in 1979 and gave a new lease of life to tight jeans and old Dodge Chargers. If you’re from another planet and you haven’t seen this show then you need to!
Back then the bright orange star of the show was not one of the actors but a 9 year old Charger with an eye popping paint job, wide alloy wheels, a nudge bar, a flag on the roof and a tuneful air horn.
Every episode had the car raising dust on the back roads of Hazzard County and quite a lot of off roading for a large 4 seat coupe, but it did the job well and its speciality was jumping over things just for fun.
The downside to this was that over 300 second generation Chargers were ‘used up’ making the show over its six years but a handful survived, and you can even go and drive one of them around a racetrack here in the UK for a small fee.
Those movie star good looks and status means there are a huge number of model version available to collect, far too many to cover here so I’ll just pick a few.
Hot Wheels were one of the first to shrink the Charger and it has appeared in dozens of different guises in the range ever since, they also do the Daytona version with its giant rear spoiler and pointy nose, again in many versions.
Matchbox too were quick off the mark adding it to their regular and King Size ranges in 1969 in standard road car and dragster forms.
Recently the Fast and Furious film franchise has given us even more models to collect.
ERTL have a great range of all of the star cars from Bullitt to Furious in 1:18 scale but my favourite is their 1982 1:16 scale pressed steel Dukes of Hazzard model which came with a jumping ramp!
It’s a great looking model with opening hood and trunk, only the incorrect alloy wheels let it down slightly. That jumping ramp is the reason they are hard to find in good condition now, most have been smashed to bits and any survivors seem to have collapsed suspension. I bought mine in the mid-1980s at my school’s summer bring and buy sale and it was already well used by that stage and has gained many more bumps and marks in my ownership, but I wouldn’t part with it, every scratch represents hours of fun.
So why not get your little fat cabbage collectors on one before Sheriff Rosco P Coltrane cuffs and stuffs ya.
That’s a big ten four little fat buddy.
Are you a Charger Fan? What’s your favourite? Send us a pic or leave a comment in the box at the bottom of the page. It would be great to hear from you!