The Dodge Neon was introduced in January 1994. It was a compact car with front wheel drive and was also exported for sale in Japan by Chrysler. When the Dodge Shadow retired, it was the Dodge Neon that Chrysler intended to fill the void. As a matter of fact, the Neon was intended to fill several gaps as the Plymouth sundance and Plymouth Duster had also been discontinued by Chrysler. With so many cars to replace the Dodge Neon had a solid run until it was retired in 2006.
The car was offered in two body styles, the four door sedan version or the two door coupe. Both models were offered with two types of engines and tranmissions also. These included the SAE 2.0 Liter SOHC engine or the SAE 2.0 Liter DOHC engine. Both engines were four cylinder. The transmissions offered with either engine were the three speed automatic tranmission or the five speed manual transmission.
Other cars on the market that were similiar in class such as the Honda Civic DX, the Honda Civic EX, the Nissan Sentra, the Ford Escort ZX2 and the Toyota Corolla all had much smaller engines but were offered at a similar price. Since the Dodge Neon offered more power than its competitors it was easily able to hold its own in the market.
The Dodge Neon ACR was also available with the SOHC offered in the sedan and the DOHC offered with the coupe. The Dodge Neon coupe was intended to be a sportier version and was offered with fourwheel disc brakes, Arbin non adjustable struts for the 1995 and 1996 models and Koni adjustable damper sor the 1997 and 1998 models. Also included in these modes were thicker anti sway bars, fat ration steering heavy dity front wheels hubs and a five speed manual transimission wiht a numerically higher .81 fifth gear.
The name Dodge Monaco has been used twice in the Dodge line up. The first time was in 1965 and this line continued until 1978. The name was brought back in 1990 and this time the run was much shorter ending in 1992.
The original Monaco was first created in order to compete with the Poniac Grand Prix. It had hard top two door coupe design and came standard with a 383 cu in V8 engine.
1966 brought a lot of changes to the Monaco. Although still available it its base model concept it was now also available as a four door pillarless sedan and a conventional four door pillared sedan. A four door station wagon was also introduced in 1966. The four door and station wagon versions now went by the name Dodge Monaco and the original two door hard top coupe became known as a Dodge Monaco 500.
A face lift would be given to all Monaco’s for 1967 and this would include a new exterior sheet metal for the for the Monaco as well as the new look for the hardtop coupe in the form of a semi fast back roofline with a reverse slanted rear quarter window.
The Dodge Monaco 500 would rise to the top as Dodge’s premium full size vehicle. Although the Dodge Monaco 500 would be retired after just a few years, the base version of the Monaco remained quite popular and was one of Dodge’s best selling vehicles.
The car was also quite a hit on television as well. Most will remember it as having appeared with its cousin the Dodge Charger. While the Charger occupied the spotlight since it was driven by the heroes of the show, the Monaco was also part of the action so to speak. Just as the General Lee was known for high flying and fast driving, the Dodge Monaco held its own as well. The Monaco was the vehicle used for Sheriff Rascoe P. Coltrane and his deputy Ennis on the popular show “The Dukes of Hazzard”.
The Dodge Stealth was a captive import that was market by Chrysler but actually produced by Mitsubishi Motors and marketed throughout the rest of the world as a Mitsubishi GTO. It was also marketed on a smaller scale in the United States as a Mitsuvishi 3000GT
The original concept car was the Mistubishi HSX first seen at the 1989 Tokyo Motor Show. It had been designed to capture some of the market from the Mazda RX-7, Nissan 300ZX, the Skyline GT-R and the Toyota Supra. The new concept car was much more successful that Mitsubishi could have hopped for and became the flagship for Mitsubishi for the next ten years.
The Dodge Stealth had originally been intended to be the pace car for the Indianapolis 500 race in 1991 however because the car was actually a foreign import though it boar the name of an American car manufacturer, the labor union for Chrysler objected to its appearance at the race. The then concept car, Dodge Viper was substituted for the Stealth at the last minute.
Since the Dodge Stealth and the Mitsubishi 3000GT were identical, then obviously they shared engines. Originally they came with what was called a Peak Power engine with Peak torque. This amounted to a SOHC 12v V6 engine as well as a DOHC 24v V6 engine.
For 1995 and 1996 the Dodge Stealth VR-4 was a special edition retractable hardtop convertible modles that was customized by ASC in California. These cars featured a unique type of convertible system. It was a hard top that was retractable. All the driver had to do was touch a button to retract or close the power top.
Production of the Dodge Spirit began in January of 1989. It was a midsize passenger car that could seat five comfortably but did offer seat belts for six due to the sixty/forty split bench seating in front. The car was assembled was produced at two plants one being in Newark, New Jersey and the other in Toluca, Mexico.
Dodge was building the Spirit on the popular stretched version of the K platform and indeed the Spirit was quite similar to its predecessor the Aries in size and shape. It was also quite similar to the Dodge Lancer as well. The car had lots of trunk space and was given a solid beam rear axle. Most of what set the car apart from others in the Dodge line up were the styling of the grille and rear lamp. Dodge also manufactured a racier sportier version of the Dodge Spirit. The one was known as a Dodge Spirit R/T and was intended to be a higher performance version.
Unique wheel designs can be found on some of the versions of the Spirt. These were known as the Dodge Spirit ES and the wheel design was known as Eurocast. These were alloy wheels that carried a snowflake pattern and were manufactured through 1991. In 1992, Dodge introduced a new wheel pattern for the Dodge Spirit known as the Pumper wheel. Dodge also color keyed some of the alloy wheels to the the vehicle body types.
The base engine that Dodge offered for the Spirit was a 2.4 Liter TBI four cylinder engine. This engine was made by Mitsubishi and offered on all of the Dodge Spirit models except the R/T model. The Dodge Spirit R/T was offered with a very special engine. This was a 2.2 L DOHC turbo III engine and it was made by Lotus. All models were also offered with both five speed manual transmissions .
The Dodge Shadow was produced by Chrysler in 1987. The Shadow was intended by Chrysler to be a new type of sedan or coupe. The idea was to design the car to be similiar in appearance to a regular sedan or coupe but to actually be a hatchback. Chrysler’s intent was to use this hidden hatchback design as a major selling point for the vehicle. The hatchback design did give a much larger storage area to the vehicle. However the marketing was did not make as big an impact as Chrysler had wished for.
The vehicle was made in Sterling Heights, Michigan and Toluca, Mexico. Car sold in Mexico went by Chrysler Shadow in reality they were actually renamed Plymouth Sundances.
There were several modifications made to the vehicles engines by Carroll Shelby Enterprises that utilized a turbocharged 2.2 L engine. These cars were known as a Shelby CSX.
The Dodge Shadow and the Plymouth Sundance were similiar in many ways and also shared many parts. At the time of production, both cars were quite popular and a convertible version of the Dodge Shadow debuted in 1991. These cars were the most inexpensive models on the market at the time that also came with a drivers side airbag. Motorized upper restraint seat belts were also being featured in cars at the time although they would later be discontinued for various flaws in safety. Because of the motorized seatbelts, 1994 Dodge Shadow cannot be imported to Canada becaus of Canadian safety standards.
For the length of time the Dodge Shadow was in production, several engines were offered with the vehicle. All of the engines offered were four cylinder however some were turbocharged. The 2.2 Liter engine was one of the most popular due to its fuel efficiency. A larger 2.5 Liter engine was offered as well with or without a turbocharger.
The Dodge Ramcharger was one of the more ruggedly built vehicles produced by Chrysler. The vehicle was manufactured as a large body SUV and although it was chosen by some to primarily be driven on paved highways, the Ramcharger was used mostly as a working ranch/farm vehicle intended for use off road or over rough terrain. It was built from 1974 through 1981 and built on a shortened wheelbase version of the Dodge D Series pick up truck.
The Ramcharger enjoys the distinction of being the first Dodge vehicle to have Ram appear in its name. This Dodge vehicle was primarily built has with two doors and all came with full time four wheel drive until 1975. This was a work horse vehicle and was also know as a Rhino, the name was appropriate for the vehicle because of the extraordinary conditions under which it was primarily used. Because of these conditions most models were offered with manual transmissions throughout the years. The first was the A0230 three speed transmission. The most common transmission that was utilized with the NP435 grann gear four speed in the four wheel drive models.
There were also several engines offered with the Ramcharger, though the most common one was the 318 CID 5.8 L V8. The larger engines offered were the 369 CID 5.9 L, the big block B series 400 CID 6.6 L engine and the RB 440 CID 7.2 L. By 1992, these had been replaced with fuel injection technology. The mulitport fuel injected Magnam 318 came standard in most models that year.
All though the Ramcharger was discontinued in 1993, Chrysler brought in a new updated Ramcharger in 1999. This one however was never intended for the United States market, it was sold primarily in South America. Because Chrysler already had 2 other full size SUV’s that it was producinct for the United States. The new Ramcharger never acheived the amount of sales that the earlier version had and Chrysler discontinued it for good in 2004
The Dodge Ram Van was a cargo van that was introduced at the end of the 1970′s. The vehicle had an extremely long production life, produced from 1979 through 1998. The popularity of the vehicle as a fleet model and work vehicle ensured that it continued to be produced.
Although the vehicle had really been introduced in 1971, it was not called a Ram Van until 1979. It had originally been named the Dodge Tradesman, the name indicating its value in the work place. While intended as a work van, it found popularity as a conversion for cabover motor homes. This would remain the case until Chrysler was forced to cut models when it encountered severe financial difficulties stemming from the energy crisis and newly enacted emissions laws.
The B-Series vans had very few changes throughout its life span, though there were cosmetic upgrades made to the fenders, hoods and grilles along the way. Many utility and service companies used the cargo vans due the unique panel feature of the work vans. This feature involved a panel that was situated between the passenger door and the side door which allowed more access to the cargo space with out interfering with the passenger seating.
The B-Series van was offered with every single engine that Chrysler made of rear wheel drive vehicles. Several of these engines included the 225 cu inc Slant Six I6 engine, the 3.9 L VA V6 engine and the 3.9 L Magnum V6 engine.
Small block engines were also included in some models of the van. Some of these were the LA-series 318 engine and the Magnum 5.2 L engine.
Chrysler also produced models that came with an optional 5.2 Liter engine that used Compressed Natural Gas. These vehicles had a range of up to 300 miles and as you can imagine were the most popular models for natural gas utility companies.
The name Dodge Magnum has been used several times by Chrysler throughout its history. The first Magnum was introduced in the United States in 1978. Richard Petty was driving the Mopar and the introduction of the Magnum allowed him to continue to do this. This car was the last one to be manufactured by Chrysler using one of the older platforms. Designs were moving away from the bigger heavier vehicles such as the Charger and becoming more aerodynamic and fuel efficient. The public’s desire for more streamlined vehicles was showing up in the sales of the Charger so Chrysler was desperately trying to adjust.
The Dodge Magnum still had the look and feel of the Charger but appeared as a softer and slightly sleaker vehicle. With the concerns over the economy and the recent energy crisis early in the decade, Chrysler was also bigging to faze out the heavier gas guzzling engines. The early version of the Magnum offered for the last time the the 318 cu in V8 lean burn engine.
Although the 318 was offered as the base engine in the 1970′s version of the Dodge Magnum, there were also two other engines offered. The two barrel carbureted 360 and the four barrel carbureted 400 engine. Chrysler stopped producing the big block V8 engine in 1979. The 1979 Dodge Magnum would be the last car to offer this engine as an option.
Chrysler revived the name Dodge Magnum for the 2005 model year but the name was all the two cars had in common. The Dodge Magnum station wagon , believe it or not, was offered in a police car version also, but sales lagged in this department. The new Dodge Magnum was having difficulty selling in civilian markets as well partly due to the fact that minivans and SUV’s had taken the place of the station wagon.
The new Magnum was offered with four different engines. The Dodge Magnum RT was offered with the 5.7 L Hemi V8 engine which was one of Dodges most popular engines. All wheel drive was also available in the 2005 Dodge SXT and the 2005 Dodge RT.
The Dodge Lancer name has been used three different times through out Dodge’s history. The first time was in 1955 for the Dodge Custom Royal Lancer. Dodge also used the Lnacer name to designate both two and four door hardtop models in the Coronet, the Royal and the Custom Royal lines.
The name was brought back again in 1962 For the Lancer GT. For the base Lancer GT, a slant six engine was used. The consumer had the option of chosing a larger engine which was a 3.7 Liter engine. The transmissions available for both trim models were the Chrysler-built A903 three speed manual transmission with the shifter on the floor. In 1962 a pushbutton operated A904 Torqueflite three speed automatic was also offered.
The Dodge Lancer had a very similiar cousin, the Valiant which also employed the very popular and very reliable slant six engine. Because Lancer sales were slow from the start and never meet expectation, the Dodge Lancer was discontinued after 1963.
By 1985 though the name had not done well with two different models, Dodge decided to give it another try. In 1985, the Dodge Lancer was reintroduced to the public as a mid size five door hatch back. Identical in many ways to its stable mate the Chrysler Lebaron GTS, the 1985 Dodge Lancer was founded on a Chrysler H platform this time.
For 1988 and 1989 Dodge introduced the Lancer Shelby which was a sportier model and featurend a handling package with upgraded sway bars, shorter springs and quicker steering along with an assortment of comfort and convenience features.
This sporty version was given an intercooled Turbo II engineand had a manual transmission. Although Dodge never revealed planned to make the Lancer Shelby a limited edition, only 279 of these cars were produced in 1988 and only 209 were produced in 1989. Unfortunately the car was never fully embraced by the public and the Lancer was once again discontinued.
Originally conceived of in 1986 as a concept car developed by Kevin Verduyn, the Dodge Intrepid first entered the American market in 1993. It was a full size sedan mechanically related to both the Chrysler Concorde and the Chrysler LHS. These were all known as LH Cars
Introduced at the 1992 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, there were a total of three LH cars at the time: The Chrysler concord, Dodge Intrepid and the Eagle Vision.
The sporty Dodge Intrepid ES was given four wheel disk brakes, 16″ wheels and a touring suspension. The Dodge Intrepdi Base model had a 3.3 L EGA V6 engine which was considered a new technologically advanced engine.
Dodge was considering a change to its design engineering department and the Intrepid was used as the model for this trial. For sometime, executives at Dodge had been studying other design methods, particularly ones used by the successful Japanese Automobile Manufacturers. Dodge wanted to emmulate the success that Asia had found in the car industry and had sent several of its senior design engineers to Japan to study their style of design teams. What the United States design teams found was that Japanese auto makers did not separate the concept engineers from the design engineer but rather create a teams that utilized both. When Dodge came back to assembly the same sorts of team strategies, the Dodge Intrepid was the result. One of the most popular selling cars for Dodge of all time.
All Intrepids produced were giving both driver side and passenger side airbags, which was unheard of in the early nineities. By 1994 a new variable assist power steering rack allowed for easier parking and antilock brakes were made standard on the Intrepid ES
A new sportier Intrepid R/T was added in 2000 with a redesigned 3.5 Liter V6 engine. Although ahead of its time, the car fell out of favor with buyers and the car was retired in August of 2004.
Introduced in 1987 for the 1988 model year, the Dodge Dynasty was produced by Chrysler as a replacement for the 600 as Dodge’s mid-size car. The Dynasty shared many traits with the Chrysler New Yorker and indeed both were built on the same Chrysler C platform. The Dodge Dynasty was one of the new generation front wheel drive sedans. The Dynasty is also quite similar to its cousing the Chrysler Imperial and the Chrysler Fifth Avenue. All the cars in this line up were intended as luxury vehicles intended for that market.
The Dodge Dynasty was built and released in its first year with a 2.5 Liter inline-4 Chrysler engine. Some of the trim levels were also offered with a Mitsubishi motor, a 3.0 Liter V6. These models were offered with an A415 three-speed automatic transmission. There was aslo a Chrysler 3.3 Liter V6 offered in some of its production years and this engine was offered with Chryslers’s new electronically-controlled four speed automatic transmission which also went by the name Ultradrive. The 3.o engine was a non interference engine designed so that if the timing belt were to break no further damage is done to the pistons and valves.
The Dodge Dynasty was popular but many believe it did not perform as well as Chrysler had hoped because it its styling. Lee Iacocca was still at the head of Chrysler at the time and it was no secret that he much preferred the boxier style designs of the early eighties. This was a problem for the Dynasty because the newly designed Ford Taurus had just hit the market and it have smooth curving and European styling and it was obvious immediately which design the public preferred.
The name Dynasty is rumored to have been chosen because a popular night time soap opera of the day by the same name. However most credit the fact that the late 1980′s and early 1990′s cars released by Chrysler were built on a royalty theme and that the name simply followed that same train of thought.
The Dodge Durango was one of Chryslers first entries into the full size SUV market. When it was introduced in 1989 the public received it very well . It had several different production years until the size of it was reduced to a midsize SUV as a replacement for the RamCharger which had been discontinued in 1993. Though there was a span of five years between the retirement of the Ramcharger and the introduction of the Durango as a smaller SUV, it did quite well the first year of production. The Dodge Durango was buyit at the Newark Assembly plant in Newark, Delware until the end of 2008.
Originally Chrysler had planned to build an SUV built on the Dakota platform however its Jeep division already had plans to release the Jeep Grand Cherokee so plans for the Dakota based SUV were placed on hold. When the Durango was released as a full size SUV that could seat up to eight passengers and tow up to 6,700 lbs and proved to be so popular Chrysler decided to stay with the Durango as the only SUV in the Dodge lineup
For 1998 through 2003 the Dodge Durango SLT came with a 5.2 Liter Magnum V8. This was replaced with a 4.7 Liter PowerTech V8 in 2003. For the 2003 model year, the Durango alls came in a performance version all wheel drive known as the Dodge Durango R/T.
All years of production the Dodge Durango was offered with four wheel drive however for 2001, Dodge made substantial changes to the interior as well. Upgrades were made in the interior trim panesl, dash mounted controls, instrument panel, overhead console and the steering wheel. A larger 5.9 Liter engine was also offered on other models besides the Durango R/T that same year as well.
For 2002, The Dodge Durango SXT was also introduced and this was also the first year that side curtain airbags were also offered.