Anything to make a buck…
In the automotive industry, nothing is sacred anymore. After all, the Mustang is apparently a crossover these days and the Chevy Blazer is now a dressed-up grandma wagon. I view the newly revealed Dodge Challenger Black Ghost in the same vein. Surely in the committee meeting where this “Last Call” special edition model was proposed it sounded like a great idea to cash in on a folk automotive legend. But ultimately, this cash grab is tacky, an unfitting but unsurprising way to send off the current-gen Challenger.
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The Black Ghost was a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE which is a legend among the old school Mopar faithful. Back in the 1970s this mysterious muscle car roamed the streets of Detroit, challenging others to races and mopping the road with them. The triple black Challenger looks sinister and gained a reputation that was bigger than life, thanks in no small part to the 426 Hemi V8 wedged under the hood.
This is the equivalent of setting up gaudy solar charging stations for Jeeps in scenic locations, something Stellantis, which owns both Dodge and Jeep, is also undertaking. Cashing in on this folk legend just feels wrong and tacky on few levels, but automakers these days are going for all the cash grabs they can since they’ve conditioned the public to just consume product, then eagerly await next product.
At least Dodge had the sense to use a Redeye boosted to 807-horsepower for pilfering the past to make a buck, instead of a V6 model. Still, this feels like exploiting and commercializing the legend, cheapening it a bit. Some won’t see a problem with it but some eagerly applauded the unveiling of the new Dodge Hornet, a reskinned Alfa Romeo crossover which abuses an already-abused legendary Hudson nameplate. That’s right, nothing is sacred anymore and it’s pushing the industry in the wrong direction.