Coming to Thrifty and Dollar in 2006…the all new Dodge Charger!

For 2006, both Thrifty and Dollar will offer the Dodge Charger as an upgrade option. For a small daily charge, you can upgrade from a compact, midsize or full size to the Premium category Dodge Charger. Inventory is limited so the upgrade will be based on availability at time of pick up and cannot be reserved in advance.

The Dodge Charger began in 1965 when Dodge made a limited production lot of 180 Dodge Darts and placed a “Charger 273” nameplate on them. They were all yellow with a black top and interior. The power plant was a Hi-Po 273 with a two-barrel carburetor that produced 180 horsepower. The cars raised enough interest to make Dodge explore further.

In 1966, Dodge put a full out effort into the Charger. They took the Coronet model and added a fastback roofline and reworked the front grill for an updated, sleeker look. This Charger came standard with a 318 V-8 and produced 230 horsepower. The Hemi engine was introduced mid-year but sold poorly (making these very collectable now). The Charger dominated NASCAR racing winning the manufacturer’s championship. Despite the good looks, high performance and success on the track, sales were very disappointing with only 468 cars sold with the 426 Hemi option.

In 1968, Dodge restyled the Charger into what was known as the “coke bottle” look. This look was very aggressive and was met with great enthusiasm. The standard engine remained the 318 with the classic 440 Magnum and the Hemi as options. Dodge finally hit the right combination with this package and sales skyrocketed!

Dodge enjoyed great success with the Charger for many years. However the gas shortages in the late 1970’s killed the muscle car era. The Charger finally died out in 1978 when it was replaced by the Dodge Magnum.

Shortly after the Charger was put on the shelf, it was made famous in the 1979 TV show Dukes of Hazard with the Charger starring as “General Lee”. In 2005, the Dukes of Hazard was brought back in a full length movie. Oddly enough, the car has now been brought back as well.

The all-new 2006 Dodge Charger is a worthy successor to the nameplate. It still embodies that straight line speed and wicked good looks of the original. However, with an all new platform, it also attacks winding roads with agility and ease.

The main deviation of the 2006 Charger is that it is now a 4-door sedan. Dodge has done a great job of making this family sedan very stylish. The rear trunk lid is short giving it a very aggressive appearance. The only other car I can find that offers the same modern coupe styling in a 4-door package is the Mercedez-Benz 500. Excellent company if I may say so.

The car available for rent in Hawaii will be the Dodge Charger SE. The power plant will be a 3.5-liter high output v-6 engine which will develop 250 hp @ 6,400 RPM and 250 foot pounds of torque @ 3,800 rpm. Combine this with a 5-speed automatic transmission and autostick and you have an impressive package.

The Dodge Charger comes equipped with 4-wheel disc brakes and ABS for excellent stopping power. It also comes with All-speed traction control for superior handling in all weather conditions. It’s fine handling comes from an independent front and multi-link rear suspension. The wheels come standard in 17 inch sizing.

With it’s aggressive styling and excellent straight line power, the 2006 Dodge Charger brings back the ghosts of the muscle car era. Yet it combines this performance and fast-back styling with the comfort and ease of use found in a 4-door sedan. This car is the perfect ride whether you are idling past white sand beaches or driving the challenging Road to Hana and it is available for your use through Thrifty and Dollar in 2006!