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Want A Challenger Convertible? Dodge Needs Convincing

Muscle Car / 9 Comments

And it won't be easy.

The only way one can buy a "new" Dodge Challenger convertible is via the aftermarket. We recently featured one such example earlier this month the final result was quite impressive. Slicing the roof off this retro muscle car is easier said than done, namely due to the fact that fabricators must somehow reinforce the big coupe's structural rigidity. Anytime one defies original factory specs takes on a certain risk, not to mention a canceled factory warranty. So this begs the question: why won't Dodge simply engineer a Challenger convertible of its own? After all, both the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro offer drop-tops.

Speaking with Muscle Cars and Trucks, Dodge Challenger product manager Kevin Hellman indicated while such a possibility is not completely out of the question, there still remains one essential deciding factor.

"I can't speak on any prior vehicle development, or any future, but we are aware that people are meeting demand for a Dodge Challenger convertible through the aftermarket. I've seen one personally, it's a pretty nice looking car. But like anything else, there has to be a business case that will support it."

And there you have it, a business case. Hellman makes it quite clear Dodge is watching from the sidelines with this one. Sure, there may be a few Challenger owners who opt for the convertible option, but that does not by any means make clear there's larger market demand. Dodge is very much in touch with its loyal Challenger, Charger, and Chrysler 300 fans and owners in many ways, such as the annual LX Fest held in Southern California. It was there last March when Dodge brought that camouflaged Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody prototype. A production version soon followed.

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Hellman also acknowledged a factory-spec Challenger convertible goes "beyond just taking the roof off" architecturally speaking, but he also didn't rule anything out. Other recent reports indicated that Dodge intends to keep both the Challenger and Charger on their respective existing platforms for the foreseeable future, despite their age. This means product planners will need to keep thinking creatively regarding new special editions and, perhaps, body styles. In other words, we wouldn't completely rule out a convertible option just yet.