Who can forget the "Shaker" hood scoop? It remains a symbol of American car culture and became prominent on the Dodge Challenger R/T in 1970, just a year or so before federal restrictions and insurance hikes put an end to the celebrated muscle car era.
But for 2014, Dodge has revived tradition, unveiling the retro Challenger R/T Shaker. Fire up the eight-track.
While Ford and Chevy go head-to-head, evolving from the crude handling traits that befit tradition, morphing the muscle car into a sportier era, Dodge continues to play retro. All three sport preposterous (and glorious) exhaust notes and average at best interiors — a staple of 60s muscle — but unlike its rivals, the Challenger still can't turn corners. There's something wonderful about that. Like being worse, in the case of a muscle car's handling, is actually better. After all, who bought a HEMI Cuda because of how well it navigated Mulholland's twists?
The 2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker continues its trip down memory lane, featuring a fully functioning hood scoop that shakes with the forceful V-8's pulses, grabbing cooler air to feed the engine. Accompanying the scoop is a Mopar cold-air intake, conical air filter and optimized air box to "help boost performance" — although Dodge says the power ratings of the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 remain unchanged at 375 hp and 410 lb.-ft. of torque. The Super Track Pak comes standard, and Dodge hopes the Shaker acts as a gateway drug to the rest of the Mopar medicine chest of performance parts. Despite the Challenger not being a match for the 'Stang and Camaro in terms of sales, you've got to appreciate the commitment in keeping with tradition.
Both inside and out, the Shaker features unique accents like "Shaker" logos, decals, a glorious body colored grille, and all-new 20 x 8-inch five-spoke wheels with a satin matte clear-coat finish. Arriving in dealerships early next year, with a premium of just $2,500 above the regular R/T, the Shaker starts at $36,995. That's a damn good price for a chunk of American muscle, and a look that's as retro cool as its available Plum Crazy coloring.