I like to think of myself as someone who enjoys cars. A car “enthusiast,” you might say, who pays attention to trends for more than just the ability to claim a “hobby” and form some kind of occasional human connection in this cold, dead world. That being the case, how, in all of my years, have I never noticed that the modern Dodge Challenger doesn’t come with a convertible option?
It’s less that I didn’t notice, I guess, and more that I never thought to question why it wasn’t there. Here I am, instead, questioning myself now.
This true sense of self doubt washed over me upon seeing that three Challenger convertibles are for sale via a recent Motor Authority story, all with Hemi V8s under the hood. They exist only because the North Carolina dealer selling them, Keffer Dodge, sent them off to a Florida shop for the conversion.
The base of the Challenger, along with most of the rest of Dodge’s lineup, is old—like, “having a landline and dialup as your only connection to the outside world in the year 2019” old. The current generation itself began in 2008 and the car draws some lineage to 1990s components, but Dodge is still milking the rapidly aging car more than a decade later by throwing in some power upgrades here, maybe a fender flare there—you know, what the people want. (No, really, they do, or else the continued upgrades wouldn’t work.)
Then, there’s the plethora of performance variants, like the Challenger Hellcat, the Hellcat Widebody, the Hellcat Redeye, the Hellcat Redeye Widebody, the Scat Pack, the wide-body Scat Pack, and even the limited-run 2018 Demon.
Forget about a new car, the Challenger says. The people know nothing good can come from the year 2019, and maybe the few years afterward, too. The Challenger can get away with that logic for some reason, unlike the Nissan 370Z.
It’s amazing, then, that Dodge doesn’t have a convertible option in the lineup to spice things up a little, because who wouldn’t want to drop the roof on a Hemi-powered coupe that has stupid power and an equally stupid curb weight? It’s more amazing that I never even noticed the lack of one.
But that’s what the Challenger is best at: making the masses forget how old it and its design actually are, because, ooooh, look, Dodge put extra-wide tires on this one!
What were we talking about, again?