Can the Dodge Challenger Wrestle America’s Muscle Car Kings?

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Several years ago, American car manufacturers set about launching a trend of bringing back the heyday of U.S. motoring — the generation of muscle cars, a formula of raw power coupled to the rear wheels for a relatively low price.

While Ford’s (NYSE:F) Mustang and the Chevrolet’s (NYSE:GM) Camaro have seen numerous vehicles come and go between the time they were introduced and now, the vintage cars received a full revival, with redesigns remarkably reminiscent of the original generations. Gone were the sleeker bodies that evolved through the 80′s and the 90′s, and back were the larger hindquarters and boxy structures that were synonymous with the original muscle cars.

The redesigns were a huge hit, and Mustangs and Camaros began selling in huge numbers — so much so that Dodge also revived its retro take on the Challenger, which is now being met by comparable success to the other two nameplates.

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The retro formula is clearly working. In a list of sports cars priced at $100,000 or less sold in April (with year-to-date figures as well), the three muscle revivalists occupy the first three spots. Heading the charge is the Camaro, which sold 7,949 units last month. The Mustang came in second with 7,751 models moved, and in third place was the Dodge Challenger, which sold 4,804 units.

Interestingly, the only one of the three to see any growth was the Challenger, which saw its sales increase by 17.1 percent. The Mustang slid 0.6 percent, while the Camaro dropped 17.4 percent over April of last year.

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