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Dodge’s Demons

by David Zatz on

The creation of a new Dodge Challenger SRT Demon brings up different memories for different people. What was the Demon, exactly?

1971 Dodge Demon

The first Dodge Demon was essentially a 1971 Plymouth Duster with Dodge styling.  The Duster had been the smash hit of 1970, and Dodge wanted “in” on the action.

1971 Demon

As for performance, it was not a barnstormer by today’s high standards, but it was quite fast for its day, thanks to the body’s light weight.  Road Test found the Demon 340’s 0-60 time came in 7.8 seconds, with a 14.6 second quarter mile. Most Demons, though, were sold with slant sixes or tame 318 V8s.

Compare the original playful Demon logo with the laughing devil of today:

1971 Demon

Religious groups objected to the name, and Dodge withdrew it after the 1972s. That is, until 2007, when the Dodge Demon concept was created.

Developed jointly with Mercedes, the lightweight car was powered by a 2.4 liter “World Gas Engine,” with a six-speed manual. The target price was $21,000, to hit the Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky market, and to lead the way for more traditional compact cars.

The next Dodge Demon will be far more in line with the original  Demon 340 — but also potent beyond the 1970 engineers’ dreams.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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