The Dodge Charger debuted in 1966 and has since gone on to enjoy seven generations stretching all the way to the modern day. The first two generations, especially, are renowned for their impact on the muscle car mania that gripped this country in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as for impacting Detroit’s vehicular designs for decades to follow. And that’s not to mention the role the Charger has played in popular culture, thanks to appearances in smash hits like The Dukes of Hazzard and the Fast and Furious franchise.
The third-generation Charger was larger and more staid than its predecessors but still had a bit of muscly aggression under its long hood. The fourth and fifth generations, however, expanded to full-on boat status and then, in a sort of knee-jerk reaction, to a sub-compact hatchback form with front-wheel drive. After the fifth generation proved incredibly disappointing, the Charger nameplate was shelved in 1987 and the model wouldn’t be revived again until 2006.
Today’s Charger has returned to form in a big way—but with a major difference: it is now a four-door sedan. But, at the very least, a series of big Detroit V8 engines are available for consumers, helping to contribute to the modern era’s own muscle car craze. It’s safe to say, then, that there really is a Charger for everyone.
And yet, given today’s wide range of vehicle modification know-how and parts available on the internet, even Chargers—both classic and modern—fall victim to some inane modding projects that render them mere shadows of their formers selves. Keep scrolling for 20 of the most egregiously modified Chargers ever to hit the streets.
20 A CONTENDER
This custom donk isn’t a contender for world’s prettiest car but it sure is a challenger for world’s most unnecessary build. After allowing a few minutes for the pink-and-purple paint scheme, pink-and-chrome wheels, scissor doors, and absurd interior to sink in, the entire form of the car’s body comes into focus. That Challenger front end might seem like the dominant component from this angle but this is actually a four-door sedan. And as much as the Challenger’s details shine through up front, it would definitely be a much harder job to swap on the rear passenger seats and rear end of a Charger than it would be to just drop on a Challenger’s nose.
19 STEAM PUNKED
The owner of this Charger got punked by the wrap they bought—or even worse, that they designed. No, it doesn’t look good and no, the matching rust-colored wheels don’t help. It would be one sort of design to transform the paint job into a rusted, riveted sheet metal finish but the mechanicals that seem like they’re under the skin probably looked much better on a computer screen than they do in full size on the car. While rat rods have become more of a fad in recent years, this Charger can’t decide whether it’s a tribute to the past or the roboticized future.
18 RAT ROD CHARGER
This is a true rat rod Charger, complete with an absurd engine bay and equally impressive lift kit setup. The car supposedly belongs to Steve Darnell (of Vegas Rat Rods fame) but it seems relatively unlikely that someone with as much industry pedigree as Darnell would truly take on a build that would require basically demolishing a classic like a Charger. Then again, maybe this kind of wild construction is exactly what he’d love to see representing his shop (and show). The whole thing is all-out megalomania to an infinite degree, a combination of Fast and Furious and Mad Max style that is furious and mad all at the same time.
17 DODGE CHARGER RUBICON
It turns out The Fate of the Furious wasn’t produced by the only maniacs intent on turning a Charger into a four-wheel-drive beast. This Charger sits just as high, if not higher, than the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon in the parking spot next to it. But while the Rubicon is widely recognized as the best off-roading vehicle to leave any major manufacturer’s factory line in stock specification, this Charger has merely had its body torn off its chassis and bolted onto a pickup truck’s four-wheel-drive frame. The fender guard is a nice bit of hilarity, though, suggesting that the builder of this radical project at least had a sense of humor.
Maybe there’s a reason this Charger has received a watermelon paint scheme (and really, the only thing it’s missing are some seed decals). Perhaps the car was in a fender-bender that was intense enough that the front end got trashed enough to need complete replacement. And perhaps the only replacement available in the vicinity had already received a pink paint job. And perhaps the cheapest way to meld the two was to do a quick fade to the original shade of green. And perhaps the only way to try to make it look okay was to add a set of chrome rims and low-pros. And perhaps those low-pros cost so much the owner then couldn’t afford their seed decals!
15 CHARGER COUPE
When Dodge debuted the sixth-gen Charger for the 2006 model year, many fans of the classic model were simply aghast that the decision had been made to transform what had been, historically, a coupe into a four-door sedan. Hopefully, most of the armchair critics have been silenced by the fact that the Charger is probably the best four-door bang-for-the-buck on the automotive market. Otherwise, they’ll just have to be content with the current, equally as impressive, Challenger. As a last resort, they can opt to spend tens of thousands of dollars hoping to transform their four-door into a two-door that looks like a Decepticon with decision-making issues.
14 IN THE BAG
This Charger suffers from a similar fate that has befallen many of the world’s greatest cars in recent years. Stance Nation may think that their cars are sick and look much cooler than factory spec models with their vertical wheels, average ride heights, and distinct lack of body kits—but the rest of the world knows that this Charger can no longer do any of the things that make the model such a wonderful addition to Detroit’s history. When the sixth generation brought the Charger back after almost 20 years on the shelf, did Dodge engineers, designers, and executives think that they should create a new sports sedan just so people could stance it up and ruin it?
13 SHOW CAR
This second-gen Charger features serious modifications that have completely transformed the overall profile of the model’s most iconic era. Who would have thought that the body was so long and sleek? That is, once it’s been dropped about six inches towards the tarmac. And though the dark primer looks good—a clear homage to Dom’s Charger in the Fast and Furious franchise—and the entire job looks immaculately conceived, the end result just lacks the punch that a stock Charger brings to the table. It’s simply too ornamental, more ready for car shows than a straight-line blast of the throttle. No real gearhead needs ornamentation under the hood.
12 MAD MAX’S CHARGER
Mel Gibson starred in the role of a lifetime as Mad Max Rockatansky in the original Mad Max films and Tom Hardy definitely padded his resume when writer and director George Miller brought the franchise back to life for Fury Road in 2015. But equally as important as Max may be to the movies, his Police Interceptor became just as much of an international star. This Charger may be done up in full post-apocalyptic style but it’s got too much faux rust and way too clean of a windshield to actually serve as a prop car. It’s a worthy attempt but not one that’s going to fool many film buffs in the audience.
11 NOT A LAMBO
Plenty of aftermarket builders just can’t help themselves and they end up spending an excessive amount of time and money just to put Lambo doors on any random car. This Charger looks mean, fading into the background thanks to its black paint job, black wheels, and tinted windows. But what’s the point of the scissor doors? After a second glance, more mods—like the wheels’ stance, huge dual exhaust, and the lowering kit—bring this build back to Earth. And not in a good way; this may seem nifty for a music video but it isn’t going to be fun worrying about hitting the garage ceiling every time this car visits the mall.
10 WHY SO CYRIOUS?
This custom-built Charger looks the business, to say the least. It’s got enough exposed custom metalwork to say that the owner wants to take it out for some serious work—although the wheels and tires don’t exactly scream true performance. It ends up being something of a combination between Dom’s ice-focused Charger, a lowrider, and a drag racer without actually being able to settle on one dedicated purpose. At least the bolt-on fender flares keep things looking ratty enough that the owner probably also won’t worry about how many times that long, low body is going to bottom out on the way out of the driveway.
9 THE ICE CHARGER
Speaking of Dom’s Charger from The Fate of the Furious, this is one build that makes absolutely zero sense for anyone to put together outside of the false realities of Hollywood cinema. No, Dom (as he was portrayed in the first movie almost 20 years ago) would never have performed a Ken Block-style, mid-engined, all-wheel-drive conversion on his beloved Charger. And no, it doesn’t even make sense to take such a classic, heavy, straight-line car and transform it into a radical rally machine capable of escaping under-ice submarines. No amount of “hooning” can justify this build—the only possible way to even hope to explain it is in the form of $5 billion in global ticket sales.
8 IN AND OUT OF FOCUS
This Charger is set up with a full Daytona-tribute wing reminiscent of the Charger Daytonas and Plymouth Superbirds that were homologated to allow for high-speed NASCAR racing. It’s also got a couple of nostrils in its hood sucking in air, suspension upgrades just barely visible next to the turned-in front tires, and clearly enough power to burn rubber so wide it looks like a black hole. There’s no doubting this Charger has been seriously modded to transform it into a drift car—but the question of whether a car with a curb weight well over 3,000 pounds should really be a drift car must never have popped up during the building process.
7 SCRAPING AROUND THE RINK
So many cars have been lifted above enormous rims these days that this modded Charger might not even look particularly offensive to most drivers who pass it on the highway. But they’ll probably be passing it on the highway because it can’t actually go over twenty miles per hour without risking a blowout or serious damage to the fender wells (not to mention those enormous chrome wheels). Either that or they’re passing it on the highway where it’s pulled over on the side of the road, having blown out all four tires at the same time going over a tiny expansion crack in the road.
6 AD SPACE
This Charger has clearly received a ton of modification, as evidenced by the rash of stickers on its rear windows intended to inform anyone with the inclination and curiosity to find out exactly who committed this crime against an automobile what websites they can visit. Slammed down low over enormous and wide gold wheels, this Charger must have airbag suspension to go along with camber plates that are bigger than dinner plates. The rest of the car is actually fairly tame but it still seems unlikely many aftermarket brands would be happy having their names plastered on a car that struggles to go the speed limit in a school zone.
5 GENERAL LEE SPEAKING
Generally speaking, the modern iteration of the Charger shouldn’t really be used for General Lee tributes. The General Lee was the famous car that them Duke boys wreaked havoc all over Hazzard County in on the classic TV show The Dukes of Hazzard. The show helped cement the Charger’s place in culture and history (even before Dom showed up in The Fast and the Furious). Fans who love the car more than the show may lament how many classics were destroyed during filming—but everyone can agree that one too many modern Chargers suffered a fate stranger than being leaped over a barrel of molasses when this one got transformed into a General Lee tribute in coupe form.
4 LIFE ROLLS ON
The Dodge Charger is a piece of Detroit history that has always delivered a strong muscle car vibe. Even today’s Charger, despite having been transformed into a sedan so that family men can still get their V8 kicks, doesn’t really come with much in the way of luxury—that’s what helps it remain the best sedan in terms of bang for the buck on the car market today. But this owner clearly wanted to let everyone know that they lacked taste as well as wealth when they added a Rolls-Royce tribute front end to their Charger. Then again, maybe the interior is decked out with custom wood trim, bottle chillers and flutes, and a branded umbrella hidden in the door panel.
3 GETTING VERY SLEEPY
This Charger suffers from another set of wildly inappropriate wheels. The rest of the car, meanwhile, seems little changed from how it might have left the factory in, perhaps, SRT8 trim. But the wheels detract from the design that has helped the modern Charger return to its roots. Where the model looks great in simple colors or maybe even in police livery, this one has wheels that spin hypnotically, almost reminiscent of the twirling barber’s pole that signifies haircuts take place inside a storefront. The owner of this Charger would have been better served saving the thousands they spent on those wheels to get a haircut every week for the rest of their life.
2 EVOLUTION IS REAL
The Fast and Furious movies have truly evolved over the years. What was originally an undercover cop movie with a good amount of LA street racing thrown into the mix is now an international espionage franchise that pits souped-up supercars against the likes of airplanes, skyscrapers, and submarines. The blame largely rests on the film studios feeling the need to expand the scope and up the ante—so therefore, it’s the fault of the previous films’ success, as much as anything. But can too much be too much (other than a half hour of a plane taking off)? Apparently, this Charger, halfway between Dom’s original beast and the ice-racer it would become, thinks not—even if it is halway to being ruined.
1 CHARGED UP
This is one of the tamest modded Chargers out there. It’s really only got some blue details, some black wheels, and a serious tint job. But what was the point? An all-black build would have been much meaner looking but it also doesn’t go the full two-tone route. It seems like this Charger’s owner might have done a little bit of modding and realized that enough was enough. If only the rest of the supposed artists responsible for some of these monstrosities had had such wisdom, the world would be spared from witnessing more Chargers getting ruined by overzealous modding.
Sources: Hagerty, IMDb, and Wikipedia.