Archive for August, 2016|Monthly archive page

Graduated Driver Licensing Laws

Teenage drivers are twice as likely as adult drivers to be in a fatal
crash. Despite a 53-percent decline in driver fatalities of 15- to
19-year-olds between 2005 and 2014, young drivers are significantly
over-represented in fatal crashes.

Our research tells us that immaturity and inexperience are primary
factors contributing to these deadly crashes. Both lead to high-risk
behavior behind the wheel: driving at nighttime, driving after drinking
any amount of alcohol, and driving distracted by teenage passengers and
electronic devices.
To address these problems, all States and the District of Columbia
have enacted graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws to give young drivers
more time to learn the complex skills required to operate a vehicle
under less risky circumstances.
While driver education classes can teach road rules and safe driving
practices, they’re only part of a GDL program designed to ease teens
onto the roadway by controlling their exposure to progressively more
difficult driving experiences.

How Does the GDL System Work?

GDL laws vary from State to State, but all GDL programs consist of
three stages, identified by the type of license, provisions, and
restrictions. Novice drivers 15 to 18 years old must demonstrate
responsible driving behavior during each stage of licensing before
advancing to the next level.
NHTSA recommends the following provisions and restrictions for each stage:

Stage 1:
Learner’s Permit
– Minimum age
– Minimum duration
– Required supervised driving hours

Stage 2:
Intermediate (Provisional) License
– Minimum age
– Nighttime driving restriction
– Passenger restriction (except for family, unless noted)

Stage 3:
Full Licensure
–  Minimum age.

What are the GDL Laws in My State?

Because the laws vary, it is essential to find out your own State’s GDL laws.
While you’re at it, check out your licensing agency’s Web site for the
driver manual your kids read and a parent guide to supervised driving.
Many States require parents to certify their teens have completed a
certain amount of supervised driving practice – usually 40 to 50 hours –
before they qualify for an intermediate license. Other States require a
6- to 12-month holding period. It’s a good idea to keep a daily log of
your teen’s driving because some States will ask for it.

What Can I Do to Make Sure My Teen Follows the GDL Laws?

While GDL laws have proven effective, they are difficult to enforce.
Imagine the challenges police face determining your teen driver’s age
after 9:00 p.m. That’s why your oversight is so important. Set driving ground rules with your teen and explain the consequences for breaking them; then get it in writing and, most importantly, enforce the rules.

In a Nutshell
  • Learn your State’s GDL laws using this interactive State map.
  • Check out your licensing agency’s Web site for the driver manual your kids read and a parent guide to supervised driving.
  • Keep a daily log of your teen’s driving because some States will ask for it.
  • Set driving ground rules with your teen and explain the
    consequences; then get it in writing and, most importantly, enforce the
    rules.

Read more at: http://www.safercar.gov/parents/TeenDriving/graduated.htm

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All The Trimmings | 2016 Ram 1500 Trim Levels: Part 1

The 2016 Ram 1500 is a flat-out workhorse, designed to get the job done and engineered for dependability. Best of all, the Ram 1500 is a singular tool designed to master every job, with a variety of trim levels so you can tailor your truck to your specific needs. Whether you’re using it as a daily driver, your day-in-day-out work truck or to tackle weekend adventures, the Ram 1500 does it all.

In this first of two installments, RamZone is taking a closer look at Ram 1500 Tradesman, Express, Big Horn/Lone Star and Sport, to help you get a better sense of how Ram Trucks are built from the ground up, just for you. In the second installment of our trim-level breakdown, we’ll take a closer look at the Ram 1500 Rebel, Laramie, Longhorn and Limited.

Ready to hit the road and get to work? Let’s punch the clock and get started with a look at some of the standard and available features at each trim level.

2016 Ram 1500 Tradesman


The 2016 Ram 1500 Tradesman is the best toolbox. And the best tool. This truck gets to work with select standard equipment including a 3.6L V6 with 8-speedScreen Shot 2016-08-24 at 11.48.34 AM automatic transmission; 17” steel wheels; black grille and bumpers; ABS/ESC/trailer sway control; vinyl 40/20/40 split-bench seat; spray-in bedliner; class IV receiver hitch; and a 3.0 AM/FM radio with an audio jack and remote USB port.

Key available options for the 2016 Ram Tradesman include a 5.7L HEMI® V8 engine; 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 engine; cloth 40/20/40 split bench seat; trailer tow mirrors; tri-fold tonneau cover; fog lamps; Uconnect 5.0 with Bluetooth®; and RamBox® Cargo Management System to keep your tools secure and easily accessible.

2016 Ram 1500 Express


The 2016 Ram 1500 Express is built to get attention. This trim level features many of the trimmings of the Ram 1500 Tradesman, plus select standard equipment including 20” aluminum wheels; body-color fascia and bumpers; floor carpet; floor mats; fog lamps; and all-season tires to tackle the toughest elements. Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 11.48.11 AM

In addition, available options on the 2016 Ram 1500 Express include a 5.7L HEMI V8 engine; class IV receiver hitch; spray-in bedliner; RamBox Cargo Management System; tri-fold tonneau cover; Uconnect 5.0 with Bluetooth®; and dual exhaust.

2016 Ram 1500 Big Horn & Lone Star


For those looking to be king of the road and royalty at the ranch, the 2016 Ram 1500 Big Horn and Lone Star (unique to Texas) and feature select standard equipment including 20” chrome-clad aluminum wheels; chrome bumper and grille; ParkView® Rear Back-Up CameScreen Shot 2016-08-24 at 11.49.04 AMra and ParkSense® Front and Rear Park Assist; remote start and security alarm; premium cloth 40/20/40 bench seat; Uconnect 8.4 system with Bluetooth and ACCESS; and leather-wrapped steering wheel for added style and comfort.

You can also up the ante with available options including a 5.7L HEMI V8 engine; 3.0L EcoDiesel engine; premium cloth front bucket seats; Active-Level™ four-corner air suspension system; sunroof; RamBox Cargo Management System; spray-in bedliner; and Uconnect 8.4 system with navigation.

2016 Ram 1500 Sport


The 2016 Ram 1500 Sport makes every ride a thrill ride. Take a look at what the Big Horn has to offer, then include select standard equipment like body-Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 11.49.41 AMcolor fascia/billet grille; blackout-look bifunctional halogen projector headlamps; LED taillamps; OWL tires, 20” polished-face aluminum wheels; premium 7-inch TFT cluster display screen; LED interior lighting; Uconnect 8.4 system with Bluetooth and ACCESS; Dual-Zone Automatic Temperature Control; power-adjustable pedals; and 10-way power driver’s seat.

Available options for the 2016 Ram 1500 Sport include ventilated front seats; Uconnect 8.4 system with navigation; the R/T Package; and the available Black Sport Group.

Read more at: http://blog.ramtrucks.com/features/trimmings-2016-ram-1500-trim-levels-part-1/

FCA’s Ram Commercial Operation Pulling Its Weight

OAKBROOK, IL – In only five years, Ram Commercial truck and van operations have grown from virtual obscurity to a 15% share of the commercial-vehicle market.

But hold the plaudits, insists Dave Sowers, head of Ram Commercial vehicles for FCA US.

“We aren’t satisfied with 15% and need to grow further,” Sowers says in an interview before updating the Midwest Automotive Media Assn. about how Ram Commercial has done in the past and what it expects to achieve in the future.

Ram Commercial sells fullsize cab chassis trucks derived from Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 pickups, along with fullsize Pro Master vans and a midsize Pro Master City commercial van derived from Fiat vehicles in Europe. The trucks and vans are customized or upfitted to buyer specs for holding tools and materials for tradesmen such as carpenters or plumbers, or serve as delivery vehicles by carrying items such as lumber or flowers.

Trucks offer gasoline or diesel engines; the big Pro Master van gas or diesel; the small Pro Master City, gas only. There’s a choice of rear- or all-wheel-drive for the trucks but front-wheel-drive only for the vans.

“There’s no plans to add all-wheel drive to either the Pro Master or Pro Master City, because with FWD the drivetrain doesn’t prevent us from offering a lower cargo floor for easier entry and exit for our customers,” Sowers says. “Besides, we don’t see the demand for AWD and the added cost.”

Sowers says about 70% of the cab-chassis trucks and about 15% of the big Pro Master vans are sold with diesel power.

“Diesels are popular in the bigger vehicles because they deliver long driving range as well as increased towing capacity – up to 31,000 lbs. (13,950 kg) – while the gas engine is popular in the small Pro Master City van because it delivers very good mileage, up to 29 mpg (8.1 L/100 km) highway,” he says.

Tax Credits, Fuel Prices Drive Sales

Sowers says 250,000 Class 2 vans and 90,000 Class 1 vans were sold industry-wide last year. He won’t talk about Ram numbers for 2016 but says he expects sales to increase this year thanks to an anticipated strong second half, especially the fourth quarter.

“The government approved special tax credits for small businesses last year, but the approval didn’t take effect until December. This year, as the end of the year approaches, small businesses will have the time to realize if they are going to make a profit for the full year…they can start spending in October, November and December to take advantage of the tax breaks,” he says.”

“Also contributing to a strong sales outlook are lower gas prices, rising housing starts and businesses having no trouble getting credit – all factors that influence confidence and an increased willingness (by commercial customers) to spend money on new product.”

Sowers also notes a large number of CVs now in use are 11 years or older and soon will need replacement, which should spur pent-up demand.

It also helps that Ram Commercial now has 1,000 dealers, up from 900 a year ago and only 400 in 2012, the year Ram Commercial became a stand-alone brand from Ram truck.

Ram Commercial is offering incentives on many vehicles, Sowers admits. “But we aren’t buying the market. It’s mostly offering discounts when customers buy upfitting packages.”

The executive says he’s satisfied with Ram Commercial’s current range of vehicles and the sales they generate. “We cover the bulk of products customers want now, though maybe more is needed in big, over 10,000-lb. (4,540-kg) vehicles.”

It’s been extensively reported several automakers are going to offer new midsize trucks in the near future or are planning to add them, such as a return of the Ranger at Ford, a Santa Cruz from Hyundai and a small Mercedes pickup that would join the Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon in the small-truck segment.

Asked about plans for retailing a smaller Ram pickup that could be joined by a small commercial-pickup companion and perhaps a commercial-van derivative, Sowers replies:

“We’ve looked at a small pickup for some time and are watching that market. But we have no firm plans to announce. If we did a small truck it would only be as a commercial truck, and we wouldn’t look at launching a new smaller van, since we already have the ProMaster City.”

Asked about the chances Ram Commercial will offer a battery-electric vehicle in addition to its diesel and gas-powered offerings, Sowers notes: “Fiat has one in Europe, an Iveco electric van that we looked at for (the U.S.), but interest in electrics rises when gas prices rise and with gas below $2.50 a gallon an electric van isn’t high on our (priority) list here.”

Read more at: http://wardsauto.com/industry/fca-s-ram-commercial-operation-pulling-its-weight

THE NEW 2017 CHARGER DAYTONA

The first muscle car to break 200 mph on the racetrack — the original 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona — is slowing things down for a cruise along Detroit’s Woodward Avenue to highlight updates for 2017 that will have you dreaming of a new hot rod. The new 2017 Dodge Charger Daytona delivers even more performance and precision to the naturally aspirated HEMI® V8 lineup with unique powertrain induction and exhaust enhancements, chassis upgrades for greater handling and braking, plus functional performance styling appointments inside and out.

The new 2017 Charger Daytona is sure to stand out on Woodward Avenue with its menacing look and its 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with up to 370 horsepower with the all-new electronically controlled active performance exhaust system, or the Daytona 392’s 485-horsepower 6.4-liter HEMI V8.

Select highlights for 2017 include:


• SRT® functional performance styling

• New 2.75-inch electronically controlled active exhaust system on 5.7-liter HEMI V8 models delivers a signature muscle-car sound

• Wider, 20 x 9-inch and 20 x 9.5-inch wheels with high-performance tires help improve handling on 5.7-liter and 392 HEMI powered models, respectively

• 392 models add an ultra-high performance Brembo® brake system with six-piston front and four-piston rear brake calipers

• Performance bolstered seats and Dodge performance steering wheel with available die-cast paddle shifters are included

The 2017 Dodge Charger Daytona 392 offers 485 horsepower and 475 lb.-ft. of torque from its HEMI V8 powertrain, new air box with directed cold-air induction and Mopar conical air filter, plus a 3.09 final drive with 230-mm limited-slip rear axle.

When it comes to standing out on the asphalt, the new 2017 Charger Daytona features all-new and limited-production Green Go, plus a revised Yellow Jacket hue that build on the Dodge brand’s High-Impact Paint (HIP) legacy. Go Mango and TorRed hues from the exclusive HIP collection are also offered. Also joining the paint lineup for 2017 are Destroyer Gray and Octane Red shades, while White Knuckle, Redline Red, Pitch Black, Granite, Billet, Contusion Blue and Maximum Steel are also available.

Created in 1969 as a 503-unit, purpose-built production run for stock car racing, the Charger Daytona set records with its distinct aerodynamic styling and legendary power. The new Charger Daytona models build on this storied history by creating the fastest production Daytona in history, as well as adding to the momentum Dodge enthusiasts have created for the limited-edition 2006 – 2009 and 2013 models.

Production for the Charger Daytona will begin in the fall, and it will be available for order in September. We’ll see you on Woodward … in our rearview mirrors most likely.

Read more at: http://blog.dodge.com/vehicles/special-editions/new-2017-charger-daytona/

FOUR END-OF-SUMMER 4×4 ADVENTURES

For off-road adventures, summer can be the most exciting season for putting your 4×4 Jeep® brand vehicle to the test. Fortunately, there’s still plenty of time to take to the trails before summer comes to a close, and plenty of ways to get muddy before fall arrives. If you’re looking for a last-minute getaway in your Jeep vehicle, we have a few ideas for you.

1.) Silver Lake Sand Dunes | Michigan, U.S.A

Want to beat the late summer heat and enjoy a day of off-road adventure? Head to Silver Lake Sand Dunes on the west coast of Michigan. This unique sugar sand landscape is tailor-made for adventure and for putting your vehicle to the test on the aptly named Test Hill. Plus, the dunes are situated directly on the Lake Michigan shoreline, so you can soak in the beautiful coastal views while exploring your Jeep® 4×4’s duning capabilities.

Check out the Jeep® Blog’s Jeep® Lifestyle in Michigan for an overview on the Silver Lake Sand Dunes, and visit the Michigan DNR’s website for tips, rules and regulations.

2.) Big Horn Mountains | Western U.S.A

They say everything’s bigger out west. Well, one way to find out is to attend the 8th Big Horn Mountains Jeep® Jamboree event in Dayton, Wyoming. If you’re into big challenges and conquering the elements — rocky trails, steep inclines and water obstacles — this annual event will provide an exciting challenge. And if you’re into beautiful scenery and fresh mountain air, well, the Big Horn Mountains have that, too.

The 8th Big Horn Mountain Jeep® Jamboree event takes place August 18–20. Learn more and register here.

3.) Catskill Mountains | Eastern U.S.A

Looking for a getaway from the big city? The Catskill Mountains are just 100 miles from New York, and are home to some of the best off-road trails in the eastern U.S. The Catskill Mountains are home to hill climbs, rocky inclines, river crossings and plenty of mud. There’s also a 101 course at the event where drivers can test their off-road skills.

The 19th Catskill Mountains Jeep® Jamboree event takes place September 15–17. Learn more and register here.

4.) Hit the Road | Anywhere, U.S.A.

Drop the top on your Jeep Wrangler or roll down the windows on any Jeep brand vehicle and hit the open road — or better yet, head off-road. Whether you’re taking a Sunday drive around the city or cruising the back roads, making the most of summer is all about open-air freedom.

Read more at: http://blog.jeep.com/news/four-end-summer-4×4-adventures/

MEET THE NEW SPECIAL-EDITION 2017 CHALLENGER T/A

We’re reintroducing the famed Challenger T/A for 2017. This race-bred muscle car puts the power down via the 6.4-liter 392 HEMI® V8 engine with a naturally aspirated 485 horsepower, or the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with up to 375 horsepower with the all-new electronically controlled active performance exhaust system.

2017 Dodge Challenger T/A 392 (left), 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A (right) and 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A

2017 Dodge Challenger T/A 392 (left), 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A (right) and 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A

The 2017 Challenger T/A is designed to stop and turn heads with its chassis upgrades for greater handling and braking, plus functional performance styling appointments inside and out.

Select highlights for 2017 include:
– New directed cold-air hood system feeding a modified SRT® Hellcat air box adds even more fresh air
– New SRT Hellcat-inspired driver and passenger side “Air Catcher” headlamps feature unique LED-illuminated T/A logos
– New 2.75-inch electronically controlled active exhaust system on 5.7-liter HEMI V8 models delivers a signature muscle-car sound
– Wider, 20 x 9-inch and all-new 20 x 9.5-inch wheels with high-performance tires help improve handling on 5.7-liter and 6.4-liter HEMI powered models, respectively
– 392 models add an ultra-high performance Brembo® brake system with six-piston front and four-piston rear brake calipers
– Unique Satin Black painted hood and exterior graphics, including available hood pins that highlight the Dodge brand’s cultivation of its storied performance history
– Performance bolstered seats, Dodge performance steering wheel, unique white-face gauges and dark interior accents are included

In addition, an all-new and limited-production Green Go, plus a revised Yellow Jacket hue for the 2017 Challenger T/A build on the Dodge brand’s High-Impact Paint (HIP) legacy. Go Mango and TorRed hues from the exclusive HIP collection are also offered. Also joining the paint lineup for 2017 are Destroyer Gray and Octane Red shades, while White Knuckle, Redline Red, Pitch Black, Granite, Billet, Contusion Blue and Maximum Steel are also available.

Initially built for the Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) Trans Am racing series in 1970, and with only 2,399 ever built, the Challenger T/A is considered one of the most sought after muscle cars of all time. The new 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A model lineup builds on this legacy with three track-capable models loaded with unique appointments and performance hardware — Challenger T/A, Challenger T/A Plus and the Challenger T/A 392.

Production for the Challenger T/A will begin in the fall, and it will be available for order in October.

Read more at: http://blog.dodge.com/vehicles/special-editions/new-2017-challenger-ta/

50 Years of Charger: Part 3 of 5 | The 1970 Dodge Charger

For the past 50 years, since the first Dodge Charger took to the streets in 1966, Americans have enjoyed an obsession with power, performance and style. The ‘66 Dodge Charger was a flat-out menace on the asphalt, and a game-changer in a hyper-competitive segment and era. With the foundation firmly in place, Dodge Charger continued to grow in size and stature, year after year, always striving for cutting-edge design, awe-inspiring interiors, and performance and capability that broke boundaries with each new iteration of the iconic vehicle.

In this five-part series, the Redline Dodge Blog is looking back at five landmark models in the Dodge Charger’s 50-year history. We started with the 1968 and 1969 Dodge Charger, and today we’re focusing on the 1970 Charger, with blog posts to follow on the 2006 Charger and 2016 Charger SRT® Hellcat.

Strap on your safety belts and prepare to be pressed back into your seat.

The 1970 Dodge Charger: Interior, Exterior and Engine

The 1970 Dodge Charger stands apart from the other model years in large part due to its distinct design elements. The grille is completely encircled with wraparound chrome, and the headlamps were hidden from view, in conjunction with the removal of the center divider from the ’69 model. The 1970 R/T model remains easy to identify thanks to its rear-facing scoops mounted on the doors. New colors were also available in 1970, including Top Banana, Panther Pink, Sublime, Burnt Orange, Go Mango and Plum Crazy.

On the interior, several notable changes and updates helped make the 1970 Charger one stunning muscle car to behold. High-back bucket seats were added in leather or vinyl and the ignition switch was moved to the steering column. In the 1970 Charger SE edition, interior features included a woodgrain steering wheel and instrument panel, new pistol grip shifter, pedal trim, turn signal indicators in the hood and, a first for the Charger, a bench seat. The 1970 Charger R/T also stood apart with 14-inch wheels with raised white letter or white-sidewall tires, and a red bumblebee or longitudinal stripe on the rear.

The 1970 Dodge Charger R/T roared down the road with a standard 440 Magnum V8 with a four-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust, and included an R/T suspension package and heavy-duty brakes. Other available options for under the hood were the 390-horsepower 440 Six Pack engine (a first for Charger) and the earth-shaking 425-horsepower 426 HEMI® engine. Neither of these behemoths came with an air conditioning option, as the focus was on power and power alone. The standard 1970 Charger also included a Slant Six engine as an option.

The 1970 Dodge Charger: Racing and Reception

The 1970 model continued to build on Charger’s prowess on the racetrack. Ten stock car racing victories earned the No. 71 Charger Daytona the championship title that year, and helped bolster nationwide notoriety for the already famed Charger.

The 1970 Dodge Charger, particularly the SE model, is widely considered the most luxurious of that year’s Scat Pack, and it’s not hard to see why — with wood accents, shifter and bench seat. Production in 1970 was just under 50,000 total vehicles.

Read more at: http://blog.dodge.com/heritage/dodge-vehicle-history/50-years-dodge-charger-1970/

50 Years of Charger: Part 2 of 5 | The 1969 Dodge Charger

For the past 50 years, since the first Dodge Charger took to the streets in 1966, Americans have enjoyed an obsession with power, performance and style. The ’66 Dodge Charger was a flat-out menace on the asphalt, and a game-changer in a hyper-competitive segment and era. With the foundation firmly in place, Dodge Charger continued to grow in size and stature, year after year, always striving for cutting-edge design, awe-inspiring interiors, and performance and capability that broke boundaries with each new iteration of the iconic vehicle.

In this five-part series, the Redline Dodge Blog is looking back at five landmark models in the Dodge Charger’s 50-year history. We started with the 1968 Dodge Charger, and today we’re focusing on the 1969 Charger, with blog posts to follow on the 1970 Charger, 2006 Charger and 2016 Charger SRT® Hellcat.

Strap on your safety belts and prepare to be pressed back into your seat.

The 1969 Dodge Charger: Interior, Exterior and Engine

The 1969 Dodge Charger was distinct in appearance from the 1968 model, most notably because of the new center divider on the front grille, and on the back, longitudinal taillights that replaced the circular design from the previous year. In addition, a new Special Edition (SE) trim line offered chrome rocker moldings and an available sunroof, as well as leather front seat inserts and woodgrain interior details on the steering wheel and dash. On the R/T, the bumblebee stripes were still available as one wide stripe and two smaller stripes.

Under the hood, a 290-horsepower 2-barrel 383 engine and a 330-horsepower 4-barrel 383 engine were available, as well as a 335-horsepower 383 Magnum painted Chrysler high-performance orange in the Super Bee model. In addition, the Six Pack, introduced in 1969, took the 440 Magnum and added a high-rise manifold capable of moving over 1,200 cubic feet of air per minute to accommodate three Holley two-barrel carburetors (thus the number six). The Six Pack produced a roaring sound and was rated at 390 horsepower at 4,700 rpm and 490 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,200 rpm. Additional Six Pack performance features included HEMI® engine valve springs and a recalibrated ignition distributor with dual breaker points.

The Six Pack performance was close to that of the 426 HEMI engine, and at approximately half the cost. To introduce the new high-powered engine, a special 1969 Dodge Super Bee model was developed with a flat-black fiberglass hood and matching black wheels sans hubcaps.

Fame on the Racetrack

The 1969 Charger was a huge success in the showroom and on the roadway, and also made a splash in American motorsports with the introduction of the original Dodge Charger Daytona, known as the “Winged Warrior.” The speedster broke tradition with its unique front end, engineered to help reduce drag, and bested the competition with speed and stability that was unmatched in stock car racing.

Read more at: http://blog.dodge.com/heritage/dodge-vehicle-history/50-years-dodge-charger-1969/

50 Years of Charger: Part 1 of 5 | The 1968 Dodge Charger

Strap on your safety belts and prepare to be pressed back into your seat.

The 1968 Dodge Charger: Interior, Exterior and Engines

The 1968 Dodge Charger built on the reputation and successes of the 1966 model, maintaining the soul and inspiration of the vehicle while introducing new design and performance upgrades. Perhaps most notably, the 1968 Dodge Charger was the first to feature the eye-catching Coke Bottle styling, with a curvier front fender and rear quarter panel.

Designer Richard Sias was the mastermind behind the 1968 Charger’s groundbreaking Coke Bottle styling, and Harvey J. Winn was responsible for the front- and rear-end sheet metal. The 1968 Charger replaced the electric motor rotating headlights with a vacuum-operated cover, while staying true to form and retaining the full-width hidden-headlamp grille. Dual circular taillamps replaced the full-width versions, and dual scallops were added to the doors and hood.

Not to be outdone by the Coke Bottle exterior, the interior of the 1968 Charger saw its own upgrades and changes. For starters, the center armrest was removed, along with the rear bucket seats, which were replaced with fixed rear seats. The tachometer was no longer a standard feature, and conventional gauges were added, as well as a vinyl mat in the trunk.

Of course, power is the thing, and the 1968 Dodge Charger had that in spades, featuring a standard 318-cubic-inch (5.2-liter) 2-bbl V8 engine, and later that year, a 225-cubic-inch (3.7-liter) slant-six engine. For those who opted for the high-performance package, the 1968 Dodge Charger R/T boasted a 375-horsepower 440 Magnum or the optional 425-horsepower 426 HEMI engine.

1968 also marked the introduction of the “Scat Pack” and its cartoon ad campaign. The Charger R/T came to be recognized for its bumblebee stripes, not to mention its powerful engine. Even Hollywood took notice; the 1968 Dodge Charger R/T 440 Magnum was featured in one of the big screen’s most iconic car chase scenes.

With plenty of power under the hood and an updated design, the 1968 Dodge Charger found its way into movies, auto shows and driveways all across America. The gauntlet was laid, and the most formidable competition would prove to be the following year’s model. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post on the 1969 Dodge Charger.

Read more at: http://blog.dodge.com/heritage/dodge-vehicle-history/50-years-dodge-charger-1968/

Stop and Check Your Vehicle’s Most Important Safety System

When it comes to vehicle safety, the brake system is at the top of the list. Brake Safety Awareness Month in August is the perfect time to have your brakes inspected to make sure they are in safe working condition before school starts and cold weather hits, says the Car Care Council.

Brakes are a normal wear item for any car and eventually they’re going to need to be replaced. For routine maintenance, check your vehicle’s braking system at least once a year. A thorough inspection should include brake lining wear, brake fluid level, rotor thickness, condition of hoses and brake lines, brake and dash warning lights, as well as taking the car for a test drive to detect other potential brake system problems.

If your car is pulling to the left or right, or if you hear odd noises when you apply the brakes, you should inspect your brakes. Other warning signs include an illuminated brake warning light, brake grabbing, low pedal feel, vibration, hard pedal feel and squealing.

Several factors that affect brake wear include driving habits, operating conditions, vehicle type and the quality of the brake lining material. Never put off routine brake inspections or any needed repair, such as letting the brakes get to the “metal-to-metal” point, which can be potentially dangerous and lead to a more costly repair bill.

.“A properly operating brake system helps ensure safe vehicle operation and control under a variety of driving conditions,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Motorists can put a stop to any potential brake system problems by recognizing the signs and symptoms that their brake system may need maintenance or repair.”

The non-profit Car Care Council offers tools to help you learn more about auto care and brake repair. Visit http://www.carcare.org to order a free copy of the popular 80-page Car Care Guide or sign up for the council’s free personalized service schedule and email reminder service.

For more brake safety, inspection and service tips, follow the Car Care Council on Instagram.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s popular Car Care Guide or for more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

Read more at: http://media.carcare.org/2015-08-03-Brake-Safety-Awareness-Month-Stop-and-Check-Your-Vehicle-s-Most-Important-Safety-System