Sharing Dodge no challenge

19:17, Jan 08 2014
ian carter
The Challenger's low profile is designed for speed.
ian carter
Dodge vehicles are pretty easy to recognise, although this one often gets confused with a Dodge Charger.
ian carter
The Challanger has chrome rims, with the originals being black with a touch of orange.
ian carter
Flashy gimmicks and extras weren't as common in the 1970s as they were in the 50s and 60s.
ian carter
The Challenger is powered by an impressive eight-litre engine.

Ian Carter's philosophy is that if you've got a particularly nice classic car, you should share it.

That's exactly what he's doing with his bright orange 1972 Dodge Challenger, with both his family and others keen to have a bit of a cruise.

Mr Carter, who resides between the North Otago townships of Herbert and Hampden, has owned his Challenger for around five years, after taking a punt when he saw it on an online auction site.

ian carter
FANCY A RIDE? Ian Carter enjoys sharing his 1972 Dodge Challenger with others.

"I was sitting up in Whangarei and I saw it on Trade Me. We bought it sight unseen and I saw it for the first time in Wellington while it was on its way down ... I was pretty happy."

It's been given a significant overhaul, with several mechanical aspects of the vehicle tinkered with or completely replaced, such as the suspension, brakes and motor.

Originally carrying a six-litre engine, the Challenger now boasts a powerful eight-litre version.


Mr Carter is a big fan of American cars and is also the proud owner of a 1959 Chevrolet Impala, in a nice shade of turquoise.

He likes his Challenger's more sporty look, the fact it's not an everyday sight North Otago and describes it as a "good, fun car".

"I just like it because it's a muscle car and not that common like a Mustang or a Chevrolet. In the summer I like to take it out a couple of times a month and the kids like me to pick them up from high school in it."

While he enjoys taking his family out for drives, he also likes giving others the chance to experience his vehicle.

"We just like to drive it and share it with people. We did a thing for kids with cancer a while back which meant taking them for a ride and sharing it with them, they really loved it. That's why we have these cars.

"The kids like it too and most of their mates have come for a drive at one time or another."

Mr Carter realises the modifications he's made may not be everyone's cup of tea and says his Challenger is often confused for another famous Dodge model.

"Half of the people who've seen it think it's a Dodge Charger, they think it's a Dukes of Hazard car.

"It doesn't meet the purist's idea of this type of car, but I wanted to build something that was enjoyable to drive and was personalised.

"I like the colour too, it's a one-off orange, not a Hemi orange like everyone would assume. It's there to be driven.

"You can always repaint your car if it gets damaged. You don't get to enjoy it if it's stuck in the garage."

South Canterbury