Dodge Magnum

Magnum is a great name for an automobile. It defiantly elicits thoughts of something that should be taken very seriously and paid respect to. The Dodge must have recognized this as the Magnum name has been used on a number of different automobiles over the years. The most recent is a large rear-wheel drive station wagon introduced in 2004 for the 2005 model year. This new Magnum is Dodge's first car to use the new Chrysler LX platform, which is also shared by the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Charger. Previous use of the Dodge Magnum model name occurred from 1978 to 1979 for a large coupe in the United States. Elsewhere, in Brazil, the Magnum name was a version of the local Dodge Dart from 1979 to 1981. Further, in Mexico, the Magnum was a K-car from 1983 to 1990. The 1978 and 1979 Dodge Magnum in the United States and Canada was really only a rebadged Chrysler Cordoba. This Magnum was launched as a replacement for the Charger SE which was available in Dodge's lineup in two forms – the "XE" and the "GT". The 1978 NASCAR season was a sad one given that the 1974 Charger that Chrysler teams had continued to use was no longer allowed as it was termed an illegal automobile for the race. Several teams then were forced to switch to the Magnum which turned out to be a disaster. While the car looked aerodynamic, it handled poorly at high speeds. This, combined with the lack of development of the small-block Chrysler V8 as a race engine left the car with a severe weakness. Things were made worse by the fact that for the latter half of the 1978 season, Petty and Neil Bonnett switched to Chevrolets. That was obviously a huge slap in the face for the Dodge Magnum, but given the success of the most recent model, it must not have been that bad.