As long as we can remember, Dodge loyalists have clamored for the brand to produce a droptop version of the firebreathing Challenger coupe, and for roughly the same amount of time, Dodge said no, and other than releasing a concept or two, the brand didn’t send any signals about a production version that emulated classics from the 1970s. That forced buyers to go to the aftermarket and torpedo their warranty. Dodge is out to change that by unveiling the all-new Challenger Droptop.
Dropping The Top On Fun In The Sun Is Challenger Droptop’s Forte
Dodge was quick to reveal that it’s still not making a full factory convertible, but it has decided to instead embark on a rather creative and old-school solution, let somebody else do it. The core ordering process may seem familiar to buyers that bought a convertible from a domestic automaker in the 1980s and 1990s when the American Sunroof Company was the go-to place for droptop conversions. However, in an era where ASC is long dead, Dodge had to instead enlist the services of Drop Top Customs to assist with the roof chopping.
Like convertibles of old, Dodge Challenger Droptop buyers start with a Challenger R/T, SRT, Hellcat as the base, with the customer then choosing a special expedited option code that the dealership puts into the purchase. This option signals that the car is going to Drop Top Customs, with the car in question being shipped straight to the customizer’s Florida-based facility for the refit. Dodge claims that since the Challenger retains many of its factory-installed components, it allows buyers to have a full factory warranty, while the top itself has a three-year/36,000-mile warranty. It’s not known how long it takes for the Challenger to be transformed into a sun-kissed weekend cruiser, but it’s not cheap, with the option adding an additional $25,000 on top of the base donor car.
But if you’re willing to look past the eye-watering price tag, the Challenger Droptop itself becomes a stylish example of open-air freedom. The bulk of the exterior styling carries over largely intact, and Dodge engineers also managed to retain the low-slung wide proportions that have made the Challenger a hit with buyers. It’s unknown how much extra weight the top adds to the Challenger, but unlike past aftermarket efforts, the Drop Top Customs interpretation looks clean and buttoned down.
When Can I Buy One?
It’s unknown how long the transformation from coupe to convertible takes place, but Dodge revealed that ordering for the Challenger Drop Top will open tomorrow for 2022 models, with the same order banks accommodating the 2023 models when they eventually make their way across the assembly line at Brampton.
“While we hit the throttle toward our new performance path, Dodge is also having fun on this victory lap by celebrating decades of muscle car power,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge brand chief executive officer – Stellantis. “What better way to commemorate how far we’ve come than to make it easier for Dodge Challenger customers to create a throwback convertible look. We may not upfit them, but those who want a convertible Challenger can get one faster, expedited from the factory to Drop Top Customs. Owners can order third-party modifications through our Dodge dealerships, and then pick up their finished convertible at the dealer once the vehicle is complete.”
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.