SEMA 2007: The Hemi-Powered SR-392 Roadster Gets Revealed A Wee Bit Early

Just like last year we managed to find ourselves a way to sneak on to the show floor to snag some first-look shots of some of the sights, sounds and supremely over-powered wonderfulness on the SEMA showroom floor here in Vegas. First sight of the day was a vehicle we told you about just a few hours ago, the 392 Hemi crate engine-powered SR-392 Roadster, a product of Chrysler's Mopar Underground SEMA design team and Quality Metalcraft out of Livonia, MI. If you'll remember, Quality Metalcraft is the same company that owns AEV, the company that made the most awesome mod ever for a Mopar product — the "Brute" conversion kit. So why did the design team (featuring such heavyweights as Chrysler Truck Design chiefs Ralph Gillies and Mark Allen, plus Quality Metalcraft's Michael Chetcuti) decide to shoehorn a 6.4-liter Hemi crate engine into a classic street roadster? Because they could. Full press release below the jump.

A Custom SR 392 Roadster Featuring a 392 HEMI® Crate Engine from Mopar® Will Debut at the 2007 SEMA Show

The distinctively 'Detroit' roadster is a collaborative build project between Chrysler's Mopar Underground SEMA design team and Quality Metalcraft
The SEMA Show, the annual showcase of technology, trends and products representing the $36.7 billion automotive parts and accessories industry, will be held Oct. 30 - Nov. 2, 2007
The Mopar booth (#42427) is located in the lower South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center

Auburn Hills, Mich. -

What do you get when you combine the new 392 HEMI® crate engine from Mopar® with the world's first-ever steel reproduction of a 1927 street rod body and three car-crazy designers? The result is a custom SR 392 Roadster that will debut in the Mopar booth (#42427) at the 2007 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show. The SEMA Show is the annual showcase of technology, trends and products representing the $36.7 billion automotive parts and accessories industry that will be held Oct. 30 - Nov. 2, 2007 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

For nearly two years, Chrysler's Mark Allen and Ralph Gilles planned to build the SR 392 Roadster as a SEMA stunner with Michael Chetcuti of Livonia, Mich.-based auto supplier, Quality Metalcraft (QMC). Allen is chief designer, Jeep®/Dodge Truck Studios - Chrysler LLC and Gilles is Vice President of Jeep/Truck & CFM Design, Chrysler LLC. Gilles and Allen are members of Chrysler's Mopar Underground SEMA design team, a group of in-house automotive enthusiasts who donate their time to SEMA project vehicles.

Allen said, "It was important to convey the car's theme as an homage to Detroit - the cool Detroit with its unique artistic community, music and gritty vibe. We used durable materials and let the mechanicals show to reflect the industrial backbone of the city. We wrapped it all up in a high-gloss black-and-chrome wrapper to evoke Detroit's cool attitude."

Allen, Chetcuti and Gilles saw a challenge in proving that the 6.4-liter HEMI crate engine could apply to a vehicle other than traditional muscle cars or modified up fits. The team's idea was to redefine the classic hot rod with a more functional urban and industrial attitude to create a distinctly 'Detroit' roadster.

The project was assisted by Chetcuti's QMC since the company has tooled, designed and now stamps the first-ever steel reproduction of a '27 street rod body — the Shadowrods XL-27 Roadster and Lakes Modified bodies developed by hot rod legend, Jon Hall.

"The core design elements of this roadster speak to the grit and industrial edge of our city," said Chetcuti. "Things like the mezzanine flooring detail and Eames-inspired seating — these take an industrial cue but are by no means 'rat-rod.' It is a refined and organized design throughout."

After several design variations were discussed (California hot rod king Chip Foose even had a peek), Allen brought his full resources to the design's completion. QMC stamped and performed the initial assembly on the reworked Shadowrods body - and fabricated and fit the revised hood, hood side panels, lower rocker panels and doors to the body.

With the car's extremely low stance, Shadowrods was asked to build a custom frame using a unique staggered truss concept. For the final build of the SR 392 Roadster, QMC turned to longtime concept- and show-car builder Wheel to Wheel Powertrain of Madison Heights, Mich.

Overseen by Gilles, the Mopar Underground SEMA design team has been customizing Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge production vehicles for the SEMA show since its creation in 2002. The team creates tricked, tuned and customized vehicle concepts meant to develop performance parts, accessories and customization, vehicle concepts and keep the Mopar spirit and passion alive.

About Quality Metalcraft
For more than 40 years, Quality Metalcraft (QMC) has been one of the leading prototype and low-volume production automotive suppliers in the world. Operations at QMC's massive Livonia, Mich. campus cover all phases of design, engineering and manufacturing from tooling to advanced laser and stamping capabilities. Projects include everything from simple brackets to large advanced prototype full body assemblies. Visit HYPERLINK "http://www.qualitymetalcraft.com" www.qualitymetalcraft.com for more information.

About SEMA
The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, the annual showcase of technology, trends and products for the $36.7 billion automotive parts and accessories industry, will be held Oct. 30 - Nov. 2, 2007 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world, SEMA draws the industry's brightest minds and hottest products to the Las Vegas Convention Center and attracts more than 100,000 industry leaders from over 100 countries in the automotive, truck and SUV markets. Open to domestic and international industry professionals and media, the 2007 SEMA Show will feature more than 2,000 exhibitors. More than 100,000 are expected to attend this year. SEMA was founded in 1963. The industry provides appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products for passenger and recreational vehicles.

70 Years of Mopar
When Chrysler bought Dodge in 1928, the need for a dedicated parts manufacturer, supplier and distribution system to support the growing enterprise led to the formation of the Chrysler Motor Parts Corporation (CMPC) in 1929.

Originally used in the 1920s, Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was trademarked for a line of antifreeze products in 1937. It was also widely used as a moniker for the CMPC. The Mopar brand made its mark in the 1960s - the muscle car era. The Chrysler Corporation built race-ready Dodge and Plymouth "package cars" equipped with special high-performance parts. Mopar carried a line of "Special Parts" for super stock drag racers and developed its racing parts division called Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use.

Today, Chrysler's Global Service and Parts division is responsible for the manufacturing and distribution of nearly 250,000 authentic Mopar replacement parts, components and accessories for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles sold around the world. To assure quality, reliability and durability, all Mopar parts and accessories are designed in strict adherence to Chrysler engineering standards.

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