At $40,000, Would This Custom 2008 Dodge Challenger Give ‘Em Hellcat?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

You could buy a Dodge Challenger Hellcat for about $70K, or you could save thirty grand and buy today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe SRT8, which is also supercharged but features nitrous to boot. Let’s see if the car is up to the price’s challenge.

At its $3,500 asking, even I thought the seller of yesterday’s 1988 Mazda 323 GTX was reaching for the stars. That car had so many red flags it could have led a Putin parade, so many so in fact that not even a cool digital dash could even the balance. Enough of you agreed that we saw that little Mazda go down in a decisive 63 percent Crack Pipe loss. The GTX was GTFO.


Aside from Tuesday’s Ferrari, which was naturally aspirated, all of this week’s contenders have come under pressure, either from the factory as with yesterday’s Mazda, or via the aftermarket as we saw with Monday’s DeLorean and Wednesday’s vilified Camaro. I say, let’s let it roll, and as always, bet on black.

Today’s 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 is both supercharged and almost black so it totally fits the bill. Handy, no?

The car has an interesting history. It was bought in 2013 sight-unseen by then St. Louis Rams (now the L.A. Rams - go Rams!) offensive lineman Chris Williams. The car came with a built-up hemi, embiggened to 426CID via a stroker kit, and toughened to take everything that the Kenne Bell twin-scroll supercharger sitting down in its valley could muster.


That ends up being 1,000BHP, or 293 more ponies than a Hellcat. A nitrous system let’s the car get even more Mad Max if needed, and all the work is claimed to have been professionally completed. As we shall see, that sometimes doesn’t mean that everything’s all happy dances and two kinds of pie, however.

As it turns out, Williams had some initial teething problems with the car. They’re detailed in this article over on Hot Rod, but the short and curly of the story is that the original belt and pulley setup were unable to withstand sudden power cut offs, and would result in serpentine spaghetti under the hood, and a call to the AAA.


Those issues, along with a number of others were sorted under Williams’ ownership, at which time the originally orange paint was also traded for a deep, dark black forest green.


It seems that William’s motto is “if you’ve got a toy, you damn-well better play with it” because he only got about 2,000 miles into the car when he ate up the rear end, apparently due to his predilection for 40-80mph burnouts.


That resulted in another trip to the shop where a Dyantrac Pro60 rear end was installed to handle the monster torque the huge engine and NAG1 five-speed automatic were dishing out. That work was documented in this Hot Rod piece.

The car not just all ate up with motor, it has a lot of other mods to enjoy, as well as just being a Challenger SRT8, which is about as badass a thing to be as you can imagine.


The brakes are Brembos, the wheels are CCW alloys wrapped in Nittos, and the car sits all hunkered down on a KW coilover suspension. It’s also got all the bells and whistles you’d expect of a high-end Challenger—heated seats, Nav, keyless entry, etc—so you know you’ll get some dinner with your show.


There’s only 11,000 mile on the car in total—remember all that shop time in its past—and it presents as new. The paint is both clean and evil looking, while the interior shows almost as stock. The nitrous controls have been subtly integrated into the console, while a hoped for A-pillar gauge does prove to be present. By the way, those SRT seats—while may they look as cosseting and comfortable as Salma Hayek’s cleavage—are, in my experience, shit for the long haul. YMMV.


Is this car now fully sorted and ready for a new owner to enjoy without worry of another major system letting go owing to is monster capabilities? That’s something that new owner will just have to find out. The cost to do so is $40,000, and suffice to say you get a lot of ponies for that price. The question for you of course, is whether this Challenger is up to the task of earning that asking.

What do you think, is this former footballer’s mega-hot Dodge worth that $40,000 ante? Or, is this a Challenger with a too-challenging price?


You decide!


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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.