A Theft And A Crash Couldn't Keep This 1,000 HP Dodge Challenger From SEMA

SEMA is where garish, bold and sometimes barely recognizable cars come for their 15 minutes of fame. However, one slick 1,000 horsepower car almost didn’t make it to this city of bright lights and big dreams.

Quintin Brothers Auto and Performance were set to bring a tricked out Dodge Challenger they put together with their partner ProCharger to the show. Their plans and hard work were seemingly thwarted early on Oct. 30 when a thief walked off with the entire ProCharger booth and a Ford F-250 connected to a trailer with their 1,000 HP Challenger show car inside, according to Speed Society.

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Just 11 hours later, police were finally able to corner the missing car and its driver in a parking garage. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, suspect Jesse Grano rammed into police before they could get out of their squad car, sending bits of the front end flying. The Challenger then sped off but was found abandoned a short time later. Grano was later picked up on an unrelated attempted murder charge.

He had a busy week.

All that action left the Challenger with more than a few bumps and scrapes, as Cole Quintin told Las Vegas News:

“We were in shock, we couldn’t imagine that anything like this could ever happen,” Quintin said. “It looks like they were living in the thing, but they only had it for about 11-hours.”

He says they still plan to display it at the SEMA show 2019 with the damage and all, to demonstrate just how much the car can handle.

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The brothers are now proudly displaying the car, draped in police tape and missing significant bits of its front fascia. The smashed-up Challenger has become a fan favorite of the show and is probably getting way more attention now than if it had arrived intact.

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This story is so uplifting it should be made into a children’s book. Take it from this smashed-to-hell Dodge Challenger, kids: no matter how broken you are, if you show up and put on a brave face and try your best, people will still admire you.

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Erin Marquis

Managing Editor of Jalopnik.