I know a good deal when I see one, and $140,000 for a used Dodge ain’t it. But I also recognize a Demon when I see one–because it gives me flashbacks to the mind-melting moments I spent behind the wheel, full-noise, on a drag strip in Indiana. This is a historically significant car, and this one, in particular, is exceptionally special.
Full disclosure: I freaking love Dodge Challengers. Square body, round lights, can’t lose. It pairs all the anachronisms I love (V8, rear-drive, manual transmission, Dazed & Confused aesthetic) with modern features I really want in my next car (heated steering wheel). Will I own an R/T at some point? If an F8 Green manual falls into my price range after its first owner is done with it, maybe. But if I were a millionaire car collector, I would be copping this early-build Demon originally owned by Ralph Gilles.
The listing is making its way around the internet, with people generally proclaiming the price is terrible or great, and I’m here to explain why I side with the latter, in spite of my typically budget-focused pragmatism.
Gilles is well-known in the car community as a talented designer. He’s currently heading Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ design department and based on briefly meeting him once, I reckon he’s a Good Dude in general. More significantly to the Demon connection, Gilles is credited with essentially making Dodge’s SRT performance division a thing.
The Demon may not be as technologically impressive as a modern supercar or anywhere near as refined as many European GT cars, but it’s a snapshot of a ridiculous moment in time when a car company built something capable of 10-second quarter-mile runs and put it in showrooms.
The fact that this one was owned by a well-respected automotive executive who also happened to be instrumental in paving the proverbial road for this car to exist, yeah, I think that’s worthy of a spot in a serious car collection.