The Dodge Challenger Hellcat is the most powerful production car ever made by the American manufacturer, and it currently commands quite the premium at dealerships - but what if I told you that you could save tens of thousands on a bona fide Dodge muscle car that had more power potential for less money?
This 1970 Dodge Challenger is quite a desirable classic car on its own, but its engine, with decades-old technology leaves a lot to be desired in modern traffic. That's why before the Hellcat was little more than a percocet-fueled idea, the owner of this car decided to install the 8.3 liter V10 engine and Tremec 6-speed manual transmission from a 2004 Dodge Viper, along with an updated suspension, differential, modern wheels and tires, and 2010 taillights to round out the resto-mod look.
The result of all this modernization is 550 horsepower and 525 ft-lbs of torque. No, that isn't more than a Hellcat, but here's what this Challenger has going for it: weight, price, and potential. The Viper V10 has proved, time and time again that it can withstand an absolutely astronomical amount of horsepower when breathed on by specific power adders.
With the 20 or so thousand dollars you'd save over buying a Hellcat, you could add a killer twin turbo setup and crack four figure horsepower numbers without too much fuss - not to mention this car is nearly 600 pounds lighter than the Hellcat, and it has that old-timey street cred that no new car can think of matching. It probably won't get the same fuel mileage and it won't have a warranty, but the muscle car experience isn't about being safe. It's about straight line, butt-clenching, unadulterated speed. And this fits the bill nicely.
(H/T to Danny Lefty Radomski)
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Tavarish is the founder of APiDA Online and writes about buying and selling cool cars on the internet. He owns the world's cheapest Mercedes S-Class, a graffiti-bombed Lexus, and he's the only Jalopnik author that has never driven a Miata. He also has a real name that he didn't feel was journalist-y enough so he used a pen name and this was the best he could do.