1968 Dodge Super Charger is a super Charger with a supercharger

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Mopar’s latest custom creation is sure to be in the running for coolest car at this year’s SEMA show. It’s a 1968 Dodge Charger, a car selected in part because this year marks the car’s 50th anniversary, but taken to the extreme and renamed Super Charger. The headliner of the car’s radical upgrades is the new “Hellephant” engine. It’s a take on the original car’s 426-cubic-inch Hemi V8. But this new engine, with the same displacement, is based on the current Hemi V8, and adds a supercharger. All told, it makes a whopping 1,000 horsepower and 950 pound-feet of torque on 93 octane pump gas. It will be available as a crate engine, too.

The engine is far from the only impressive change to the car. All over the body are mild to wild tweaks. The wide, uninterrupted grille from the original is still here, but it’s a one-piece example now. And instead of hiding the headlights behind doors that have to open for illumination, the lights simply shine through the grille, retaining a clean look even at night. The whole car sits 2.5 inches lower than stock, and it’s now four inches wider thanks to the huge fender flares. They house 305-mm-wide tires up front, and 315-mm tires in the rear.

Likely the most complicated change to the car is the lengthened wheelbase. There are two more inches between the wheels now, something Mopar did to reduce the front overhang. A close second in complexity are the taillights. They’re the same shape as the originals, but now the round elements are actually exhaust outlets. The tips also happen to be the same as those on the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. There are other details that help bring together the exterior. The rain rails have been smoothed out on the roof, the vent windows removed, special 426 stickers have been added, and the fuel door now has a Hellephant badge with a blue background with lots of little Mopar Ms.

The interior gets some attention, too. The rear seat has been removed, Dodge Demon style. It gets a custom roll bar designed to be as unobtrusive as possible, even getting the hoop around the seats to roughly line up with where the windows meet. Gauges come from the Mopar catalog, and the steering wheel and seats are from the dearly departed Dodge Viper. They’re particularly relevant, as the six-speed manual transmission comes from the Viper, too.

[Source: Autoblog]

The 2019 Ram 1500 Classic is new but is also old

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If you’ve been following the interesting strategy that Jeep employed by keeping the old Wrangler on sale alongside the brand new JL Wrangler (at least until the Scrambler needed the production line), Ram’s move here – slapping a “Classic” badge on the end of the old 1500 – shouldn’t be all that surprising. And that’s what’s happening. Not all the trim levels will be available, and the move is targeted at fleet buyers and those on a tight budget. For those cost-conscious buyers, snagging a Classic rather than a new Ram might be a prudent move. After all, while the brand new Ram 1500 is a very nice truck and a decided upgrade from the old one, there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the outgoing truck – particularly if your needs are utilitarian.

So, onto the changes. The reduced trim level spread on the 1500 Classic goes like so: Tradesman, Express, Big Horn (or Lone Star if you’re in Texas), and SSV (Special Services Vehicle) intended for law enforcement. You’ll notice that some trims are missing, and there’s nothing fancy here. If you want anything beyond the Big Horn, like a Laramie, Rebel, Longhorn, or Limited, you’ll need to step up to the newer truck.

There’s good news, though. Some stuff from the higher trims that are now out of production can be had on 1500 Classics through some new packages. The Chrome Plus package offers some upgrades to the Tradesman trim, like body-color bumpers, 17-inch wheels, keyless entry, and carpet. The Tradesman SXT gets chrome bumpers, fog lamps, dual exhaust (on V8 models), and 20-inch chrome wheels – some of which is new to the Tradesman trim, even as an option. And the Express Black Accent Package blacks out the badges wheels, and headlight bezels. So while there’s less choice overall, you can still add some up-level touches to the 1500 Classic.

The powertrain and bed/cab configurations are still robust. You can get the Regular Cab with a regular or long bed, the Quad Cab with the regular bed, or the Crew Cab with the short or regular bed. The 3.6L Pentastar V6 and 5.7 Hemi V8 are both available with 2- or 4WD, and the EcoDiesel will go on sale later.

We don’t have the all-important pricing information to tell you how good of a deal the Ram 1500 Classic will be, but buyers dragging their feet on buying a lower-trim 2019 Ram 1500 might want to cool their heels until later this year when the 1500 Classic goes on sale to see if it better fits their needs.

Dodge’s final Viper and Demon join stage in a million-dollar auction

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This past weekend, one of the ultimate auction double headers went under the hammer in Uncasville, Conn. The last Dodge Viper was paired with the last Dodge Demon, together with related memorabilia, resulting in a million-dollar hammer price.

The winning $1 million bid will benefit the United Way charity in its entirety; the 10 percent buyer’s fee will go directly to the American Heart Association, stated Barrett-Jackson, the auctioning company. The 1,485-horsepower auction was dubbed “The Ultimate Last Chance,” and both of the cars on the stage were painted in the same Viper Red shade.

“We know the power of the Dodge Viper and Dodge Challenger SRT Demon to put a smile on people’s faces; we’re smiling today because we know the power of this donation to the United Way,” said FCA’s Steve Beahm. “These particular vehicles mark the end of their eras as the last vehicles of their kind to be built; it’s rare to have just one such vehicle cross the auction block, much less a pair at the same time.”

Dodge to resurrect the Viper a second time

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First came the mourning for the Dodge Viper, which ended production last year. Then came the Viper’s continued sales run as a “Zombie Car;” we just wrote about how the Viper has racked up 11 sales so far this year, two of them in April. Now Car and Driver reports that the two-seater snake will return shorty for its second encore after being discontinued in 2009. The mag isn’t equivocal about it, either, writing, “trust us: A new Viper is happening.” It won’t, however, be the same Viper that brought ten-cylinder brass knuckles to shake down other coupes for their wallets and jewelry.

CD says we should expect the same front-mid-engine layout and rear-wheel drive tucked into a new spaceframe. That engine will lose two cylinders, with Chrysler’s next-gen, aluminum-block V8 Hemi slotting into the engine bay. The previous Viper’s V10 had grown to 8.4 liters and 640 horsepower by the time it drove into the sunset. CD guesses the coming Viper will start with a naturally-aspirated version of the Hemi V8 working up around 550 horsepower. Healthy doses of aluminum and carbon fiber would restrain the car’s weight, on top of the weight loss from swapping an iron V10 for an aluminum V8.

SRT could tart up the horsepower with a few performance trims, before a supercharged V8 with 700-plus horsepower arrives at some point after launch. The mag also suspects the initial offering will be a convertible, the hardtop appearing “a few years after launch,” which could coincide with the more powerful engine. A row-your-own shifter will sit between the seats.

Now that the Connor Avenue Assembly Plant’s been repurposed as a display center, CD guesses Dodge might tap an outside supplier to build the Viper. A likely candidate would be Michigan-based Prefix Corp, which built a fifth-gen Viper Targa and Medusa Viper convertible. The mag’s best potential timeline toys with some kind of Viper tribute at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show to celebrate the original 1989 concept, and a production version at the end of 2020 as a 2021 model.

What the devil is Dodge up to with this narrow-body Challenger Demon?

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Since the introductions of the Demon and Hellcat, Dodge has been doing some mixing and matching of parts from each car. The first production car to come of that mixing was the Hellcat Widebody, which didn’t get any extra power, but it did get the Demon’s fender flares and some wider rubber. Now we have spy shots that seem to suggest the inverse of the Hellcat Widebody, a Demon Narrowbody, if you will.

This is odd for a couple of reasons. For one, now that the Hellcat has a wider version, it seems strange that Dodge would be working on a car with more power, but with less tire to make use of it. For reference, this prototype is wearing 275-mm tires front and rear, whereas the normal Demon has 315s at each corner, and the Hellcat Widebody has 305s. And it seems that this isn’t just an old Demon prototype, since the wheels and tires are narrow enough that they fit properly under the normal fenders.

This car is also unusual because Dodge said the Demon is finished after this year. Once the 3,000 units are sold, there won’t be any others. But obviously the company is still playing around with the engine and some kind of application of it.

Of course, perhaps this isn’t a Demon at all. Maybe the next-generation Hellcat will use a version of the Demon’s engine, and it will be offered in both normal Hellcat and Widebody body styles. If this is the case, it will be interesting to see if Dodge continues to offer the engine with the full-blown 840-horsepower tune that requires 100-octane race gas. Since the car is certified for federal emissions with that tune, it would make sense to offer it, but it may become an option as opposed to part of the whole Demon package. It will be interesting to see what happens with Dodge’s powerful monsters.

[Source: Autoblog]

1942 Dodge Carryall from WWII featured on ‘Jay Leno’s Garage’

On this episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, Leno takes a look at a unique Dodge Carryall, both in its past and present states. The Carryall is a 1942 model restored and modified by Winslow Bent at Legacy Classic Trucks in Wyoming. According to Bent, the truck spent time in Tunisia during World War II. Obviously it’s no longer a military vehicle, but Bent explains that he and his crew built the truck to still be extremely durable, since its new owner wanted a support vehicle for classic car rallies around the world and in remote locations.

To reach this end, the Carryall’s original inline-six has been replaced with an intercooled Cummins 4BT turbocharged dieselfour-cylinder. Bent modified the engine to make less power than it could in order to make the engine understressed and longer lasting. In total, it makes only 130 horsepower, but 380 pound-feet of torque. It also features a boxed frame and heavy duty axles. It’s plenty practical, too, with a large roof rack, winch, and even an on-board welding setup. But it’s not all hardcore upgrades, since it also has air conditioning. Check out all the other cool details and listen to Leno and Bent geek out over leaf springs and intakes in the video.

Dodge Hellcat Widebody delivers Christmas tree at 174 mph

The holidays are here, and so last-minute shoppers are going to be in a serious rush to get all the items they need, especially Christmas shoppers that haven’t even put up a tree yet. Those seriously late folks may want to invest in a Challenger Hellcat because apparently they can go an incredible 174 mph with a Christmas tree strapped to the roof.

This was discovered by the folks at Hennessey. They got a Hellcat Widebody from Dodge for the little experiment, along with a suction cup mount roof rack from SeaSucker and a real Christmas tree from Lowe’s. Then it was off to the Continental Tire test track in Texas to see how fast it could go, which, as mentioned was 174 mph.

As you’ll see in the video, it takes quite a bit of road to move up from 170 to 174 mph. It’s impressive that the tree and roof rack don’t seem to budge. And it’s all capped off with a huge smokey burnout to the sound of V8 rumble and supercharger whine. It’s a fun way to get into the holiday spirit. And we’ll look forward to next year when maybe Dodge will give Hennessey a Demon to try out.

[Source: Autoblog]