This 1,000-HP Dodge Charger Was Built For A Special Employee

Muscle Cars / 2 Comments

Ralph Gilles worked with SpeedKore to design and build the carbon-bodied car.

While many automakers nitpicked fuel economy and worked to build the most efficient cars possible, Stellantis got busy jamming its supercharged Hellcat V8 into various models, including the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango. The latter model has been so popular that Dodge has had to increase its production run twice.

Not satisfied that it had done enough to anger Greenpeace, the automaker rolled out the 1,000-horsepower Hellephant V8 crate engine in 2020, and it's being put to good use. The latest application comes in the "Hellucination," a 1968 Dodge Charger built by SpeedKore, for and with Ralph Gilles, Chief Design Officer at Stellantis. The shop has built multiple hardcore Chargers, including one for Kevin Hart.

Gilles said his love for the Charger grew while watching the car in various TV shows as a kid, and he noted that Dodge still uses the car as a design reference today. Gilles was involved in the design process from start to finish, a first for SpeedKore.

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Gilles is pleased with the results, saying, "This car is as visceral to drive as it is to look at. It has deliciously precise steering and an abundance of lateral grip that allow[s] me to truly put it through its paces."

SpeedKore used Brembo brakes with six pistons up front and four in the back, and the car got double A-arm front suspension from Detroit Speed. Inside, the shop revamped the classic cabin with a Kicker audio system, six speakers, two subwoofers, and Bluetooth.

The 1968 Charger weighed around 3,500 pounds when it left the factory, but SpeedKore's car is surely lighter as it features a full carbon fiber body, hood, floor, and wheel tubs. The shop custom-built a frame for the Charger, which widens its track and improves handling. Penske dual-adjustable coilovers help keep the big-body Dodge on track in the corners, and the whole package rolls on 19-inch wheels up front and 20-inchers in back.

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The beating heart of this project is Dodge's 1,000-horsepower Hellephant 7.0-liter V8 crate engine. The massive engine isn't cheap with a standalone price tag of $33,343, but neither is a custom carbon fiber reproduction of a 1960s muscle car. A dry-sump oiling system keeps the engine lubricated during hard driving, and the whole package runs on premium fuel from a custom-fabricated fuel tank. SpeedKore added its custom headers and exhaust with MagnaFlow mufflers. Power hits the rear wheels through a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, and the interior got a complete overhaul with new dials, new pedals, a new shifter, and a new steering wheel, along with beautiful combinations of carbon fiber, aluminum, and leather, which shows off impeccable stitching, making the interior as beautiful as the body.

There's no word on what all this cost, but with the entire thing a truly custom build, you can bet it wasn't cheap.

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