This purple beauty is headed to SEMA 2020 this November.
What do you get when you cross the Dodge Viper's tubular space frame chassis with a 1970 Dodge Challenger body and a supercharged Hellcat powerplant? If you're lucky, you end up with something like this: the Highway Star from Hemi Autoworks and Ellsworth Racing. Named for a 1972 Deep Purple song, the Highway Star is, in fact, purple. So, so purple.
Purists don't need to fret the loss of a Viper and a classic Challenger; both cars were in rough shape when the builders got ahold of them, the Challenger covered in rust and poorly restored, and the Dodge Viper consumed by fire. Plus, it's hard to find fault with something that looks this good.
The Hemi Autoworks/Ellsworth Racing Highway Star will make its way to the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas later this year, assuming the show still takes place as planned. To make the Challenger body fit properly over the space frame, the builders had to stretch the Viper's bones by some 13 inches lengthwise and 1.5 inches across. A set of wider-flared fenders add another couple of inches to the overall width.
The custom build's piece de resistance, the supercharged 6.2-liter Hellcat V8, required that an R/T hood be fitted up front. The engine is mostly stock, although the supercharger has been ported by Kong Performance and it features heat-shielding spacers from FI Interchillers.
That engine plies its power through a billet flywheel, Mantic triple-disc clutch, and a Viper transmission, laying the power down through 19-inch Viper wheels. Brakes, coilovers, and cooling are all upgraded, with some help from Complete Performance Motorsports, and in true race car fashion, the interior is positively spartan, featuring little beyond a roll cage, six-point safety harnesses, some seats, and a factory-ish-looking dash with Stewart Warner gauges.
It's a superfluous, imaginative build that we can't wait to lay eyes on once it's finished, but it's no garage queen; after the car is completed and shown off at the 2020 SEMA Show, the Highway Star will be raced at various events across the country. And if you want a Highway Star of your own, well, you'd better get to sawing, welding, and painting.