It sounds like something out of a Hollywood blockbuster, but it happened for real.
Most of the cars and trucks at a show like SEMA have been detailed and polished to perfection. But one tuner displayed a tuned Dodge Challenger that was smashed up pretty bad, and the story behind it reads like something out of a Nick Cage movie.
Our story, as Autoblog reports it, starts at the Quintin Brothers Auto and Performance garage in Williston, Vermont, just outside of Burlington and on the other side of the country from Las Vegas where the Quintins were preparing to showcase their customized, thousand-horsepower Dodge Challenger Scat Pack.
They shipped the car in a covered trailer cross country to Vegas, where the truck driver stopped at a hotel after the 2,600-mile journey, leaving the Challenger in the hitched-up trailer with the truck blocking it in. But that didn't stop a thief from getting at it. The suspect apparently pushed the truck out of the way with another stolen pickup, hooked the trailer, and drove off. Come morning, the driver found the trailer with the muscle car was missing and notified the Quintin Brothers, who in turn notified the vehicle's owner to file a police report. Vegas PD found the stolen truck and the trailer in a garage, but the car was gone.
Twice they found it, and twice a high-speed chase ensued – the latter of which saw the thief back the Challenger into a patrol car, damaging both, before driving off. 14 cars followed in pursuit of the stolen Mopar muscle car, reaching 150 mph before the chase was called off.
Ultimately officers found the damaged car abandoned in another parking garage and rushed the paperwork to get it out of the evidence impound so it could get on to the ProCharger stand at the convention center where it was shown for all to see. Once the show is over, they'll truck it back cross-country to Vermont and begin the undoubtedly arduous process of restoring it to the condition in which it left.