General Challenger

  • Mufflers

    Since the beginning of hot rodding, enthusiasts have tinkered with their car’s exhaust system, particularly the mufflers, to get the “right sound.” A muffler’s job sounds easy enough- reduce exhaust volume to tolerable levels while allowing the sweet sounds of your ride to waft through the air. But this becomes a monumental task as horsepower increases. Engines build horsepower by pushing spent exhaust out of the tailpipe as fast as possible. As pistons furiously churn, exhaust velocity...
  • "Grandfather" of the 2018 Dodge Demon

    Did you know that the controversial Dodge Demon name goes back 48 years? In 1970, the restyled Plymouth Valiant, named the Duster, was a massive success. Dodge immediately insisted on getting its own version. That car became the 1971 Dodge Demon. 1970 Plymouth Duster 340 Both the A-body Plymouth Duster and Dodge Demon were fantastic cars for the money (starting just over $2,100). The two cars were virtually identical, underneath. The attractive-looking Demon came with four optional...
  • Development & Evolution of the Hemi Engine

    Three generations of Hemi engines have been built by Chrysler for automobiles: the first (known as the Chrysler FirePower) from 1951 to 1958, the second from 1964 to 1971, and the third beginning in 2003. Although Chrysler is most identified with the use of "Hemi" as a marketing term, many other auto manufacturers have incorporated similar designs. The Hemi engine is named for its hemispherical cylinder head. It provides an efficient combustion chamber with an excellent surface-to-volume...
  1. Hood Pins

    Hood pins are used as a secondary restraint for the hood and are attached by a pin and plate drilled through the hood. They were originally made for the racetrack to keep hoods buttoned down at high speeds, but found their way onto muscle cars of the late 60s/early 70s. Hood pins (two per hood) were most prevalent on Dodge and Plymouth muscle cars of that era (e.g., Challengers, ‘Cudas, Road Runners, Daytonas, GTXs, Super Bees, etc.). They were, primarily, a styling element used to give a...
  2. Challenger- Concept to Production

    The planning and design of the Challenger concept car started in 2004. At that time, Chrysler’s Pacifica Studo was given the assignment to work with the exiting LX platform (i.e., Charger, Chrysler 300 and Magnum) to develop a 2-door, rear-wheel drive concept car. Many of the designers were musclecar guys and a new Challenger was proposed to be built around the 6.1 Hemi engine. There was a lot of conversation as to how much retro design features should be built into the car. Based on a...
  3. Ralph Gilles- A Real Mopar Guy

    Mopar enthusiasts owe the fantastic array of performance models to Ralph Gilles, Head of Design for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. We are truly fortunate to have a cool car guy in charge. Gilles, as a boy living in Quebec, was drawing concept vehicles at the age of eight. When he was fourteen years old, his aunt sent one of his sketches to Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca. A reply came from K. Neil Walling, Chrysler's design chief at the time, suggesting he attend one of three design schools....
  4. The Meaning of "Mopar"

    Short for the Chrysler Motor Parts Corporation, Mopar made its first appearance in the late 1920s and became its own brand in 1937. The name Mopar was created by a committee to market cans of "Chrysler Motor Parts" antifreeze. From there, the Mopar catalog expanded to include waxes, cleaners, filters, engine parts and more. Now, in its 81st year, Mopar encompasses the full line of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles parts, accessories, and customer service, including Fiat and Alfa Romeo brands...
  5. World's Fastest Hellcat

    When Dodge introduced the Challenger Hellcat back in 2014, it claimed that in stock form with the automatic transmission, it could cover the quarter mile in just 11.2 seconds. With drag radial tires, the time could be reduced down to the 10.80s The first Hellcat owner to break into the 10-second range was Jay Gustafson, who ran a 10.997 a few years back, making his Challenger the quickest stock Hellcat car in the world, but Canadian racer Jim Benko recently ran a 10.937, on November 11,...
  6. Ronnie Sox- A Tribute to "Mr. Four Speed"

    Ronnie Sox is one of the greatest Mopar drag racers. Like many who eventually became professional racers, "The Boss," grew up around cars, raised in the shadow of his family’s Sinclair service station. As soon as he was old enough to drive, Sox began competing in drag races, sponsored by the Police Club of Burlington, NC, at a local airport. In the early days, Sox didn’t even own a car and used his father’s 1949 Olds. From these humble beginnings, Sox would go on to become what many...
  7. Slicks & Drag Radials

    Drag radial street-legal tires had their origin in racing. Originally, race cars used “racing slicks”- a type of tire with a smooth tread. The first production "slicks” were developed by M&H Tires in the early 1950s for use in contact patch to the track and maximized traction for any given tire dimension. Slicks were also used on road and oval track racing where steering and braking require maximum traction from each wheel. Slicks, however, are not suitable for use on street cars which...
  8. Why Do Hemi Engines Have Dual Sparkplugs?

    Each cylinder on a Hemi engine has an ignition coil pack over one spark plug, and a regular plug wire connected to the other spark plug. Further, the coil pack also has a plug wire attached to it that extends to the opposite cylinder bank. Each cylinder shares a coil pack with another cylinder. Each of the two plugs on a given cylinder is fired by a separate coil. One plug has a coil directly attached, and the other is fired via an ignition wire connected to a coil located on another...
  9. Superchargers vs. Turbochargers

    When designing an engine to pull in more than atmospheric pressure, engineers often turn to forced induction. It’s one of the fastest ways to add significant power to almost any engine, and there are two prevalent ways it can be done: supercharging and turbocharging. But, which is better? Both are different in terms of how they work, performance and cost. Both operate on the principle that the more air you can get into your engine, the more power your car will make. Supercharging is old...
  10. History of SRT

    Performance vehicles are a Chrysler tradition. In the 1950s, an elite team of Chrysler engineers set out to extract extreme horsepower from existing engines. The team created new manifolds featuring long-tube intake runners. The innovative design helped engines ingest more air, translating into improved performance. The new induction system was called “Ramcharger,” and the team behind the technology adopted that name. The Ramchargers’ new engine produced enormous amounts of power,...
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