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- 472 HEMI V8
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You already know that RK Motors Charlotte has a thing for Chargers. You’ve already seen some of the world’s most mind-blowing, potent, flat-out nasty pro-touring Chargers come out of our shop. They’ve been in magazines and won prizes at all the top shows. And as amazing as they all were, this show-stopping 1968 Dodge Charger pro-touring custom just upped the ante significantly! Combining the best of yesterday, with the best of today and tomorrow, this Charger was built for the muscle car fan that wants the absolute best and doesn’t want to share!
What if you could have the great looks of a Charger in a Challenger-sized package? We’ve taken it to the next level not by going wild, but by imagining how the car would look if the factory had built it. You’ll have to look twice to see the changes (and they are indeed radical), and to find where the OEM and the modified merge the essence of great customs. Ask any custom builder and he’ll tell you that no car is ever finished, and where one owner’s ideas stop, a new ones begin, letting the car evolve.
Based on the overwhelmingly positive response we got to Maximum Effect, our all-black ‘70 Charger pro-touring car, we dipped this one in the same vat of sinister Midnight Black Metallic to give it a stealthier appearance and let the radical custom sheet metal do the talking instead of the loud paint. Where the original design was wild for the sake of being wild, this one is focused like a laser now the car looks downright brutal, like it’ll bite your hand off if you get too close.
Let’s start with the custom design elements present in this stunning Charger:
Sleek, free-flowing bodylines.
The front half was shortened 10.5 inches, and the rear 10 inches
Roof was chopped 2 inches, moved ahead 4 inches, and the A-Pillar raked back, creating a one-of-a-kind look
Each panel on the car has been hand-fabricated
Trunk is 5000 series aluminum, filled with expandable sound deadening foam to keep things quiet inside
Quarter panels have been shortened and restyled to flow with the doors.
Doors have been restyled with new body lines and a shaved appearance
Fenders have been shortened, restyled and restructured
Hood is custom-made, with a steel frame, wrapped in aluminum and filled with expanding sound deadening foam
The rear of the car is fitted and shortened
The custom trunk floor and frame rail have been restructured. Torque boxes have been added for strength and rigidity and the floor and tunnel have been reconfigured, strengthened and redesigned to fit the new drive-train
Midnight Black Metallic is a custom-mixed paint that was applied by the experts at our own RKM Performance Center restoration shop (you know, the guys who have won top honors at virtually every show we’ve entered)
Custom aluminum CNC-milled gas cap
Custom aluminum fuel cell
Other OEM design elements have been retained, however. From the front grille to the chrome rear bumper, that’s original stuff, again to emphasize the tremendous amount of metalwork that went into reshaping the body. An original Charger grille and hidden headlights have been fitted between the custom-made fenders and hood, exactly the way the factory would have done it. Out back, the unique 1968 Charger round taillights have been retained and fit right in, again forcing you to stand back and think hard about what, exactly, has been modified (look at the car in profile and you’ll definitely see the changes).
The engine and drive-train in this Charger are equally formidable. Here are the highlights:
Mopar Performance 472 cubic inch HEMI, generating 650 horsepower
Hilborn downdraft electronic fuel injection
March serpentine pulley system
Mopar Performance electronic distributor
MSD control module
TTI 2 ¼-inch headers
Custom TIG welded 3-inch exhaust
One of a kind molded tail pipes
Tremec TKO 5-speed manual transmission
With matte silver inner fenders and black highlights, the icy blue HEMI looks like it should be powering spacecraft instead of a 40-year-old custom. With the satin finish on the paint, it faintly glows under the lights in the studio, and you should see it in the sun! Who can argue with a 650 horsepower, Hilborn-injected HEMI. The new owner of this car will need a very large shelf in his or her garage to fit all of the “best engine” trophies.
The suspension is completely customized, and designed to outperform most modern cars. Like the engine bay, it was completely disassembled, prepped, and painted in black and matte silver for a high-tech, functional, and incredibly detailed look. Highlights include:
Tubular independent rear TIG welded suspension with inboard brakes.
9” Ford 3.91 center section, polished.
QA1 double adjustable coil over shocks
Tubular control arms
Rack and pinion steering
New 20-inch Lexani alloy wheels with 235/30/20 front and 275/35/20 rear Dunlop radials.
It’s no secret that Mopar interiors were the best in the industry in 1968, and the Charger in particular enjoyed an upscale look and feel that also whispered “high performance” in your ear when you got in. With that in mind, RK Motors installed a completely stock Charger interior, including black bucket seats, console, dash and rear bench inside the radically reshaped passenger compartment. Overhead, a custom-made black headliner was created to fit the chopped and reshaped roof. The steering column is an aftermarket tilt unit with a leather-wrapped wheel, but there isn’t much else giving away this cars secret from behind the wheel. Controls for the Vintage Air A/C system are tucked away discretely ahead of the console and a powerful Kenwood entertainment system provides the sound without taking up a lot of room with speaker boxes and enclosures.
Now the all-important question: how does it drive? Its tight, it brakes, it handles, and it has more power than you can possibly use on the street. Cruising down the freeway at 80, turning just 2900 RPM, you’ll notice no vibration or harshness. Stomp on the pedal and she just climbs and climbs – how far? I can’t say or law enforcement might put me on a list. The air blows ice-cold, the sound system is top notch, and everything works as it should. And everyone who sees this car stops dead in their tracks; it’s stunning.
In summary, this Charger represents creative engineering at its very finest, combining stunning design and execution with no-excuses, no-limits performance. Add in the modern conveniences present in this car and you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own and enjoy a car that transcends the hobby.
Put this Charger on a pedestal and stare at it. Take it to the local cruise. Take it to SEMA! Take it on the Hot Rod Power Tour. Whatever you elect to do with this special car, this Charger will be the centerpiece of your collection, the focal point of your garage, and, most importantly, the car you most look forward to driving and being seen in. Call today!
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- 472 HEMI V8
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- 5 Speed Manual
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- Tremec TKO500
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- Ford 9" 3.73
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