Every year, the SEMA car show in Las Vegas showcases the most outlandish and speciality automotive products in the world. And this year was no exception, with the Jeep CJ66, Chrysler Pacifica Cadence and Ram Macho Power Wagon all making their jaw-dropping debuts.
But one car stood out above all others. Throwing together modern engineering and the stark, angular beauty of retro muscle cars, the Dodge Shakedown Challenger was undoubtedly the star of the show.
The Shakedown uses a classic 1971 Challenger as a base, but twists the traditional by shaving the original body down, removing the door handles, drip rails and fuel filler cap. But it’s not all just taking away – Dodge have added a functioning bonnet scoop, matte black satin paintwork with decals, and the LED lights from a modern-day Challenger.
Also borrowed from today’s model is the front grille, bridging the 45-year gap between both cars. Rolling on 20-inch Slingshot rear wheels and with a pair of custom 19-inch versions for the front, the chassis also carries lowered suspension, Challenger Hellcat brakes and a 6.4-liter 392 Hemi V8.
The engine is also connected to a six-speed manual transmission from the Dodge Viper and, with the shaker cold-air intake and custom exhaust, the Shakedown’s can produce almost 500 horsepower.
Inside, the Challenger is just as exciting. With modern instruments and a wheel borrowed from the Viper, the front seats have been upgraded to supercar standard and the rear seats gone altogether. Instead, storage space and a fire extinguisher sit in the back.
The car, which also boasts remote locking, is fitted with a limited Challenger Hellcat gear knob, carbon fibre accents and leather across the wheel, door panels, instrument panel and dashboard. This is a true classic, thoroughly updated – and we challenge you not to love it.