Dodge wants to send the Challenger and its V8s out in style with a still-secret final “Last Call” model that sounds like it’s the most powerful factory V8 Chrysler muscle car ever.
CEO Tim Kuniskis has already admitted that the model’s planned SEMA debut was scrapped because seven of the supercharged Hellcat’s tuned engines exploded during development when engineers attempted to apply rigorous durability procedures to an engine that produced a whopping 909 horsepower (922 hp). ) could deliver on E85 fuel.
We know the seventh Final Call machine will commemorate a muscle car from the past, but which one? Dodge has released so many of its classic muscle badges over the last 15-20 years, using the R/T moniker for regular performance cars and naming other Scat Pack after the collective name used for Dodge’s muscle portfolio in the late 1960s. was used. and Shaker in honor of a funky purifier that once poked through Challenger hoods.
We’ve also had a Dodge Challenger Demon, a Super Stock, 500 and T/A in recent years, all of which refer to cars from the first golden age of Muscle, and the six Last Call cars already announced include more old-school references such as Swinger, Super Bee, Black Ghost and King Daytona.
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We’d argue that the presence of that surname on a run of 300 807 hp (818 hp) special Chargers likely precludes Dodge from applying the Daytona name to the Challenger, despite the 1969 Charger Daytona being Dodge’s most outrageous old muscle classic and its wacky wings and nose cone give Dodge’s modern designers the chance to do something wild with the styling and aerodynamics of a new one.
Evasive muscle geeks could probably throw out a dozen vintage part names or spec codes that the company could go to instead, including “A12,” which meant an upgraded version of the 440-cu-in V8, a fiberglass pop-off hood, and Dana 60 rear axle with steep 4:10 gears on the 1969 1/2 Coronet Super Bee. I think the A12 name is probably too rare and not evocative enough for a non-hardcore audience, but I also think one item in that A12- package might be the answer we’re looking for.
I’m talking about the “Six-Pack” carburetor kit which consisted of three two-barrel Holley carburetors and was also available on other Chrysler muscle cars, including the opposite number of the Plymouth Super Bee, the Road Runner, the Plymouth Cuda and, of course, the Dodge Challenger on both the 5.6-liter, 340-powered 1970 T/A and the 1970-71 7.2-liter 440.
Related: Dodge unveils the first of seven ‘Last Call’ special editions, the 2023 Challenger Shakedown
This is purely a personal hunch, but think about it: the name Six-Pack is so familiar to Chrysler muscle fans that it seems almost bizarre that it hasn’t been used since it was retired in late 1971. And there’s another reason why Dodge would choose to use it. The Six-Pack name has unfinished business.
Technically, the original 440 Six-Pack was always a step down from the 7.0-liter, 426 Hemi, despite having more carburetors and an additional 200cc of displacement. The six-pack 440 pushed out the same 490 lb-ft (664 Nm) as the Hemi (and at 3,200 rpm instead of 4,000 rpm), but when it came to power, it couldn’t quite pop fours. with 390 hp (395 hp) to the Hemi’s 425 hp (431 hp), although we should always take those old power figures with a grain of salt.
But Chrysler, and in particular its engineer Tom Hoover, known as the father of the 426 street Hemi, was apparently working on adding six-pack carburetion to the Hemi to give it even more power and help it maintain its lead in NASCAR . We understand that the triple-carb Hemi was originally slated to enter production in late 1971 for the year 1972, but with NASCAR adopting a 5.0-liter limit and emissions and insurance pressures strangling the muscle car market, Chrysler made the decision May 1970 to kill the Hemi altogether, and after 1971 no cars were available with the 426.
So naming the final Dodge trim V8 “Six-Pack” in honor of what would have been the most powerful original Hemi ever has a nice finality. And maybe Dodge’s design team could come up with a crazy six-pipe exhaust system to make a visual connection to the name.
Or maybe I’m totally barking up the wrong tree and it’s going to be called something else, like Viper. But you have to admit, it makes a lot of sense. Which classic muscle car from Dodge’s back catalog would you like to see the seventh Final Call car take inspiration from? Leave a comment and let us know.