Dodge makes it easy to build Carbon Fiber Body Loader, Barracuda and Road Runner Restomods

As electrification continues to be the buzzword in the world of automakers, from boardrooms to factory front lines, cleverness announced Monday at the launch of its Speed ​​Week publicity campaign that it had not forgotten the needs of muscle car owners across the country.

At a conference at the automaker’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan, Dodge Brand CEO Tim Kuniskis unveiled several initiatives to extend the legacy of its internal combustion muscle car, including the introduction of carbon fiber bodies to the Dodge Charger. from 1970 to equip. as well as the acclaimed Plymouth Barracuda and the popular Plymouth Road Runner.

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Direct connection to load bodies

Through Dodge’s Direct Connection parts manufacturing division and Oklahoma-based automaker Finale Speed, the automaker is making available a full carbon body of the 1970 Dodge Charger, using all of the original model’s specifications. Similar processes are also in the cards for the Plymouth Barracuda and Road Runner models, although Kuniskis was not at liberty to reveal a street date.

The Charger body will be compatible with all B-series chassis frames produced between 1962 and 1979, meaning an enthusiast can restore almost any Dodge or Plymouth vehicle with such a chassis to fit on the legendary muscle car. to seem. While Direct Connection has long made other muscle car parts available, from front splitters to rear spoilers, this is the first time a full bodyshell has been made available.

It’s all a reaction to the diehards of the classic Chargers, Challengers and other heavy-duty speedsters of the past. “We’re going to beef up all of our Direct Connection stuff,” Kuniskis said. “Now most of our Direct Connection stuff will be available for years to come and allow tens of thousands of customers to continue working on the muscle cars they already own.”

Kuniskis referred to the Charger and future Plymouth bodies as “blank canvases” for gearboxes to come up with their vision of what their dream muscle cars should look like, making it more important for Direct Connection to supply all the parts needed to build them.

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Dodge Challenger available as a convertible

Carbon fiber Dodge muscle car on display with Dodge CEO
Via: Dodge

To further illustrate that promise to what he called the “brotherhood,” Kuniskis also unveiled a white Dodge Challenger body complete with a Drag Pak rolling chassis and protective cage welded into the product, making it compatible with the requirements for the professional drag race circuit. The bodywork, which comes straight from the factory, is adaptable to almost any powertrain and would cost racers about $90,000.

Also coming through Direct Connection are Torqueflite eight-speed transmissions, currently available in HP70. Those who want more performance will have to wait a little longer for the HP90s to roll out. The company is also responding to the demand for 2.7- and 3.0-litre supercharger kits.

Plus, Kuniskis unveiled another treat for those who don’t take racing so seriously, but still want to make a powerful impression on the road: a Challenger convertible. “You’ve been chasing us for a Challenger convertible for years, and you know we don’t build them,” Kuniskis noted.

However, Dodge teamed up with Florida-based Drop Top Customs, a company that has mastered the art of turning hardtops into open-air conversation pieces. To this end, consumers seeking such a refit can drop off their Challenger at a Dodge factory, which will ship it to Drop Top for conversion. Upon completion, it will be returned to the Dodge factory for consumer pick-up.

Kuniskis has saved the final reveal for one of the most powerful models to sport the Dodge decal: a 2023 Durango SRT Hellcat. Brought back after a year out of the market, it still sports a 6.2-liter V-8 engine that Delivers 710 horsepower and 645 lb.-ft. “The most important thing,” Kuniskis noted, “is the toughest SUV you can buy, period.”

But other tough wheels, like the Hemi-powered Challenger and Charger, probably won’t live as long. Emissions compliance measures will make 2022 the last year these muscle cars will be available, with production ending on December 23.

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Avoid future plans across the board

Carbon fiber Dodge muscle car on display with Dodge CEO
Via: Dodge

“We want to squeeze as much in and out of the current generation of muscle cars as possible before they become one, because this lineup deserves a rejection like no other,” said Kuniskis, admitting the balance between new car rollouts and muscle cars. car preservation has resulted in a flurry of plans spread across the board.

For example, production of the current versions of the Challenger and Charger at the Canadian factory in Brampton, Ont. in favor of future electric versions. But for gearboxes and muscle car hobbyists, the availability of options through Direct Connection will at least prolong the lives of those automotive legends that used to terrorize the road in their prime.

Sources: Dodge Via YouTube, Stellantis North America

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