This 1969 Dodge Charger Hellcat takes resto-modding to new heights

Dodge Charger Hellcat
Cleveland Power & Performance
Dodge’s Challenger muscle car wears a heritage-laced nameplate, and a retro-inspired design. An Ohio-based shop called Cleveland Power & Performance took the classic theme a step further by dropping a 1969 Charger body onto the chassis of a 2016 Challenger Hellcat.

This one-of-a-kind build goes far beyond a mere engine swap. Cleveland Power & Performance started the project by buying a solid 1969 Charger and the body of a 2016 Challenger Hellcat. The company then set out to gather a long list of Hellcat parts including the 707-horsepower V8 engine, the transmission, every part of the suspension, the pedal box, and miles of wiring. That sounds like the world’s most challenging scavenger hunt, but Cleveland Power & Performance specializes in peddling Hellcat parts.

With all the parts ready to go, the builders were ready to tackle the most difficult part. They carefully chopped off both cars’ body panels, patiently grinding away at pieces of metal when necessary, and dropped the Charger’s body onto the Challenger’s newly stripped chassis. The photos from the build make it look as straightforward as putting a plastic lid on a cup of coffee, but the project required countless hours of fabrication work. Custom-made tubular steel rails were installed to preserve the coupe’s structural integrity.

It helps that both cars are, frankly, rather massive, and they use the same front-engine/rear-wheel drive configuration. Dropping a classic Volkswagen Beetle body onto the chassis of a modern, front-engined model would be considerably more difficult.

Cleveland Power & Performance designed and built a one-of-a-kind hood that blends styling cues from the 1969 Charger with design features from the vaunted Challenger Hellcat. Outside, the finishing touches were a set of Hellcat-sourced alloy wheels and a splitter attached to the front bumper. It gives the Charger a clean, contemporary look without going over the top.

The resto-mod continues inside the car, where builders installed the Challenger’s dashboard (which was cut to fit), steering wheel, instrument cluster, seats, and climate control buttons. The car now runs and drives, as evidenced by a video of it doing a burnout, but it’s far from finished. It needs a little bit more sanding to smooth out the rough edges, glass, and a coat of paint. When it’s finished, it’s going to be one of the most stunning classic muscle cars ever to line up on a drag strip.

Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.

2019 Ford Ranger saves fuel without sacrificing towing capacity

The 2019 Ford Ranger marks Ford's long-awaited return to the midsize truck segment, which has seen a resurgence lately. But will being late to the party make Ford's job more difficult?

Pininfarina Battista is a 1,900-horsepower, 250-mph electric supercar

The Pininfarina Battista will be the first production car from famed Italian design firm Pininfarina. Named after company founder Battista Pininfarina, it has a claimed 1,900 horsepower and a $2.5 million price tag.

Tesla could show the electric pickup Elon Musk is dying to build in 2019

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself.
Cars is helping Hyundai mine the artificial intelligence gold rush

In November 2018, Hyundai invested in a startup named We talked to the company's founder to learn more about what that means for consumers in the not-too-distant futures.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.

Thinking of opting for a car with a diesel engine? Here's what you need to know

Modern diesel-powered models prove that it is possible to build a clean, efficient diesel engine without sacrificing performance. Here's what you need to know about diesel cars, and how they differ from gasoline-powered models.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.