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Say Hello To ‘Christine’

MC&T was first to tell you that the Hellephant crate engine was delayed, with production not happening until the end of the year. However, if you have a reality TV show about restoring old Mopar muscle cars, then you might be have been able to get your hands on one in time for the 2019 SEMA Show that took place just two weeks ago. Case in point, Graveyard Carz – a show solely focused on restoring absolutely haggard Mopar muscle cars – got their hands on one, and shoehorned it into the engine bay of a 1958 Plymouth Fury.

The build is inspired by the vehicle that starred in the 1983 horror film “Christine”, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name about a car controlled by a demonic spirit.

These standard engine of the 1958 Plymouth Fury was a twin four-barrel carburetor 318 cubic-inch (5.2L) V8 that produced 290 horsepower, while the optional engine was a 305 horsepower Golden Commando V8, or less than a third of the total output of the Mopar Hellephant crate engine. Just 5,300 versions of the 1958 Plymouth Fury muscle car were built with the Golden Commando V8, and it’s believed that only 41 of them avoided the scrap heap to this day. It’s not yet clear to us if the project car had such an engine, but all of Furys built in 1958 were colored buckskin beige with gold anodized aluminum trim.

Since that color combo is not very hellish for the big screen, the movie car was painted a more sinister red. The film itself went through more than 20 cars, while the survivors were used to promote the film at the time.

We’re sure Graveyard Carz had some official help in acquiring this 426 cubic-inch supercharged Hellephant crate engine for their 2019 SEMA Show car, which puts out an incredible 1,000 horsepower and 950 pound-feet of torque. Further add-ons include a MagnaFlow XL Turbo mufflers, Moser Engineering Street/Strip axles, Moser Engineering 3.23:1 Eaton Positractrion rear with a 489 case, Coker Tire American Classic radials, a Silversport A41 four-speed transmission with overdrive, Holley VR2 fuel pump and controllers, and a concept paint from PPG called Code 75 Spectra Red.

On April 26, 2019, Mopar celebrated 426 Day by announcing that customers can begin placing orders for the 426 cubic-inch, 1,000 hp Hellephant crate engine at a price of $29,995, plus the $2,265 engine kit. The crate engine comes assembled with a water pump, flywheel, oil pan for the front sump, supercharger and throttle body, coil packs, and fuel injectors. Allocation was “sold out” in a matter of days.

For a closer look, see our gallery below.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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