Last week, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis had some bittersweet comments about the future of muscle cars. He basically said electrification can save the muscle car as we know it by prolonging its life, but EVs and regulations will eventually put an end to muscle car V8 engines like the Hellcat as we know it. Electric vehicles promise quicker acceleration, but will likely lack emotion by comparison.
This leave the current generation of muscle cars as somewhat of a last hurrah, and it’s very possible that they could one day become collectors items. If you believe the Dodge Challenger will become the muscle car of choice in the future, it’s easy to think the top end Hellcat, Hellcat Redeye, Super Stock and Demon will be the ones to have, but there’s another, more affordable option on the market today that’s just as rare.
That’s the Dodge Challenger 1320, which is a beefed up R/T Scat Pack model designed solely for drag racing. Available as a relatively affordable $3,995 package, the Challenger 1320 does away with the passenger and rear seats to save weight, although they can be added in for just $1. The only other additional cost item is the $1,595 TorqueFlight 8 speed automatic transmission, as the standard manual isn’t compatible with the 1320 pack.
The Dodge Challenger 1320 is much more than just a lighter Challenger, however. It gains Torque Reserve and TransBrake to work in conjunction with launch control to get off the line quickly. It also wears sticky road legal drag radial tires, specialized suspension with a drag mode and Dodge Performance Pages built in. Really, this has much of the Demon and Super Stock equipment, but with the 392 V8. And that 6.4 liter naturally aspirated engine is still plenty special, with 485 hp on tap.
Add up all the necessary options, and you’re looking at a street legal drag racer for under $45,000, way less than you’ll need for a used Demon, or any new Dodge Challenger with a Hellcat engine. Yes, you can add more accessories and packages, but the 1320 is meant to be a grass roots, affordable drag racer, so why would you?
And it’s got another benefit: the Dodge Challenger 1320 is exceedingly rare. According to Mopar Insiders, only 1,054 were sold in 2019, making it more rare than the Dodge Demon. But even fewer were made in 2020, with just 410 produced. If you’ve got one painted in Triple Nickel, you’ve got the rarest of them all, with only 11 made last year.
If you’re looking to buy a truly special, rare muscle car, that’s still affordable, the Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 is really your only option, and it’s soldiering on unchanged for the 2021 model year. And who knows, maybe it will be worth a little extra some day.