Rumors have floated recently about a more track-focused version of the Dodge Challenger deemed the ACR coming to market, which FCA outright denies is part of their future plans. Regardless if whether Dodge will build the new car for us, Hemi Autoworks and Ellsworth Racing have come together to build what can only be described as a pro-touring vintage Challenger ACR with the help of some Viper components.
Named after the opening track of Deep Purple’s 1972 album Machine Head, this particular “Highway Star” is a SEMA-ready mashup of some of Mopar’s greatest hits. Underneath the bodywork sits a Viper chassis, which has been taken from a car that suffered a catastrophic fire. In order for the 1970 Dodge Challenger body to fit over the svelte sports car, 13 inches had to be added to the middle of the Viper. The bodywork wasn’t in particularly great shape after undergoing a previous lackluster restoration, so the team fitted the car with some new wider fenders, which add up to nearly four inches of extra girth.
That added track width helps make room for the massive rubber than wraps around the 19-inch Viper-sourced wheels. All of that stick is going to be important considering the 6.2-liter Hellcat V8 engine sitting under the custom R/T hood, which features a Kong Performance ported blower. The gobs of horsepower and torque produced by the motor are transmitted through a Viper-sourced transmission with a Mantic Clutch triple disc and billet flywheel.
Other performance parts that will come from the Complete Performance Motorsports
Viper catalogue include an upgraded coilover suspension, large brakes, and cooling system components. Hemi Autoworks and Ellsworth Racing have also planned to incorporate some proper Challenger ACR-worthy aerodynamic upgrades, including a functional splitter, spoiler, and rear diffuser.
While almost every other major automotive event for the year has been cancelled, Hemi Autoworks and Ellsworth Racing will debut this retro Dodge Challenger ACR build at SEMA in November. While the builders may not have been going for an ACR vibe, using bits of the Viper and a Hellcat motor is exactly what we’d want Dodge to do for the factory car.