Some New, Some Old, All Mopar
There was no shortage of Mopar metal at the 2015 SEMA show, but narrowing that down to anything resembling a Best list proved difficult. You’ll notice a few trends, such as my affinity for two-door vehicles and my aversion to excessive LED light bars. Tell me about the cars I missed in the comments below.
1952 Willys Jeep
What do you get when you combine a Gen 3 LS engine with a Procharger (D1SC) and a Nitrous Express kit? About 1,000 horsepower to the wheels, wheelies, and the LSX Willys. Anyone who’s a fan of 1320Video has probably seen this thing in action. It’s clean and looks awesome in person.
1964 Plymouth Valiant Signet
This ’64 Plymouth has been nicknamed the “Violent Valiant,” and I’m guessing that’s for good reason. Perhaps it’s the 528-cubic-inch V-8 or the snappy throttle response of the Hilborn stack injection system. Maybe it’s a combination of both. One of the refreshing things about the Plymouth is that there’s no question if it’s a trailer queen or street car. Participating in the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational means it’s driven hard.
At the end of the rainy Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational row, I saw a Plymouth Duster sitting, looking a little damp but ready for action. The rear quarter panel seem to advertise a 318-cubic-inch V-8, and the stance and aero kit with the requisite Optima stickers assure us that’s it’s been driven like few muscle cars are driven. The bright paint adds some visual spice to the otherwise squared-off bodylines, too.
The 1968 Dodge Charger known as General Mayhem is quite the legend ’round these parts. Indeed, across the Internet as a whole. If you haven’t heard of it or think Roadkill refers to an unfortunate scene where wildlife and cars meet, then welcome. The latest iteration of the General is powered by a 2015 Dodge Hellcat 6.2-liter, supercharged V-8 and an eight-speed automatic. It rocks, and it made for one of the coolest episodes of Roadkill to date. Oh, and the taillight are back to stock.
1971 Plymouth Barracuda
An exceptionally clean 1971 Plymouth Barracuda convertible was posted up at the Flowmaster/Hurst booth. Sadly, no information was present for this one. It’s got a Hemi, though, so need I say more?
1947 Willys Jeep
The second Willys Jeep to make my list takes a completely opposite approach to the dragstrip-familiar LSX Willys and pairs 54-inch tires with an 800-plus-horsepower, 632-cubic-inch V-8 with vertical exhaust stacks.
2015 Dodge Challenger
I saw a lot of Challengers and a few Chargers, but many were a little too overblown for my taste. Maybe it was the set of Katanas on the dash, but the Challenger modified by Edge Customs struck the right chord.
2015 Dodge Challenger
Liberty Walk is a Japanese company known for wide body kits on super exotic cars, such as the Ferrari 458, but not usually on American muscle. To see a Challenger sporting a very Japanese wide body kit was a little surprising, but the Charger wears it well.
1969 Dodge Charger R/T
Boostane brought a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T that had participated in the HOT ROD Power Tour. This isn’t some trailer queen. It’s hitting the dragstrips and the highway and obstructing forward visibility 24/7.
1969 Plymouth Roadrunner
A 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner with a Gen 3 6.1-liter Hemi V-8 and a tastefully modernized interior was sitting outside under the Meguiar’s tent. Although the darker greens are a toss-up for most cars, with the black/red accent stripe and wheel choice, this Roadrunner looked great.
1971 Dodge Dart
Normally, a 1971 Dodge Dart in gloss black with red accents would only catch my eye for a moment. Maybe it’s the combination of the roll bar and the convertible top. It’s a different look, to be sure, but sometimes different is good. But not too different, because there was plenty of that at SEMA that didn’t make this list.
1972 Dodge Charger
None other than Richard Petty’s 1972 Dodge Charger was on display, looking as fresh as (or perhaps fresher than) the day it first rolled onto the track.