1971 Dodge Challenger Hemi-Swapped Races A 2022 Hellcat SRT

When talking about the best muscle cars, we have to mention the Dodge Challenger. Even though the Challenger was a latecomer to the muscle car game when it arrived several years after the Ford Mustang, it had a huge impact on the entire auto industry.

When Dodge brought back the Challenger in 2008 after a 25-year hiatus, they had their minds set on doing away with the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang. In fact, the Challenger outsold the Ford Mustang in 2021, claiming its throne as the king of muscle cars. Due to the popularity of today’s Dodge muscle cars, interest in older muscle cars from the ’60s and ’70s continues to grow.

While Dodge produced 165,437 first-generation Challengers, many of these are no longer roadworthy. However, one popular way to preserve these classic muscle cars is through a method called Restomodding. This just means a newer engine, transmission, and other modern parts improve on the original design.

A particular example of this is a 1971 Dodge Challenger with a modern 5.7-liter Hemi engine. In a recent video on the RestoMods YouTube channel, they pitted their Challenger restomod against the current Dodge muscle car, the Challenger Hellcat SRT.

New challenger vs old challenger

At first glance, the two cars don’t look too different given the fact that they are 51 years apart. That shows how much the new Dodge Challenger draws inspiration from the first generation.

The video begins by talking about the 1971 Challenger. Modifications include new disc brakes, suspension, custom interior, air conditioning, and of course, a modern 5.7-liter Hemi from a 3rd generation Challenger.

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They then move on to the 2022 Dodge Challenger Hellcat. At 717 hp, it’s one of the most powerful muscle cars on the market today.

Even with the restomod Charger having a smaller and less powerful engine than the Hellcat, there might be some hope for the 1971 Dodge. An original 1971 Dodge Challenger weighs 3,495 pounds compared to the 4,429 pound weight of the original Dodge Challenger Hellcat. 2022, giving the old muscle car a huge weight advantage.

the race begins

After some trash talk, the two Challengers take off. The 1971 pulls ahead a bit and overtakes the Hellcat right away. However, the huge horsepower and torque of the supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi in the Hellcat returns and flies past the old Challenger.

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A second run shows the two cars taking off at the same time. Although the result is not surprising given the power difference between the two, the 1971 Challenger Restomod holds its own against the Hellcat in the first two gears. However, after that, it just can’t compete with more than 700 hp.

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