The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia are as different as RWD coupes come, so it’s safe to say that a drag race between the two is a guaranteed David vs. Goliath battle. Fortunately, the ongoing Sick Week 2022 drive and race event has delivered just that, seeing a Woodie Challenger duking it out with a sleeper Karmann Ghia.
To understand the little German two-door, we need to get back to the 1950s, when Volkswagen decided to put the already-popular platform of the original Beetle to upmarket work (including American sales) by using this to underpin a 2+2 sportscar designed by Italian specialist Carrozzeria Ghia and hand-assembled by German coachbuilder Karmann-the sportscar was built for around two decades, while being replaced by the VW-and-Porsche-created 914 that enjoys quite a bit of attention today.
Woodie Dodge Demon vs Sleeper VW Karmann Ghia Turbo
Even in its most potent form, the Type 14 Karmann Ghia we have here (this was the original model) only made 60 hp from its 1.6L Beetle engine. However, as highlighted in the second piece of footage below, which comes from 1320video, this example has a bored and stroked motor, with the 2,110cc four-pot now working with a turbo to deliver 335 hp on the dyno. Oh, and it’s a manual.
As for the Dodge, the announcer at the Bradenton Motorsports Park introduces this as a “2018 Woodie Challenger”, with the supercharged soundtrack delivering the kind of whine associated with factory applications. Judging by the hood and the wheels, it looks like we’re dealing with a Demon here-you can hear this in the first clip below (lens tip to Drag Racing and Car Stuff).
Even in factory trim, this Woodie Dodge Demon churns out 840 hp (that’s on race gas, with pump juice pushing things down to 808 hp) and is capable of delivering 9.65s quarter-mile passes. And we can tell you the Mopar is not the only woodie-comeback machine at the event, as we’ve previously discussed the 4,500 HP Chevrolet Caprice “Boostmaster Wagon 2″ run by Steve Morris, the guy who built the engines for multiple of the participating vehicles.
Now, in case you’re wondering about the weight difference between the Woodie Demon and the sleeper VW Karmann Ghia Turbo, the former weighs more than twice as much as the latter.
However, that kind of 9s E.T. (elapsed time) requires ideal track prepping and atmospheric conditions, with the Dodge pulling an 11.2s run on this occasion.
As the owner of the Volkswagen explains in the second clip, this machine’s best 1/4-mile time sits at 10.94, with the coupe delivering an 11.95s run against the Dodge.
Now, due to the better reaction time of the VW driver and the Woodie Dodge Demon struggling with traction at the start, the race was quite close, keeping the audience on its toes.
Sick Week 2022 coverage
And if this sort of drag strip shenanigans are your thing, you might want to take the time to enjoy the full videos. While the first delivers some unusual matchups, minivans, classic coal rollers and all, the second brings a 52-minute coverage of Sick Week 2022’s Day One. This ranges from the Turbo Civic blown engine in its title (38:44 timestamp) to a gutted and previously submerged in water Tesla Model S Plaid of YouTuber Chillin’ with Chet (burnout at 42:11), who is gunning for an 8s world record.
Mullet, the 1980s Chevrolet El Camino of YouTuber Cleetus McFarland, which we discussed yesterday, is also present and you’ll see it attempting to run a 6s quarter-mile at the 11:55 point.