Design Icon Ralph Gilles’ 1968 Dodge Charger Hellucination Is SpeedKore’s Most Carbon-Crazy Build Yet

If we had to trace the ongoing Mopar madness to a single vehicle from the past, it would have to be the 1968 Dodge Charger. But, if you’re willing to drive one nowadays, how do you deal with all the changes in driving dynamics that have happened over the course of five decades? Well, Stellantis head designer Ralph Gilles has a very particular answer, having commissioned SpeedKore to build him the ’68 Charger Hellucination.

Sure, Dodge built other muscle cars and even other Chargers before the 1968 model. But that was the year when the second-generation came to be, with this trading the moon race-inspired, lavish attire of the fastback first-gen for a sportier take featuring the era’s iconic Coke bottle design.

We first covered the Hellucination two weeks ago, but back then we weren’t 100% sure this would become Gilles’ personal car. However, the penning master, along with SpeedKore, have now confirmed it, while giving us the first proper video and images of the stunning restomod.

Gilles, who leads Stellantis’ design department (for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Maserati, and Fiat in the Latin America region), states the project has been two years in the making. And when you check out the “deets” and the simplicity-is-the-ultimate-sophistication approach, you see why.

The Wisconsin-based specialist, whose VP former VP (now no longer with the company) Dave Salvaggio apparently put the project in Gilles’ mind, explains this is its most carbon-intensive build yet.

Keeping the classic presence means the machine still casts a long shadow, but while its exact weight figure remains a mystery for now, it’s clear that packing a complete carbon body helps its relationship to the scales.

The dual scallops on the doors are still present, but the hood no longer features them. Instead, its air scoop reminds us of the one six-pack (triple dual-barrel carbs) Mopars used to offer back in the day. And, below the concealed headlights, we find fog lights sporting the classic Fratzhog logo that Dodge is resurrecting for its upcoming electric muscle cars.

Putting the muscle in muscle car

However, you might be more interested in what’s below the said scoop, namely a Hellephant V8.

The engine sits at the top of Mopar’s crate engines, the 426 ci (7.0L) V8, which is a tribute to the Gen II HEMI that brought the Mopar people their NASCAR fame over fifty years ago. Working with a 3.0L IHI blower that delivers 15 psi of boost, the HEMI delivers 1,000 hp and 950 lb-ft (1,288 Nm) of twist.

The power is sent to the one-off HRE Wheels via a ZF eight-speed automatic, which is the transmission of choice for most enthusiasts driving modern Dodge muscle cars.

Speaking of the retro-inspired wheels, these conceal Brembo brakes with orange calipers, while the double-wishbone front suspension should have a serious impact on the handling.

After all, as we mentioned when discussing the cars in Gilles’ collection, the enthusiast, who use to lead FCA’s now-retired SRT division (check out the logo on the wheels!), does like to take the Gen V Viper he designed to the track and in all-out ACR trim.

The cabin strikes a fine balance between a classic layout and modern materials

As for the interior, this naturally reinterprets the 68 Charger cabin, having been done by Gabe’s Custom Interiors (you might know the label from TV or thanks to having covered more than one restomods owned by comedian/actor Kevin Hart).

And the fact that this top-tier restomod landed in the hands of the aficionado means we can expect it to spend time in the real world rather than getting the garage queen treatment.

“Project #Hellucination is born to a very emo papa! The 68 Charger is my favorite vintage American car of all time. […]. Over two years in the making. Along the way Speedkore has been great to work with. […]. Not easy to build a dream car for a car designer… just saying,” Gilles wrote on Instagram.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here