1968 was the year that saw Dodge moving the Charger from its original fastback, luxury-oriented form to the sportier, Coke Bottle-styled form that most people think about when the iconic name is mentioned. Sure, improving such a legend is no easy feat, but custom car builder SpeedKore, who has a history with reinventing classic Mopars, has set out to do just that. And for its upcoming “Hellucination” project, it has joined forces with Ralph Gilles, Viper designer and one of Stellantis’ two lead designers.
The Wisconsin-based specialist, whose recent Mopar builds include the “Hellraiser” 1970 Charger done for actor/comedian Kevin Hart last year, is technically following its established recipe for this ’68 coupe.
For one, since the Charger is a scale-unfriendly beast, the company has put it on a carbon fiber diet (imagine what such weight reduction could do for Alexandre Claudin’s drift-spec 68 Charger).
And, not unlike Hart’s machine, the new project will be animated by a Hellephant V8. We’re looking at the epitome of modern Mopar engines, a crate unit whose 426 ci (7.0L) displacement honors the NASCAR-bred 426 HEMI of the 1960s. Working with a blower, the Hellephant makes 1,000 hp and 950 lb-ft (1,288 Nm) straight from the factory.
However, the devil is in the “deets” with this build and we’re quoting Gilles here—we first spotted the Stellantis head designer (for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Maserati and Fiat in the Latin America region) talking about project “Hellucination” on Instagram exactly one year ago, when he shared the sketch in the third post below, joking about his high requirements for the specialist.
For one, in a post dating back to April this year, the enthusiast showcases the lower front lights of the car, which sport the Fratzhog emblem of the 1960s (note that Dodge is also reviving this for the electric muscle car revolution starting later this year).
This may be Gilles’ personal project
The designer is an avid car collector, with his garage going past the American stuff you’d expect (he tracks his Gen V Viper ACR, by the way), including a 1968 Alfa Romeo GTA 1300 Junior (“Dorian”), a 1974 Alfa Romeo GTV (“Sergio” nickname is an homage to the late FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne), the “Bruno” 1991 Lancia Delta Integrale and even a a late-1980s Peugeot 205 GTI knows as “Giselle”.
Based on that, it could be possible for the 1968 Dodge Charger “Hellucination” to land in Gilles’ hands, even though most of his restomodded cars seem to have a more down to Earth financial side than SpeedKore’s carbon-clad toys.
Guess we’ll find that out when the Dodge is released—according to the builder “the wait is almost over”.