The current Dodge Durango entered service back in 2010. And while Dodge has gifted it with glorious performance incarnations over the years, crowned by the 2021-exclusive Hellcat, we were quite surprised to see nobody seems to have come up with a chopped example so far. Leave it to the rendering world to change that, albeit with the pixel portrait we have here portraying a machine that’s part Durango, part Magnum.
The Magnum station wagon arrived on the market back in 2004, one year before the Charger sedan and a full four years ahead of the Challenger. Those were optimistic times, with Dodge considering a convertible brother for its coupe (the aftermarket made up for its absence) and pushing the wagon ever higher.
Nevertheless, as more and more customers moved towards SUVs like the Durango and crossovers such as the Journey, the Magnum got retired back in 2008. Once again, independent builders came to change that, but, before we discuss this, we need to zoom in on the Mopar mix in this render.
Chopped roofs are most popular when it comes to classic muscle, with this sort of body modification being rather rare in terms of modern muscle cars and almost non-existent when it comes to contemporary SUVs.
It’s not that the lower look, which also gives the vehicle a wider stance, isn’t appreciated—the onslaught of widebody kits and lowering suspensions is a testament to that. Instead, the complicated nature of such a transformation, which requires modding the pillars and the windows, while also potentially having safety implications, means most people prefer to inject badassery into SUVs via the means mentioned above.
This Durango has the divine duo: body and roof chop
Body chops with or without the said roof work? This is an even rarer bird, due to the serious amount of elbow grease required. Well, the rendering resting on our screens appears to deliver just that—notice the smaller distance between the Durango’s wheel arches and the upper limit of its fenders. In fact, we’ve added a pair of images portraying the standard Durango and Magnum to the image gallery, so you can easily compare the three if you like.
As for the roof cutting, this seems to have been achieved by maintaining the side windows of the Magnum, but the door mirrors still come from the Durango,
In the end, graphic designer Jim (aka jlord9) did a brilliant job, coming up with an SUV that seems to sport the exuberance of the concept cars Chrysler delivered in the 2000s—you’ll find this pixel stunt in the first Instagram post below, but what you see past that point involves real builds.
2015+ Dodge Magnum (Hellcat) wagons in the real world
There are two main ways of going about a project such as bringing the Dodge Magnum into the present. For starters, there’s the less difficult route, which involves a front end conversion, along with a rear bumper and sometimes even a roof spoiler change.
And you’ll find an example in the Instagram post at the bottom of the story, which shows the work of a builder knows as JayeFab. Based in Las Vegas, the enthusiast claims to be the “creator” of the first Magnum with a Hellcat front end, while he also installs custom widebody kits.
Then we have the long and winding route of converting a 2015+ Charger, which packs all the modern goodies, infotainment included, to a Magnum look. And we have yet to see somebody doing it better than an amateur mechanic who goes by the name of David Nenno (aka Junkyard Dave on social media).
I first covered one of Dave’s creations, the Hellwagon, back in June 2020. And the man went above and beyond to come up with a unique monster. On the tech front, he installed a Hellcat engine and pushed it to 1,000 HP, which are sent to all four wheels via AWD hardware lifted off a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.
As far as the body goes, there Magnum roof is actually a custom piece made from carbon and kevlar, so it’s both rigid and light. Dave is currently adding the finish touches to the Hellwagon—you can see him fitting a set of 20×11-inch Challenger Hellcat wheels, along with some spacers in the YouTube clip below, which was uploaded two weeks ago.
He’s also been working to bring a wrecked 2021 Durango SRT Hellcat back to the road for the past six months, but this is another story for another time.