Five decades ago, the Dodge Challenger and the AMC Javelin were sworn enemies. Nowadays the former has survived, even topping the muscle car sales for 2021, while the latter is sometimes forgotten, not least thanks to the fact that its automaker was dissolved following a Chrysler merger decades ago. Fortunately, though, the standout identity and brawn of the Javelin means this is starting to re-enter the spotlights, which is precisely what happens with the Challenger Hellcat-based model rendered here.
While American Motors Corporation didn’t have the resources of Detroit’s Big Three, they shared an ambition back in the 1960s: moving from economy cars to sportier offerings.
And AMC entered the pony/muscle car segment in 1967 via the Javelin. Given the said limited resources, the company had to focus on a single body style—remember, the Mustang not only came in fixed-roof and convertible form, but the first was split into fastback and notchback versions.
However, the automaker managed to turn this into an advantage, coming up with a semi-fastback body style that helped the Javelin stand out in an increasingly crowded market where the Big Three’s countless brands kept introducing more models (we’ll remember this as key detail #1 of the story and come back to it below).
The OG Javelin was built between 1967 and 1970, when a redesigned model brought a more mature appearance (let’s make this key detail #2) that was maintained until the 1974 demise of the model—the Malaise Era we so often mention made it unfeasible for the company to keep the pony/muscle car alive.
Nevertheless, the Javelin’s list of achievements is mighty impressive, ranging from motorsport success that led to the police ordering production models to spawning a two-door AMX machine that took on the Chevy Corvette for a fraction of the price.
The real world has already brought the two together (well, sort of)
As you can imagine, the real world hasn’t failed to bring the AMC Javelin and the Hellcat together. We’re talking about the Ringbrothers-built Hellcat-animated 1972 Javelin “Defiant” released back in 2017, which you can find in the YouTube clip at the bottom of the story (lens tip to KDawgFilmz).
However, this rendering introduces a different approach, as it builds a Javelin appearance on a Dodge Challenger Hellcat. This is the work of graphic designer Jim (aka jlord8), who integrated the key details mentioned above.
The nose of the modern Mopar machine has been slightly extended and now features a bit of a downward slope, while a little attention paid to the lights and grille has a serious impact.
And while such a transformation could be easily doable in the real world (more on this below), perhaps a non-widebody Challenger would be more fitting.
However, we can’t say the same about the semi-fastback roof, which pleases the eye but would require more serious work, which is why the RPM (real-world project in the making) Potential of this rendering sits at 7/10.
Returning to the real-world Challenger owners’ cosplay, a Florida-based Hellcat driver named Robert Selby is turning his Hellcat into a Mad Max piece. As showcased in the second Insta post below, the Dodge has been given a thorough Ford Falcon XB conversion, but we’ll talk more about this in a dedicated story since the project continues to evolve.