For many modern-day muscle car fans, the Dodge Challenger SRT8 is as close to perfect as you can get. Ever since the first one rolled out of Brampton Assembly, it’s been a favorite of many. So why would anybody want to modify one? If you’re Adam Montague, the answer is because you can.

This car has a lot of “firsts” to its credit already, according to Adam: It’s the first modern Challenger to make 650 rear wheel horsepower (and later, 750 rwhp) with a Kenne Bell -- supercharged stock 6.1 Hemi. That stock engine, aided by a Kenne Bell 2.8 supercharger running 20 pounds of boost, powered the SRT8 to a best of 10.62 seconds at 133 mph in the quarter-mile.

As of this past (2012) winter, this daily-driven-on-E85 Dodge produces 930 rear wheel horsepower and consistently runs in the 9.9-second range in the quarter-mile.

If those numbers are good, then what Adam has planned is even better. “We’re looking to come to the table with at least 1,250 hp at the tire at the next event,” he says.

The drop into the 9s is thanks to a Kenne Bell 4.2 supercharger replacing the previous KB 2.8 blower as the Hemi’s power adder, plus a rebuild of the 6.1 with stouter-than-stock parts, and some other updates as Adam explains. “We went with a tighter torque converter, different pistons and rods, different heads, and a Kenne Bell prototype 200mm throttle body.”

Those custom CP blower pistons and forged Manley I-beam rods are strong enough to handle the Hemi’s output, but they weren’t the only changes to the Hemi. “We also have a new set of Inertia Motorsports blower-port heads for it,” says Adam, who adds that his shop put a set of those on another modern Mopar, which picked up about 40 horsepower thanks to those heads’ port work.

Another recent bolt-on change led to quicker 60-foot times on the dragstrip. “We’re running Mickey Thompson’s 29x 12.5x20 ET Radial II,” he says of the Challenger’s rear race rubber. “We did that in lieu of slicks and the car actually hit faster,” Adam adds,

How much faster? Adam explains, “We went from 1.52-second 60-foot times to 1.41s on the M/T drag radial, and the car is way more stable.”

And how should these upgrades improve this SRT8’s performance? Says Adam, “We’ve never been able to put this car on ‘Kill Mode,’ because the components in the engine have been off-the-shelf. Now we have a good custom piston in it, we have a good rod in it, and I fully expect this thing to make about 1,200 hp at the tire.” As for on-track performance, Adam adds, “I’m whole-heartedly expecting that car to go mid-to-low 9s in the quarter-mile, and 210-plus mph in the standing mile.”

Fast Facts

2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8
Adam Monague, Rialto, California

Mopar Power

Engine: Mopar 6.1 Hemi uses a bored, stock block, Manley I-beam rods and custom CP pistons, a Scat stroker crankshaft and a Kenne Bell 4.2 supercharger (running 18 pounds of boost), plus a Fore Innovations custom fuel system that accommodates E85 fuel. Exhaust gases are handled by American Racing headers and a 3-inch exhaust system with Magnaflow mufflers.
Transmission: Paramount Performance Products Stage V automatic with a stock shifter, plus Paramount’s Stage II valvebody, 11-inch, 3,200-stall converter, shift kit, and control module.
Rear: The differential is filled with a 3.23-geared Detroit Locker and flanked by D.S.S. axle shafts.

Sure Grip

Suspension: Stock SRT8 suspension augmented by 2-inch drop springs in front.
Brakes: Stock SRT8 four-wheel discs with Brembo calipers
Wheels/Tires: Billet five-spoke CCW wheels wear Nitto NT05s in front and Mickey Thompson’s ET Radial II drag radials in back.

High Impact

Paint/Body: Stock Challenger unibody wears its original sheetmetal and Hemi Orange paint.
Interior: Custom rollbar by Carlin Fabrications is the only upgrade from stock.