We all have to agree that the rear-wheel-drive Charger really breathed new life into the Chrysler brand, leading to the rebirth of the Challenger. Even as a four-door sedan, Chargers elicit a sense of power and style. Like in the old days, Chargers with Hemi power still get the most respect, but that did not keep new owner Ted Watkins from going with the beat of a different drummer when he took possession of his first Charger.
“This is my first Mopar,” says the self-employed truck driver from Lyman, South Carolina, “I love the body lines on the Charger.”
Don’t cringe just because it’s not Hemi-powered. The little V-6 carries a little more than
Ted was looking for transportation, and chose to go with the 3.5L High Output V-6 when the dealership made him a good deal on the 2007 model they had on the lot. Now painted Tor-red, and featuring some interesting changes. The engine is basically a 318 with two cylinders missing, the car is nonetheless fun to drive with its 200-plus rear-wheel horsepower and has become Ted’s personal statement.
“My thanks has to go to HotRod Graphxxx over in Greenville, and Meanstreets in Greer,” says Ted, mentioning local Palmetto-state car artisans. “We kept the engine almost stock, but did a lot of things to really make this Charger into my car.”
The driveline changes on the SXT model were minimal—a set of headers, high-flow cats, and a tuned Flowmaster dual exhaust gives the Dodge a sinister growl. A cold-air intake and flash tune were the only other performance changes. However, some more bling was added to dress the engine, in the form of stainless steel hoses and custom covers.
Meanwhile, the reality is that the interior is where we all go to work. While the factory seats are comfortable and were left as-built, in place of the OEM shifter for the AutoStick four-speed automatic went a Hurst shifter handle. Autometer gauges have been set into the passenger-side dash face. But what makes cars like this Charger special for many car enthusiasts is its heritage aspect. Few logo designs were as recognizable as the script-style Charger badging that debuted on the prototype renditions of the car that appeared on show car circuit back in 1965. However, this has not been offered on the modern version. So, Ted inset the classic designation into the driver side of the grille, on the sides, and on the interior door panels. This one change really helps the car stand out from the others; the icing on the cake was adding 2009 taillight assemblies that are painted to look like legendary turbine versions on the 1968 model of this car.
Not exactly 2007 standard issue, but looks great on the newer Charger.
Subtle upgrades like the Hurst shifter and aftermarket gauges give a good hint as to the C
In keeping with the 21st century, Ted’s program also entailed adding LEDs under the dash and into the lower grille area. The final touch was a set of big, Foose 20x8.5 rims with Nitto 420 tires, giving the car a non-stock stance that looks good wherever it is.
So, while it may not be a supercharged 1000hp tire-burner, Ted’s thoroughbred has shown itself to be a terrific example of less is more when it comes to car creation—win, place, or show…