The introduction of the new Challenger in 2008 set car enthusiasts on their collective ears. Finally, Mopar had built a two-door, rear-wheel-drive car that mixed the nostalgia that everyone feels about muscle cars, and made it modern. Rich Garguilo of Kissimmee, Florida, was one of the guys who needed to pick himself up from landing on his ear. But, like many, he would have to wait a while.

It was in May of 2010 when he located this clean 2008 SRT version. He immediately began “upgrading” the car to reflect his personality, by adding things like a Shaker hood from Cervini’s, wheels by Bonspeed, and a lot of billet and carbon fiber pieces under the hood. Next on the list was to lower the car about an inch with the help of Pedder’s, and the addition of front and rear strut braces by Petty’s Garage.

It only took Rich about six months of attending car shows to realize that he needed to do more, and this time, more meant racing. So, a Hellion twin-turbo setup with 61mm turbos was ordered, and Rich and his brother handled the install in Rich’s garage. Knowing that the added power was going to cause issues further back the driveline, a set of DSS “half shafts” were installed, along with a Wavetrac differential. With this combination, Rich was continually running low 11-second e.t.’s at the strip. But once again, he needed more.

This time, he had his sights set on 10-second e.t.’s, so he began by contacting Performance Werks Racing in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. PWR supplied the 6.1 short-block and CNC ported heads that were sent to Rich so he could—like everything else on the car—install it in his home garage. The NAG1 Transmission was sent out for a performance rebuild so it could handle 1,000 horses, and tuning it all was aided by Diablosport. Now running solely on E-85, Rich has run a best of 10.0 at 141 in the quarter-mile, and plans for a 9-second e.t. very soon.

Fast Facts
2008 Dodge Challenger SRT
Richard Garguilo - Kissimmee, Florida
Mopar Power
Engine: Currently, a 6.1 Hemi built by Performance Werks Racing in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The 370-inch engine features Manley H-beam rods and pistons, and a stock, forged crankshaft. The combination is good for a 9.5:1 compression ratio. The stock camshaft was left so a smooth idle could be retained, and PWR CNC ported the heads. Shophemi.com roller rockers and a stock intake finish the engine. For good measure, a Hellion twin-turbo setup gives the 6.1 just a little more oomph.
Transmission: A performance-built NAG1 is designed to support the 1,000 horsepower and not break -- hopefully.
Rear: The factory rear was fitted with DSS axles, a Wavetrac differential, and the stock 3.06 gears.
Make It Survive: Being boosted, Rich relies on items like a Turbosmart boost controller, E85 fuel, and a line lock/launch control system by N2MB.
Sure Grip
Suspension: Pedder’s shocks and springs make the car handle, and ride about 1-inch lower than stock.
Brakes: The Brembo’s bring things to a halt exceptionally well.
Wheels/Tires: A set of Bonspeed wheels measuring 20x9 inches are wrapped in 245/45/20 Goodyear F1 tires.
High Impact
Paint/Body: It’s factory, and it’s Hemi Orange.
Interior: Mostly stock, the interior does get some enhancement from an RPM-built rollbar, Simpson racing belts, and Autometer gauges.