"Best Ever." Seems like we've seen that term used a lot to describe the '68 Dodge Charger. Starting with Ma Mopar's sales-number-counters, who saw the '68s sales easily top those of the wedge-fastback '66s and '67s combined, totaling some 96,100 Chargers and new-for-'68 Charger R/Ts-a total which would only be topped by Charger's biggest-ever sales year of 1973.
But, how do you improve on the best? If you're XV Motorsports, you continue the work started with their two E-Body Challengers and apply it to the larger B-Body platform.
To begin this project, XV Motorsports started with a '68 Charger, took it apart down to its bare, cold-rolled-steel unibody, and made an already stiff body even more resistant to the twisting effects of the road and engine torque. That meant adding an engine compartment brace, laser-cut subframe connectors, a front lower frame support/radiator crossmember, and an inner fender shock tower brace-all of them designed, engineered and made by XV Motorsports.
Once the Charger's unibody was reinforced, XV then added its Level II Suspension package. Up front, their own aluminum K-member replaced the stock steel one, and onto it went much more of their developed-in-house hardware: Aluminum upper and lower A-arms, aluminum spindles, adjustable coil-over shocks, a custom front anti-roll bar with billet mounts, plus a quick-ratio, variable-rate power steering rack and an adjustable bumpsteer kit.
In back, XV added their three-link billet aluminum lower links and adjustableupper link, an adjustable Panhard bar, plus-like in front-a custom anti-roll bar and a pair of adjustable coil-over shocks.
Sounds a lot like what went under their Challengers, doesn't it? "A bunch of the components are interchangeable (between E-Body and B-Body applications), just like the stock stuff," says XV's John Buscema. "As far as the package for handling, they're different." John spells out the main differences between their B-Body and E-Body suspension packages: "They have different shock valving and spring rates. All of this stuff was four-post tested and track tested. So, the spring rates and shock valving are specific to each platform."
Modern-day 600hp Hemi displaces 6 liters (366 cubic inches) and is nestled beneath XV's sh
All that chassis hardware would go great with any of the engines that Ma Mopar plugged into the '68 Charger at Hamtramck or St. Louis-everything from the 318-inch LA-series small-block to the 426 Hemi. But XV wanted this Charger to have an even more powerful and efficient powertrain. In went a 6.0L Hemi Magnum that they built, filling it with forged pistons and rods, XV's own main stud and head stud kits, and a performance camshaft and extended-rpm valvespring package. Also going on-during hand-assembly in XV Motorsports' Irvington, New York, shop-were their own-design single-plane intake manifold, billet aluminum EFI throttle body and oil pan, along with their custom-tuned electronic engine management system that boasts EFI and a distributorless, coil-on-plug ignition system.
Backing this Hemi is a first for an XV-built car: an automatic transmission. This four-speed-with-overdrive, electronically-controlled box uses XV's custom programming, and is stirred by a stock '68 shifter located in a custom floor console. Out back, XV added a heavy-duty 8 3/4-inch rear that was also built in-house, featuring alloy axle shafts, a Sure Grip differential with a heavy-duty clutch pack and 3.91:1 gears and synthetic gear lube, all inside a nodular iron centersection and black powdercoated housing.
But wait-there's more! In each wheelwell, you'll find XV's Level II disc brake package (with 14-inch rotors and 6-piston calipers in front. 14-inch rotors/2-piston calipers in back, a Hydroboost booster, and stainless steel hard lines/ braided hoses), backing a set of three-piece forged Kinesis wheels and Y-speed-rated (to 186 mph) Michelin Pilot Sport tires.