Finally the car was assembled, but it needed some school clothes. The Direct Connection team worked with Stephanie Rooks, responsible for logo and brand management, to come up with something that stayed true to the Direct Connection roots while still incorporating the modern liquid metal Mopar Performance scheme. "She came up with this terrific looking wrap that certainly does just that for us," says Dale. "Wraps are popular today, and many race teams have started using them because they're easy and can be greatly detailed." Not to mention that the wrap can be removed at anytime to reveal the original drag pack car, unmolested aside from a small hole for the air-to-water intercooler plumbing.

The car made its debut at Mopars at the Strip in Las Vegas, where the crowd reaction was more than Dale or Brian could have anticipated. "Everywhere we've gone, the reaction to the car has been so positive that it's honestly hard to believe," says Brian. "So it's safe to say that we're happy with the way it turned out and what it's doing for us." It's not only a great way to promote the brand for them, but it's also an interesting way to test and develop new parts for today and tomorrow.

After talking with Dale and Brian, it's hard not to view them as a new Skunkworks or Ramchargers of the decade. "We don't see this as a project with a timeline, since we plan to continue to develop new parts with this car," says Dale. If that's the case, we could have a whole cornucopia of late model performance parts driving Chrysler into the future performance market. With the Direct Connection team back in full swing working late nights on their own time, things are looking good for Mopar fans.

Fast Facts
'08 Dodge Challenger Drag Pack
Owned by: Chrysler Group, LLC
Auburn Hills, Michigan

Mopar Power

  • Engine: As the test bed for the new aluminum new-Hemi block, a 440-inch Hemi is situated under the Six-Pack hood. The block is a Mopar Performance item, PN 5153898, with a forged rotating assembly consisting of Diamond pistons, Scat rods, and a Scat crank. Compression is a boost-ready 8.56:1. A single 88mm Y2K ball bearing Turbonetics turbo uses the exhaust gases to increase atmospheric pressure by 15psi, controlled by a Turbonetics New Gen HP wastegate. This compressed air is then chilled in a Turbonetics air-to-water intercooler before being fed into an aluminum intake. Fuel is added through a set of Mopar Performance fuel rails and injectors delivered from the tank by a high-flow Weldon pump. From there, the mixture is escorted into each cylinder by a set of experimental cylinder heads. Once the Mopar 392 camshaft has opened the valves, it's ignited, sent out to the turbo to begin the cycle once again, and through an open downpipe.
  • Rearend: An MPR/Strange unit with 3.70 gears and 40-spline gun-drilled axles. It features an aluminum carrier and pinion support.
  • Transmission: The shifting is performed by an ATI two-speed Pro Glide with a nine-inch torque converter designed for use with boost.


  • Suspension: Currently the Challenger uses Afco adjustable drag shocks but will soon be swapped for Strange shocks. The rear suspension was designed by MPR Racing and is a four-link with a panhard bar.
  • Brakes: Strange drag brakes.
  • Wheels/Tire: In these photos you'll see 9x30-15 Goodyear slicks with 27-inch front runners. They have since switched to a 9x30-15 Hoosier slick with 28-inch skinnies.

High Impact

  • Paint: A "Liquid Metal" Direct Connection wrap.
  • Interior: A slew of Mopar/AutoMeter gauges, switches and buttons are required in such a serious quarter-mile contender. A Mopar tach communicates what the Hemi is spinning to while the driver sits in the Viper-sourced seat.