Now that it's been updated, Ed's been showing his '71 off around Southern California. "It took the Best of Show at the Spring Fling-that's our only all-Mopar meet out here in Southern California," says Ed. You'll see it this coming March in Las Vegas at Mopars At the Strip, where Ed says he'll show it and run it on The Strip at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway-as long as he can. "I'll probably get thrown off the track for running 11s without a full cage."

With the updates to the Hemi, what's it like to drive? In a word, Ed says, it's a handful. "With the traction control, once you get out of first gear, it really takes over pretty well."

Meanwhile, Ed has another E-Body project in the works. "We just started on a '70 'Cuda AAR, and the XV Motorsports [chassis] stuff for it should arrive shortly," he says. "That one will get a sound system!"

Should you luck out and find another survivor of that group of 1,800-plus non-340/383-powered '71 Challenger convertibles for a project car, Ed has this advice: "Build the engine last-don't build the engine first. Get the car ready; then build the engine." He says that things can change too quickly when it comes to newly-available chassis and powertrain hardware, adding, "There are so many things that I would do differently on this car now."

Good advice especially if the car in question has been waiting to rid itself of a 318 or Slant Six for almost 40 years.

Fast Facts
'71 Dodge Challenger Convertible
Owned by Ed Sternfeld, Canoga Park, California

Mopar Power
Engine: You saw it here first in 2003-a Rich Nedbal-built 528-inch Hemi. It's since been treated to a new FAST XFI ITC (traction control) engine computer, a dual-quad intake, and an XFI-controlled 150-shot Nitrous Oxide Systems nitrous oxide injection system.

Transmission: Stock 904? Long gone-replaced by a Keisler-prepped Tremec TKO six-speed manual box behind a dual-disc clutch.

Rear End: The natural choice for a modified Hemi-a Dana 60, in this case Moser-built.

Sure Grip
Suspension: (Front) Stock-style torsion bars (Rear) Monoleaf rear springs with CalTrax traction bars.

Brakes: Big Hemi power deserves big braking power, thanks to a set of big Baer discs at each corner.

Wheels/Tires: Five-spoke, multi-piece ROH rims wear big Nitto NT555 "Extreme ZR" rubber, 235/40ZR18 in front, 295/35Z/18 in back.

High Impact
Body: Original '71 Challenger convertible unibody stripped to bare metal, restored and paint-prepped by Dependable Dodge's body shop, Canoga Park, California.

Paint: Instead of another coat of OEM B5 Blue, it got M3 Panther Pink, sprayed on by Dependable Dodge's body shop.

Interior: Custom-made Cobra front bucket seats and refurbished rear seat wear pink/white leather, as do the door panels. Other interior highlights include a chrome six-point rollbar, Grant GT steering wheel, Pro Comp gauges, and no sound system (other than the Hemi).