If you had to do something different on a late-model vehicle, what would you do? Would you build one of Dodge's little pick 'em up trucks? Well, 24-year-old Kris Burl of Rochester Hills, Michigan, chose to do just that, but with a twist. Literally.
The Dodge Dakota platform that began life in the mid-'80s sparked a trend in Dodge rear-wheel-drive modifications for the late-model age. To customize his ride, Kris first lowered his rig 2 inches up front and 3 out back with the help of Hotchkiss suspension parts for that killer stance. While redoing the rear suspension, he also added a set of Cal-Trac Bars to help his hauler launch.
His Intense Blue 2000 model came direct from Dodge with a 5.9L Magnum boasting enough horses to warrant no modifications. On the other hand, with hot-rodding's time-worn "too much is just enough" philosophy in mind, he installed a Vortech centrifugal supercharger, which twists in the horsepower by pumping 8 pounds of boost through the intake. Since there is now more air entering the engine, he also added a set of 1 5/8-inch tube headers, with two 2 1/2-inch pipes sending the fumes rearward through Flowmaster mufflers. The rest of the driveline consists of the factory trans connected to the Trac-Loc differential spinning 3.92:1 cogs.
After these motor-vational items were taken care of, Kris had a vision. He owned the truck but has always had a soft spot for Charger R/Ts; what better tribute than to add an R/T stripe to the rear of his Dakota? The interior is left as the factory built it, with the excep-tion of a handful of aftermarket gauges that monitor boost, fuel pressure, and air-fuel mix.
Couple a rear-wheel-drive truck, the R/T heritage, and forced induction for the mix shown on this page, and we would have to agree that Kris is carrying the hot-rodding tradition right into the new millenium.