Prior to building this Challenger into a race car, Fred completely disassembled the car and sold the engine, transmission, rear differential, and much of the interior to recoup nearly all of the money he spent on the car. This car only showed some 18,000 miles on the odometer, so most of the items that weren’t damaged in the accident brought premium money on the used parts market. With a little more than the cost of investment recovered, it was time to find the body parts necessary to get this Challenger looking new again. Luckily, since these cars are still in production, body parts are available from both the dealer and aftermarket manufacturers, and are relatively inexpensive when compared to body parts for early Mopars. This is a nice benefit since this Challenger needed nearly every body panel to be replaced or repaired, due to the damage in the accident.

Prior to taking the Challenger to Silverking Collision Center, Fred began acquiring the needed body panels himself by checking prices for both new and used items. Having worked previously as a parts manager at a couple of different Chrysler dealerships, Fred took advantage of his experience and obtained many of the parts like the roof skin, door skins, inner fenders, and rear bumper cover straight from Chrysler. Other parts, like the fenders, mirrors, and front bumper covers he purchased used to save a few bucks. Once all of the parts were obtained, the Challenger was sent to the body shop so the work could begin.

Repairing body damage to a late-model Mopar is often far easier than getting your classic car repaired. Most body shops specialize in cars that are currently being produced, since they are the cars that are most often damaged in accidents. While many body shops say they’ll repair or paint your classic Mopar, we’ve had some bad experiences watching our vehicles sit at the body shop, sometimes for years, while the shop knocks out the late-model work quickly. Fortunately, Silverking’s owner Steve Smyrski is very adept at repairing new Dodge vehicles, and wasn’t scared to tackle this Challenger even though the damage was substantial.

This car actually required two visits to the body shop, as the frame first needed to be checked before the car was sent to the chassis shop for the back-half aftermarket chassis to be installed. After the chassis work was complete, the car was taken back to Silverking so the new body panels could be installed, the bodywork could be completed, and the car could be painted. In some areas, like the rear quarter panels, the damage to this vehicle wasn’t bad enough to require panel replacement. Other areas, like the fenders, roof skin, and door skins, were damaged enough that it just didn’t make sense to repair the panels and it was quicker and more economical to simply replace them.

With the new panels welded and bolted in place, the team at Silverking got busy performing the final bodywork, and block sanding the panels. Having some prior body shop experience, Fred performed much of the time consuming block sanding himself, saving the cost of paying the body shop for this additional labor. When the Challenger’s panels were deemed straight and ready for paint, the Challenger was rolled into the paint booth so that painter Matt Raghoo could apply the base and clear coats of BASF’s Glasurit 90 line of waterborne paint. Since this Challenger was already painted in the high impact color of Tor-Red, Fred chose to stay with the factory color, which is coded PR3.

We must admit we were impressed at the outcome of this project. Thanks to the hard work performed by Fred and the crew at Silverking Collision Center this Challenger truly looks like it was never wrecked. Looking at the photos of the car when it was purchased at the auction, it’s difficult to believe that the final result could look so good. This is definitely turning out to be a nice racecar, and certainly worthy of our 700-plus horsepower third-generation Hemi engine. Be sure to follow along as we finish the car in upcoming issues, and get our Challenger to the track for some real world testing.

Price tag
Part Part Number Cost
Roof Skin PN 5112795ab $242.00
Right Door Skin PN 4816156ad $229.00
Left Door Skin PN 4816157ad $229.00
Right Inner Fender PN 5065504ae $50.50
Left Inner Fender PN 5065505ae $50.75
Headlamp Support Panel PN 5028743ac $244.00
Rear Bumper Cover PN 68038500ac $585.00
Rear Filler Panel PN 68039502aa $89.20
Rear Lower Cover PN 68039501ab $68.45
Rear Cover Absorber PN 68020697ab $148.00
Razor’s Edge Aluminum Front Support $229.95
Used Right Fender $155.00
Used Left Fender $172.00
Used Headlamps $200.00
Used Hood $150.00
Used Front Cover, Grille, Bezels $600.00
Used Mirrors, Pair $250.00
Aftermarket Windshield $225

Razor's Edge Motorsports
3767 NE 11th Ave
Pompano Beach
FL  33064
SilverKing Collision Center
St. Petersburg
Sun State Auto Sales