This extra assurance prompted us to install their kit on our Challenger, and we were very pleased with the results. Not only is this kit easy to install, it also makes the engine bay look cleaner as well as improving horsepower by a K&N claimed 20 or so horsepower. While this sounds like a big gain for a cold air kit, looking at the factory unit, with its multi-chambers to quiet induction roar, we can certainly deduce how it could be possible. As you'll see later in the article, we installed the kit in about an hour, and then verified K&N's claims with before-and-after testing at the drag strip.

To complement our Challenger's improved performance, we decided the car should have some kind of stripes. Since the silver color of our car lends itself well to black accents, we contacted Graphic Express to see what stripes were available for the new Challenger, but were told they were still waiting for a car on which they could design the decals. Wanting to help out, we quickly volunteered our car, giving us the chance to see multiple stripe applications before choosing the '71 R/T-style double stripe for our Challenger. Additionally, Graphic Express designed a hood blackout which is on our car, and a variety of other stripes for the Challenger that can be seen on their website or in their ads. We like the idea of vinyl decals when striping a car. Not only are the decals inexpensive and relatively easy to install, if you grow tired of a certain look the decals can be removed without damaging the paint and replaced with a different style. Since the hood and sides of our Challenger were accented in black, we felt the car would look better with a black spoiler as well. Although the extra-strong double sided tape holding the spoiler in place fought hard, the crew at JD's Paint and Body removed the spoiler without damage and prepped and painted it satin black to match the stripes.

Adding even more contrast to the car, we decided to tint the windows of our Challenger next so we called friend Scott Kowalski of Kowalski's Glass Tinting in Lakeland, Florida. There are many reasons to tint the glass of a car, and the first being somewhat obvious as we live in Florida and the hot sun really cooks the inside of cars, making them uncomfortable and damaging the interior. Since window tint can lower temperatures substantially, it makes sense given that we're located in a tropical climate. Second, we simply like the way the car looks with dark windows. The Challenger has high sides, and we think it just looks better broken up with contrasting stripes and dark glass. Third, while the new Challenger draws attention, and we do appreciate all the thumbs-up gestures, the tint will actually give us some privacy at times when we don't want to be on display. Fortunately, Scott has a computer program that quickly cut sheets of 3M tinting into individual pieces for each window. Scott recommended the darkest legal tint we could apply, then cut and installed the tint right from his truck in just a couple of hours. This is another modification that doesn't cost much, but really makes a difference in the look and comfort of the vehicle.

While we've certainly enjoyed our new Challenger R/T in stock form, we must say that we now like the way it looks, and the way it runs, even better. As we move forward with this project, we look forward to improving both the show and the go, so stay tuned to future issues. And for more photographs of this project be sure to visit