Jeff Dunham’s 515-hp Project UltraViolet Dodge Challenger SRT8 Speaks for Itself [2012 SEMA Show]
When it comes to personifying legendary Hemi-powered performance, no single entity communicates the Mopar legacy better than a silly fella with his hand shoved up a doll’s ass. We kid, of course—all the world’s a stage, so who better to chaperone a custom Challenger’s build and SEMA debut than ventriloquist/comedian/Mopar muscle fanatic Jeff Dunham, a man who knows a thing or two about wowing crowds in Vegas.But it took more than just Dunham’s wit and checkbook to bring his dream Challenger to life. By the time he was done, Dunham had enlisted the help of California-based Palmer Customs, Chrysler’s Mopar and Street and Racing Technology (SRT) team, and Virginia-based Arrington Engines.
Working closely Chrysler’s Mark Trostle, head of design for SRT and Mopar, Dunham and the guys at Palmer proceeded to lower the Challenger by one inch, widen its rear end, and mount engorged wheel flares. The latter adds four inches to the body width, which in turn necessitated modifying the front and rear bumpers. Hand-fabricated pieces include the rear diffuser, dive-planes, front splitter, lower rear fascia, decklid spoiler, and custom aluminum side sills that allow for a side-exit exhaust setup. Power comes from a fresh Mopar 426 crate engine producing a sturdy 515 hp and 490 lb-ft of twist, and it’s routed through a factory six-speed transmission.
- Instrumented Test: Dodge Challenger SRT8 392
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Given that Dunham is a fan of vintage Mopar wares—he recently purchased a numbers-matching, four-speed 1970 Plymouth Barracuda convertible—we’re guessing this car’s iridescent violet exterior finish was inspired by Chrysler’s iconic Plum Crazy purple, which resurfaced as an option a couple of years ago. Whatever the reason behind its selection, the hue is arresting enough to make Prince shed a purple tear.