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Friday, February 10, 2017

Bizarro-World Dodge Shakedown Challenger Takes Old Car, Makes It Look New


If ever there were proof that Bizarro World exists, then this Dodge Shakedown Challenger at the 2016 SEMA show might just be it. Whereas the modern Dodge Challenger is a new car made to look like an old car, the Shakedown Challenger is an old car made to look like a new car. Bizarro, indeed.
Although the Shakedown is technically a 1971 Challenger, the crew at FCA added the headlights, taillights, and a grille from the 2017 Challenger to give the classic coupe a contemporary look. A custom lower front fascia, rear lip spoiler, and modern 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels that share a design with the wheels featured on the Challenger SRT Hellcat further blur the line between old and new.

Dodge didn’t leave the vintage Challenger’s outmoded interior untouched, either. The Shakedown’s insides include a modern Mopar gauge cluster, as well as a steering wheel and seats culled from today’s Viper. The rear seats have been removed, too, replaced by a parcel shelf and a roll bar, while a fuel cell and its associated filler sit in the Shakedown’s trunk.
The Shakedown Challenger’s looks aren’t all that has been updated for the 21st century. As the giant “Mopar 392” fender decals imply, the Shakedown is motivated by Dodge’s 485-hp 6.4-liter V-8. A functional hood scoop, a cold-air intake, and a custom-made exhaust provide the 392-cubic-inch engine with an extra bit of grunt. Meanwhile, a six-speed manual transmission cribbed from the Viper puts the pushrod engine’s ponies to the rear wheels. Custom suspension components and Brembo brake calipers from the Hellcat ensure the Shakedown’s other dynamic qualities are as capable as its impressive powertrain.

The Dodge Shakedown Challenger is quite possibly the most meta car we’ve ever laid eyes on. After all, this classic Challenger is styled to look like a car that was originally designed to mimic the looks of the 1970–71 Challenger. It seems, then, that the modern-looking, 45-year-old Dodge Shakedown Challenger is Chrysler’s attempt to shake things up, not down.

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