This Viper-Challenger-Hellcat joint strike force is truly a sight to behold
And it's not just a concept - it's going to the SEMA 2020 motor show in November, courtesy of Hemi Autoworks and Ellsworth Racing.
Very few things can capture the hearts and the minds of people around the world with the raw, unfiltered happiness that a Muscle car can. Every so often, though, a muscle car of insane proportions comes to exist and those are the cars that echo far into the future. I can tell you, with some confidence, that this is going to be one of those cars. I introduce you, DriveTribe, to the Highway Star.
Ellsworth Racing are a team from America run by Robert and Raymond Ellsworth. Currently, they're running a 2008 Dodge Viper SRT-10 (my jaw has now dropped) and also a 1997 Dodge Viper GTS (my jaw has now sunk beneath my office floor) - how unbelievably cool are they.
Team Ellsworth! Image credit: Ellsworth Racing on Facebook.
The brothers and their team attend various car-meets and shows, as well as track days and time trial competitions through the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America). If that wasn't enough, they also compete in grass-root club races and gatherings. Their pedigree cannot be questioned.
Hemi AutoWorks, meanwhile, are a specialist firm located in Milltown, Wisconsin. They work extensively with aluminium welding, custom welding and metal fabrication, as well as custom body and vinyl work - in essence, they turn street cars into race cars. I feel the story of a dream-team emerging ...
The dream was unfolding. Image credit: Ellsworth Racing on Facebook.
It all began when Ellsworth got hold of a rusty, poorly restored Dodge Challenger. I mean, it would be a shame to let a body as mighty as the Challenger's go to waste - and it seems they agreed too. Even more so when they also came across a Dodge Viper that had been engrossed in flames. So, they were now left with a pair of seemingly rotten, albeit potential-laden, classic muscle cars. Team Ellsworth saw something in this group of cars, though. So, they got in touch with Hemi AutoWorks and decided they'd pull the muscle from both machines in order to form one car.
They decided to use the body of the deceased challenger as the overalls, whilst the frame and the bare-bones would be drafted in from the Viper. They did encounter problems with this idea, however - the chassis of the Viper is considerably shorter than that of the Challenger. To fix this, they stretched the Viper's frame by 13 inches in length and 1.5 inches by width. When stretching a chassis, width is considerably more difficult to work with than length, so, to give them a few extra inches, they decided to add a pair of flared wheel arches to its sides.
What they were working with. Image credit: CarBuzz.
With the idea for the frame and body standing in good-stead, the mechanical decisions were next. First up, what engine were they going to use to power this gladiator of a machine? Well, seeing as the idea behind this car was already as mad as anything out there - why not opt for one of the maddest engines out there too?
Yes, they chose the 6.2-litre supercharged V8 straight out of the Dodge Hellcat. The engine will remain stock for the most part, but the supercharger has been upgraded slightly by Kong Performance to increase its consistency. The raw power from the Hellcat engine will flow through a billet flywheel, a Mantic triple-disc clutch and then on to the transmission taken from the Viper, with the wheels also coming from the snake.
It's coming together. Image credit: CarBuzz.
Various other performance groups have been called upon to aid with the mechanical sections of the Highway Star. Pareto Point Inc have supplied the oil filtration system, and Ron Francis Wiring were on hand for all the complicated wiring harness bits. In addition to these two, Hot Rod Fuel have pitched in with the fuel hoses and lines, in addition to the power steering and the supercharger coolant.
To keep it as close as possible to a racing car, the interior will remain pretty much naked. A full fat roll cage will be joined by a factory-fresh dashboard, six-point harnesses from St Louis Race Gear and Stewart Warner gauges. The body, once cleaned up and revitalised, will be painted in a glorious shade of deep purple. The choice of colour isn't just an irrational decision either, there's a reason for it: the Highway Star is named after a song from a 1972 group called ''Deep Purple'' - so they named the car after the song and painted the car after the band. Brilliant!
That ass. Image credit: Ellsworth Racing on Facebook.
Ellsworth have also stressed that this car isn't merely all show and no trousers - it's not going to be created for the sole purpose of showing off its aesthetics at SEMA. They've promised to fulfil the potential of this car by unshackling it the moment the show is over so it can compete in various events across the country.
This is a massive operation, and one that consists of a plethora of individual companies banding together to create a car that will echo through the ages - and headlining those companies are Ellsworth Racing and Hemi AutoWorks. In a world where electric technology, hybridism and fuel-efficiency are the most pivotal factors behind creating a car - these guys really are a shining light for real petrol-heads like you and me.
Be sure to check out Ellsworth Racing's Facebook page by clicking here!
Image credit: Ellsworth Racing on Facebook.