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Cleveland Power & Performance Puts Dodge’s Most Iconic Body on a Fully Functioning Hellcat

Cleveland Power & Performance Puts Dodge’s Most Iconic Body on a Fully Functioning Hellcat

Body swaps are troublesome to efficiently pull off. Contemplate the oddly proportioned Ferrari bodykits on C4 Corvette or Fiero chassis. Until the size of each automobiles are almost similar, like a Tri-5 physique on a 9C1 Caprice body, your common physique swap often appears a bit off due to the work required to make the 2 line up. Provided that, we have been doubtful of the success of this swap—a 1969 Charger constructed on a 2016 Hellcat chassis—once we first heard about it greater than a yr in the past. Cleveland Power & Performance (CP&P), the store that carried out your complete construct in-house, did little to encourage any optimism, both, by capturing the in-process pictures in unflattering angles and disguising their delicate craftsmanship with ghastly chrome wheels.

“Yeah, we did that on purpose,” CP&P proprietor Rick Fragnoli stated, laughing. “Those wheels were terrible, but we wanted to keep the final design and look of the car a secret.” It paid off.

The physique was closely modified, however the general dimensions are true 1969 Charger; some items have been enhanced, resembling extensions constructed onto the entrance fenders to mate with the Hellcat decrease bumper and deeper door recesses.

It might be a shock to study the builders are an underdog within the business. “No one wanted to sponsor the car,” Rick stated. Their objective was to be featured as a SEMA sales space show car. “We had at least one company back out at the very last minute, and we didn’t think we’d be able to take the car to SEMA.” When the automotive was lastly unveiled on the Kooks Headers and Exhaust sales space on the 2018 SEMA Present, the general public response was epic.

Main as much as SEMA’s outcomes have been the 30-year efforts of the Fragnoli household’s evolving firm. In 1986, Rick’s father, Rick Sr., misplaced an necessary promotion at his former job, so he give up it and bought a junkyard in Columbia Station, Ohio, the identical day. With no actual information or curiosity in automobiles, Rick Sr. began a household enterprise with sons Rick (this story’s important character) and Brian.

The staff at Cleveland Power & Performance (CP&P) created their very own custom mixture of PPG Paint they name Strangler Inexperienced.

In 1999, Rick purchased a wrecked however almost new Trans Am Formulation from his dad and glued it in a flash. With pops on trip, Rick took the newly operating automotive on its maiden voyage and obtained sideswiped. Rick nonetheless owed his dad for the automotive, so as an alternative of repairing it once more, he bought the LS1 driveline, a scorching merchandise in 1999. This marked the corporate’s first drivetrain package deal bought. Since then, the Fragnolis have targeted on promoting drivetrain-swap packages, so if the identify Cleveland Power & Performance sounds acquainted, you’ve in all probability seen the drivetrain-swap-on-a-pallet packages on-line and on the corporate’s social media. CP&P crates up full, turnkey driveline swaps and markets them by firing up the engines proper on the pallet. The kits include every little thing you want—gasoline system, pedal meeting, instrument panel, wiring harnesses, and ECM—to put in the package deal into the older automotive of your selection.

Now, 60 % of the corporate’s enterprise is dedicated to drivetrain gross sales and 40 % to constructing automobiles, however the group receives little recognition for his or her tasks. “So we thought, Let’s build the ultimate car using as much of our products as we can and show people we can actually build cars.” However what automotive? “If we were going to build something this big, we had to do with the best body we could, a ’69 Charger,” Rick stated.

The useful air-dam hood has acquainted strains, however it’s all custom. Starting with an Ato Metallic Direct Charger hood, the group minimize and reshaped it a number of occasions, as soon as even having it in seven separate items. The hinges have been one other problem, as they needed to fold into the firewall. It took three months to finish the hood.

Thus, “Reverence” was born from three separate automobiles: a 2016 Hellcat Challenger chassis, a 2016 Hellcat Charger drivetrain, and a 1969 Charger physique. The Challenger was a theft-recovery from Houston, and all that remained was a primary construction and sprint. The Charger arrived at CP&P riddled with greater than 30 bullet holes. “It was apparently a movie-style shootout,” Rick stated. The electronics and inside have been wanted for the police investigation, however the drivetrain was full and unhurt. The 1969 Charger was bought as a naked—however full—physique and included spare elements and two engines.

The construct started by eradicating the entrance clips of every of the Hellcats and stripping the Challenger to only its floorpan, rockers, and trunk flooring. The 1969 Charger’s floorboard and trunk pan have been eliminated, and with the quarter-panels loosely hung, the physique of the ’69 was raised and lowered on a raise over the Hellcat chassis greater than 40 occasions over the course a yr. The group would measure, reduce a piece, and measure once more. When the 2 our bodies have been lastly molded collectively, custom rockers wanted to be constructed to make up the distinction in width, because the 2016 chassis is narrower than the 1969 Charger.

4 years in the past, CP&P modified its identify from Cleveland Decide-a-Half, making an attempt to differentiate the enterprise as extra than simply a junkyard.

Apart from the width, nevertheless, each the brand new and previous automobiles are surprisingly comparable in dimensions, a true testomony to Dodge’s retro design. The 2016 Hellcat Challenger has a comparable width and wheelbase to the 1969 Charger. However the 1969 Charger has 9.5 inches of additional overhang to the rear bumper. Likewise within the entrance, the fenders wanted custom-fabricated mounts. The core help is a mixture of each the ’69 and ’16 items, because it was used to hold not solely the 1969 Charger’s fenders, bumper, and hood latch but in addition the Hellcat’s radiator, intercooler, and headlights.

The entrance finish distinguishes this physique swap from the remaining, because of its mixture of elements. The entrance grille, from the hood to the metal bumper, is usually 1969 Charger with frenched and tucked black-chrome bumpers and Hellcat hideaway headlights. A modified Hellcat bumper sits under the metal bumper. Initially, not one of the strains matched, so the group constructed metallic extensions on the manufacturing unit fenders to mate with the Hellcat bumper and splitter. Inside that decrease bumper is a custom aluminum grille, which took six weeks to construct by hand.

The stance comes from the modified wheelwells and KW Variant four coilover package, which drops the otherwise-stock Hellcat suspension 1-1/2 inches.

The undertaking relied on the automotive being absolutely useful, which concerned a lot trial and error. For example, the cowl and firewall of the 1969 Charger solely wanted to deal with the wiper motor. Now, it’s crammed with electronics, A/C vents, and the larger wiper motor of the brand new automotive. The cowl was rebuilt twice after discovering the primary design didn’t permit entry to the wiper motor. All equipment, electronics, and options of the Hellcat are useful in Reverence, with none error codes.

The Hellcat Charger’s principally inventory engine has been upgraded with a wholesome tune, Metco pulley, and Kooks Headers and Exhaust 2.00-inch headers. Reverence made 722 hp to the tires on pump fuel, a vital improve from the claimed inventory 707 hp to the crank. Out again is a one-piece aluminum driveshaft from The Driveshaft Store and Mopar Performance Three.09 rear gears with a limited-slip differential.

CCW SP551 Monoblock one-piece wheels measure 20×9.5 inches throughout and are wrapped in Pirelli P Zero 275/40ZR20 up entrance and 315/35ZR20 out again.

After a number of present appearances within the spring, the automotive might be bought to boost funds for CP&P’s subsequent challenge. “I’m also really proud of it, and I wouldn’t change a thing. There will be a spot in my heart missing when it goes, like sending a kid off to college, but it will be time to move on when it’s ready,” Rick stated.

Saying a physique swap is straightforward is like saying profitable the 24 Hours of Le Mans is easy. Whereas a lot of individuals have carried out it, it isn’t straightforward. The duty includes an unlimited period of time, effort, analysis, and errors. Reverence’s premise was simple, but the execution was much more complicated. Integrating Dodge’s most iconic physique styling with considered one of its best-performing automobiles of all time was no straightforward feat, however judging by the response up to now, it’s protected to say the workforce at CP&P pulled it off.

Performance of the principally inventory powerplant was improved a bit with a 2.85-inch Metco pulley, 10-percent ATI Tremendous Damper, and stainless-steel Kooks Hellcat long-tube 2-inch headers and Three-inch twin exhaust.

2016 Hellcat Challenger
Weight four,449 lbs
Wheelbase 116.2 in
Outdoors size 197.5 in
Outdoors width 75.7 in
General peak 55.7 in

1969 Dodge Charger
Wheelbase 117 in
Weight Three,100–Three,682 lbs
Outdoors size 208 in
Outdoors width 76.7 in
Outdoors peak 53.2 in

The actual black chrome on the bumpers and fuel cap give the automotive a stealthy look. Chroming was carried out by Ogden Chrome in Ogden, Utah.

Complete Value

Tasks like this are costly, particularly when a firm’s advertising finances is invested in a single construct. Though it wasn’t a low cost construct, the CP&P staff used its junkyard information to avoid wasting dough.

Right here is the 2016 Hellcat Challenger with the highest of the physique being eliminated.

1969 Charger Shell
Value bought: $19,000
Estimated elements bought: $7,000
The automotive got here with a number of engines, units of bodywork, and spare elements. Because the Hellcat was to donate its internal construction, a giant a part of the 1969 Charger wasn’t wanted.

This was the second the 1969 physique got here to relaxation on the Hellcat chassis. From this level, the staff labored extensively to get the general look proper, transforming the wheelwells, peak, rockers, and general stance.

2016 Challenger Hellcat Shell
Bought worth: $four,000
Estimated elements bought: $Three,800
The Challenger was a theft-recovery automotive from Houston, the place thieves stole the drivetrain, suspension, brakes, and wheels, leaving solely the unibody construction, A/C vents, and miscellaneous items.

The group constructed metal sections that mimic the form of the Hellcat bumper however act as fender extensions. All that is still of the unique Hellcat decrease bumper is a portion of the centersection.

2016 Charger Hellcat Drivetrain/Automotive
Bought worth: $25,000
Estimated elements bought: $5,500
This specific car was used for its drivetrain, nevertheless it wasn’t full; many gadgets have been eliminated for use in a police investigation.

Complete value invested: $45,000
Complete value of elements bought: $16,300