Everyone thinks the best old muscle cars were built right up until about 1971, especially in the Mopar world. However, there is a lot that can be done with later models if you want to get to work. Case in point, the 1974 Dodge Challenger that’s barely recognizable due to its modern-looking front end and restomod upgrades, which include a very unusual V8 engine.
The 1974 Dodge Challenger belongs to the same generation as the famous 1970 Challenger, known for Hemi power and retro design. The wide hips, long hood and short deck remained the same throughout the 5-year production run. However, there were some differences, the most obvious being the front end.
Unpopular design changes began in 1972. Its grille became longer and extends under the chrome shock absorbers. Meanwhile, the four headlights are not integrated into the same black frame as the rest of the front.
But this Restomod fixes that problem so completely that it basically looks like a 2022 front end. The black frame extends all the way to the sides, and LED headlights complete the modern look. Meanwhile, the bumper is shaved off, tucked into the body, and painted red, making it essentially invisible. Combined with the big black chin wing, it’s basically like looking at a modern muscle car… that was built 50 years ago.
Even the hood looks like it came from a Hellcat before the update, minus the vent in the middle. However, that’s simply because the current powerful car is largely modeled on the 1970 version. The rear also sells for a 21st-century look by ditching the chrome and adopting a black frame around the custom taillights.
This unique gem is currently sold on Bring A Trailer of West Chester, Pennsylvania and has a complex story. It was part of Restomod for two years and it ended in 2010. Its current owner bought it in 2017 and added a rear spoiler as well. Bright red paint completes a set of 18-inch 5-spoke wheels with Nitto NT1 tires.
Under the hood is a V8 you’ve never heard of. This is a 408 cubic inch Mopar V8. The 6.7L was built by DJ Performance Shop in Morrisburg, Tennessee. Among its components, we mention the Quick Fuel 750CFM carburetor, Perma-Cool oil cooler, MSD ignition and Edelbrock aluminum water pump. Horsepower was not mentioned, but this is most likely an upgrade to the Chrysler 360 engine that can produce 470-500 horsepower.
As a true model, this kid also has other upgrades, like the Keisler Engineering Stage 3 four-speed automatic, Wilwood universal brakes, and new axles from Moser. The interior also received serious changes, most notably the TMI Pro-Classic front low-back seats and the Lecarra Mark 9 Supreme steering wheel.
If you want more proof that post-1970 muscle cars can be epic, check out this 1973 Plymouth Roadrunner Pro Street built with a supercharger that sticks to the hood.