Foose Resurrects Original Dodge Challenger


DALLAS — Chip Foose, of Overhaulin' TV fame, is joining forces again with Texas-based Unique Performance to update another vintage muscle car: this time the 1970-'71 Dodge Challenger.

Their timing couldn't be better. Dodge unveiled a latter-day Challenger concept at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit that draws heavily on the original 1970 model for styling inspiration. Industry sources say the company has tentative plans to build a production version of the car, using Dodge Charger/Chrysler 300 underpinnings, in 2008

The latest Foose/Unique collaboration follows their popular update of the classic 1969 Chevrolet Camaro (another muscle car soon to be reborn as an official factory re-creation). The Foose Camaro is completely reworked from top to bottom and upfitted with modern components, including 18-inch BFG tires, Tremec five-speed transmission and a choice of engines, ranging up to a 620-hp 9.3-liter big-block V8. Prices start at $124,000.

The partners aim to follow a similar pattern on the Challenger, modernizing a limited number of original cars with a Unique Performance rear suspension, Wilwood disc brakes, Foose wheels, BFG tires and Tremex gearbox. Engine choices include 5.7-liter and 7.0-liter Hemi V8s.

Unique Performance CEO Douglas Hasty opines: "Working with Chip, our team will turn a handful of these vintage muscle cars into pink-slip-winning, Z06-eating supercars."

No word yet on pricing, but Unique expects to begin production in July.

What this means to you: You won't have to wait for Dodge to ramp up production of the neo-Challenger in two years. All you need is an original 1970 Challenger — and lots of money.

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