Digestible Collectible: 2014 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Off-Road

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn

This isn’t the first SRT product to wear the Digestible Collectible title, but it is certainly the oddest. Ever since our news editor Aaron Cole sent this to me earlier this week, I’ve been looking over the ad in bewilderment.

Perhaps that’s the point. I can’t see any other reason why one would take a limited-production, low-slung, high-powered, long-wheelbase pony car and lift it a couple inches other than to make people point and stare. It certainly isn’t going to be of any use off-road beyond well-groomed trails.

To top things off, this 2014 Dodge Challenger SRT8 has been fitted with an Edelbrock supercharger, making this a proto-Hellcat.

A proto-Hellcat with light truck off-road tires.

I just don’t get it. This used, modified Chally is priced at $59,000. I can walk into a dealer and buy a new SRT 392 for around ten thousand less. (Well, I can’t. Someone without orthodontist bills can.) In theory, a Hellcat can be had for around $65,000.

I can’t seem to find any details on the lift kit used. The rather poor undercarriage photos show some red-painted control arms, but I haven’t been underneath a Challenger in a few years, and those were all salt-crusted. The metal fenders have been cut for clearance, leaving the inner fender liners as a hokey flare to cover the tires.

From what I can tell, someone spent a bunch of money and made their car worse. The lifted handling will be sloppy, made bad by the big tread blocks on the off-road tires. The road noise will be awful as well. Someone had a dream, and was lucky enough to get a used car dealer to bail him out by paying too much.

Bewildered is the only word that fits this thing. More power to whomever decides to buy it.

Chris Tonn
Chris Tonn

Some enthusiasts say they were born with gasoline in their veins. Chris Tonn, on the other hand, had rust flakes in his eyes nearly since birth. Living in salty Ohio and being hopelessly addicted to vintage British and Japanese steel will do that to you. His work has appeared in eBay Motors, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars, Reader's Digest, AutoGuide, Family Handyman, and Jalopnik. He is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, and he's currently looking for the safety glasses he just set down somewhere.

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6 of 22 comments
  • Danio3834 Danio3834 on Nov 27, 2015

    If you look closely at the red suspension components, you can see the steering knuckle was cut and re-welded to extend it. Welding cast suspension components is generally frowned upon.

    • See 1 previous
    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Nov 28, 2015

      Sheesh, I think you're right. If that's what they've done, it's just plain stupid.

  • Signal11 Signal11 on Nov 27, 2015

    Well on it's way to being shiny and chrome.

  • RHD RHD on Nov 28, 2015

    It should be about forty five thousand less than the asking price, since it has been so badly damaged, and has probably been beat like a stubborn mule over terrain it was never meant to go on.

  • Pwrwrench Pwrwrench on Jan 02, 2016

    There are lots of racer replicas being made, from Pro-Rally and off-road to track. Track replicas are called "sports cars". Not my place to say much about someone's idea of excitement. BTW steering knuckles/spindles are forged not cast. If any car or truck has cast ones I don't want to even sit in it when it's stopped. Back before there were special made off-road suspension parts, modding the stock stuff, usually involving welding, was SOP. And most off-road racers these days have automatic trans, some setup for manual shift. Unless the rules call for clutch and gears. Most off-road race 'cars' were a car body on a truck (highly modified) chassis. http://www.tracksidephoto.com/gallery/index.php?module=media&pId=102&id=806044&category=gallery/1980s/1980/1980Mint%20400/Mint%20Trucks%20and%20Sedans&start=210/