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'69 Charger Hellcat Swap Is a Time Warp We Want to Live In

The younger muscle car-oriented among all of us probably remember when David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan of Roadkill resurrected a classic Dodge Charger. They then fitted it with a 707-horsepower Hellcat HEMI engine, one of the very first restomods built to do so. The General Mayhem, as it was known, was completed a staggering seven years ago. Now, it seems someone's come along and done the same thing to the iconic 1969 model year.
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This time they did it correctly, with nowhere near as many breakdowns and oil leaks that look like a crime scene. American Hotrods and Muscle Cars of Phoenix, Arizona, was responsible for this frankly astonishingly clean 1969 Charger. It is complete with the same Hellcat motor that made General Mayhem a legend online.

Unlike the General Mayhem, AH & M's build had no expense spared. There's no richly patinaed bare metal or decades-old beer bottles floating around inside like there was in the Mayhem at first. Just exquisitely polished black paint, shiny chrome, and 700-plus, all-American stallions to throw around.

Another way this build differentiates itself from Youtube rush-jobs is the suspension. Gone is the tired, mundane setup the car came with. In its place is a sport-tuned, front-end setup from Reily Motorsports. A nine-inch rear end under a triangulated four-bar rear suspension takes care of the back half, and the car sits on Ridetech adjustable coilovers at all four corners with Willwood disk brakes to match. The wheels are E-T Classic V 18-ich wheels with Nitto summer tires.

We loved the General Mayhem because we loved the absurdity of pulling a clapped-out old Charger shell and making it run and drive with the latest Mopar screamer in a fashion conducive to entertaining video content. AH & M's build is the polar opposite, and there's no understating just how much time and TLC a custom car with this much performance requires.

When you aren't on a time crunch, there's time to tend to the finer details of a custom car. Like the superb condition of the engine bay, something that looked throw together on the Mayhem but looks wicked in this case. The car's polished exhaust system is also a fair bit more sophisticated than the straight pipes the Mayhem sported. The T56 six-speed manual transmission sits happily between the two sets of exhaust pipes.

Moving to the interior, it looks almost identical to how it did back in 1969, with nicely polished wood, vinyl, and metal making the entirety of visible surfaces. In the General Mayhem, Freiburger and Finnegan managed to fit some seats and a flat sheet of aluminum for the dashboard.

So, then, seven years since vintage Hellcat Charger swaps became possible makes for a lot of improvement, wouldn't you say? And that's not even close to the only build this Arizona-based custom shop lays claim to. Go check out their web page if you want to see more.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.


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