Here's John Iverson of Iverson Customs, the South Dakota aftermarket company that orchestrated the project, explaining how the car came to be, complete with Ralph Gilles' stamp of approval.
"I contacted some suits at Chrysler to arrange a meeting with the man behind the design of the-the Hellcat, Mr. Ralph Gilles. My son Austen and I met him at a National Auto Dealer Association 20 Group meeting where we presented our idea. We obtained is signature approval for the first conversion to be created. After extensive research, I chose to contact Larry at Drop Top Customs to have my vision become a reality. His passion, knowledge, and experience with Mopars quickly became evident so I knew he was the right man for the project. The first convertible Hellcat was born," Iverson said.
As you'll be able to see in the image gallery below, FCA head designer and former SRT helm man Ralph Gilles has signed a few elements of this Hellcat, such as the battery casing and the engine cover.
We expect this to mean we're dealing with a proper convertible conversion, and while we can't see too much (in this area) in the presentation photos, the extra bracing in the engine compartment is visible.
The roof removal job was handled by DropTop Customs over in Florida, which does have a solid reputation (at least as far as online reviews go), so we expect this SRT machine not to turn into a pretzel when its blown 6.2-liter Hemi is put to work.
Interestingly, the droptop demonic kitty is listed at $139,900, which makes for more than double the Hellcat's MSRP. We understand the work involved in such a project has to be remunerated, but with unofficial sources claiming DropTop Customs will slice your Challenger for $17,000, the price of this one-off (this is how Iverson introduces it) doesn't exactly seem reasonable. Oh, and it also has 555 miles on the clock.
As for how the muscle machine looks with the top up (this is always the tricky part), we'll let the video below do the talking.
Update: If this open-air SRT machine seems expensive, how about a 2016 Challenger Hellcat tuned to 1,000 hp that costs $155,000? It seems we're dealing with a trend in the speculation world - buy early, modify and resell. We have reached out to Ralp Gilles to ask for his opinion on this.