Over at team Mopar, the Dodge Charger is morphing back to its vintage two-door body style with the advent of the next generation, whereas no one really knows what will happen with the Challenger after the 2024 model year. On the other hand, the 2023MY Dodge Challenger and Charger are bowing out with grace – seven 'Last Call' editions culminating in the 1,025-hp Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170. Interestingly, there is also one big absentee from the FoMoCo production roster for the S650 Mustang – the Shelby version.
Currently, there's no Shelby GT350 or Shelby GT500, so if you're a fan, you might have to look elsewhere. For example, the videographer behind the Wheels channel on YouTube is a major fan of Mission Raceway Park (Canada) and The Strip (Las Vegas Motor Speedway), but also of Bandimere Speedway.
The latter is also known in the NHRA as Thunder Mountain because the facility is not kind to atmospheric engines. Located just outside Morrison and Lakewood, Colorado, it opened in 1958 and is currently the host of the Dodge/SRT Mile-High Nationals – so no one is surprised when people appear in Mopars at the track.
That also doesn't mean they lack competition, though. For example, a blue (with black hood) Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat was ready to show its mettle against a 2010–2014 Mustang S-197 II dressed in black with crimson attire and the Shelby GT500 goodies. The thing is, we don't know which model year is involved, as the 2010MY had 540 hp, the 2011-2012MY had 550 hp, and the final two model years (2013-2014) were elevated to a 5.8-liter V8 with 662 horsepower.
If that were the latter case, it would be very close to Dodge's 707-horsepower rating, and that would make this brawl quite enjoyable for everyone, not just Mopar and Blue Oval fans. As far as the looks are concerned, they're both winners from where I'm standing – but of course, there can be only one king of the racetrack. Well, the initial race start showed both making great reaction times, but the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 immediately stuttered and lost the opportunity to come out first past the Christmas tree.
From then on, it was a one-brand affair as the nasty Hellcat gave its dire Shelby rival a beating to remember: 10.08s versus 11.94s at 138 mph versus 122 mph. Unfortunately, the Ford Mustang foe didn't come for seconds, as it would have been great to see how the two fared if one didn't botch the start. Instead, the blue Hellcat was up to snuff with an entirely different kind of opponent – a vintage rival that looked like a nasty restomod. On this occasion, though, the driver again made a judgment error – he barreled down the track a long time before the Christmas tree gave the racers the green light.