Dodge Viper with Hellcat power and Challenger body headed to SEMA

The SEMA 2020 program is still scheduled for early November despite the ongoing pandemic. One of the versions to debut at the Las Vegas Aftermarket is a mix of Mopar’s greatest hits.

Built by Wisconsin companies Hemi Autoworks and Ellsworth Racing (and first seen by Motor1), “Highway Star” has the body of a 1970 Dodge Challenger and the foundations of a Dodge Viper.

Named after a 1972 Deep Purple song, Highway Star is an example of automotive recycling. The Viper chassis was obtained from a fire-damaged car, while the Challenger’s body was heavily rusted and had undergone a failed restoration.
The chassis was lengthened about 13 inches to accommodate the body of the Challenger, which in turn widened 1.5 inches. Allowing room for 19-inch wheels and wider rubber, the fender flares increase the overall width by just under 4.0 inches. Other body modifications include a functional front splitter, a rear spoiler and a rear diffuse.

Mounted under the bulky R / T-style hood is a supercharged 6.2-liter Hellcat V-8. The engine is “mostly from the factory,” according to the car’s builders, but its supercharger was carried by Kong Performance, and FI Interchillers thermal protection spacers were added. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual Viper transmission with a Mantic Clutch triple disc flywheel.

The car has a Viper-based suspension with improved coilovers, as well as reinforced brakes and an improved cooling system.

The interior was bare to make room for a roll cage. Builders added six-point racing harnesses, which are probably a good idea in a Hellcat-powered car with no airbags. Air conditioning was removed to save weight, but Cool It Thermo-Tec thermal and acoustic insulation was added.

Ellsworth Racing insists that Highway Star is not just the decoration of the SEMA booth. The company said its creation is a “true street-driven race car,” and it plans to compete in events across the country. Anyone can guess how they are going to do that with the car sitting a quarter of an inch off the ground.


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