Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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A "Hellcrate" Transplant into a '71 Charger R/T Delivers Pressurized Performance

Posted August 20, 2020 12:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: dodge charger restoration

When it comes to surprisingly rare muscle cars, the 1971 Charger R/T doesn't always come to mind, but only 3,118 were built. For comparison, Ford built just about 36,500 Mustang Mach 1 models that year. So, yeah, the '71 Charger R/T represents a thin slice of the Mopar muscle pie—and only 30 of them were factory sunroof cars. Only 30. Alberta collector and dealer Peter Swainson owns four of them, including one that was originally Tawny Gold and had been brought to Canada from California, but sat for years when the previous owner failed to pull the trigger on the restoration.

Peter had his own grand plans for the car, but there were a couple of important details that held it back.

"Well, it didn't have a build sheet and the original engine and transmission were long gone," he says. "It was still a very unique car, but what to do with it was a dilemma."

The original vision was to nestle a modern 392 "Scat Pack" crate engine in the rare B-body. It progressed as far as buying the engine and a set of swap headers, but Peter's other projects took precedence and the Charger collected dust in the corner until a couple of years ago when it leaped to the top of the project list.

The project's delay had an unanticipated, but fortuitous, consequence: Mopar Performance released the supercharged, 707-horsepower Hellcat crate engine package known as the "Hellcrate."


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