Ringbrothers’ Dodge Charger Gets Hellcat V8

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If you know about restomods, you will know about ringbrothers. Jim and Mike Ring have been reinventing classic American muscle for a long time, going beyond the usual fastidious restoration route with custom parts and a more aggressive edge. And also some weird names: see Adrínln (based on De Tomaso Pantera), Defiant! (from a Javelin AMX) and Unkl, a project based on a 1969 Mach 1.

Now the firm has shown off its latest custom build, created for Australian Supercars legend Greg Murphy. Called ‘Captiv’ (old habits die hard in Wisconsin), this 1969 Dodge Charger underwent a 4,000 hour overhaul. A 4,000-hour overhaul with 8,000 miles to go, too, as disassembly began in New Zealand before being shipped across the Pacific to do most of the work.

Where to start? The most notable modification is surely the installation of a new supercharged Hellcat. crate V8 engine, with the full 707 hp it’s famous for, paired with a Tremec six-speed manual transmission. Which is the first such conversion we’ve heard of, truth be told, and it promises an even wilder ride than the eight-speed automatic. And this was already a 53-year-old car with twice the power of the standard…

But you don’t get a reputation like Ringbrothers just by putting newer, more powerful V8s in old cars. The Charger has also been rebuilt by the team as one piece, which should help strengthen the old Dodge against the power it now has to deal with. Additional help comes in the form of a carbon driveshaft, fully adjustable suspension, and six-piston brakes. You wouldn’t expect a four-time Bathurst 1000 winner to get by on just any old hardware, would you? The paint is an exclusive color ‘Pile Up Yellow’ from BASF.

That’s in addition to a “litany” of Ringbrothers billet parts, giving the Charger a contemporary look in places that shouldn’t work ’60s styling, but still works. His latest creation is a 3D printed flyer; It may not be the most beautiful thing in the world, but it blends nicely into the refurbished interior, which also features a digital dash and what appears to be an infotainment screen. Credit where due to Ringbrothers, this all looks like it could have been a factory commissioned restomod. Look at that engine compartment!

Said to have been many years in the making, Murphy’s Charger will soon return home to New Zealand. Jim Ring said of Captiv, “Greg and his team did a phenomenal job before I got here, and it was a pleasure working together on such an amazing build.” Certainly, if Ringbrothers wasn’t known outside of the US before, this is the kind of car that will help spread the word, because it looks amazing. Hopefully there will be a better name for the next project…

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