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From Neglect to Glory: The Revival Journey of Dodge ‘Charger’

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TEXT: 近藤浩之(KONDO Hiroyuki)  PHOTO: 近藤浩之(KONDO Hiroyuki)

The engine and most other parts related to driving are customized

Mr Hoshino ran over a car that looked beautiful but was in a sense a misfit. To make it race-ready specs, he decided to make some major modifications. Firstly, he was given a 440cui (7210cc) engine, which was completely overhauled and a stroker kit was installed to increase the displacement to 512cui.

The suspension was set up with a Hotchkiss anti-roll bar, torsion bar, leaf, and Bilstein shocks. An original muffler was built with long tube headers and a straight pipe under the belly, beyond which the exhaust flows into the silencer system by opening and closing the valves. The straight pipe under the belly is used for drag racing, while the exhaust is routed to the silencer system for more torque during lap races. In addition, the brakes and the seat, which used to be a bench type, have been changed to a semi-bucket type, among other modifications.

“The engine is the same, but the legs are much stronger, and to be honest, it’s even faster in the corners than the current Challenger. I feel like I’m driving it directly, so it’s a lot of fun. I’m going to do the transmission and diff after this, but to be honest I’m having a hard time deciding. I do drag and lap racing, but if I’m thinking about drag, I’ll get better times with the automatic transmission, but if I’m thinking about lap racing, I’ll go with the manual transmission. …… I’m also thinking about getting a multilink for the legs.”

Surprisingly, it also works well for camping

So it’s a pretty motivated Charger, but why did you attend a camping car show event in this car (along with his wife’s Challenger)?

“I’ve been camping for a long time, but then it boomed and I couldn’t get a campsite, so I kind of got away from it, but I liked the idea of this kind of show camping. The Dodge B-body has a very spacious boot, so to be honest, I can fit all of today’s luggage in there.”

translated by DeepL