Back in the Sixties, drag racing was the place to be. The Beach Boys even sang songs about it. If a car maker hoped to reach the elusive youth market, they had to, in the word of Jan and Dean, "burn up that quarter mile." Out of that came specially-equipped drag strip ready cars, including the Thunderbolt Fairlanes, the COPO Chevrolets and the Super Stock Dodges made famous, not only for its exploits on the track but also by a certain Little Old Lady from Pasadena.
Perhaps you had to be there.
Or here today. Veteran drag racer Dave Thomas, who cut his competition teeth in a 1971 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda, set a new NHRA AA/SA elapsed time and top end speed record in an officially-time test session at Atco Raceway in New Jersey. Thomas, of Westchester, Pa., went 143.90 mph in a 9.43-second pass. Thomas had taken possession of the car only two weeks earlier.
The Dodge Mopar Challenger V-10 Drag Pack is a specially-prepared not-legal-for-road-use Dodge Challenger powered by a Dodge Viper V-10 engine. The engine is rated at 640 hp as set up for the Viper ACR-X race cars, though no specific claims are made for the Drag Pack V-10.
The Mopar Challenger V-10 Drag Pack is more than a big motor however. It comes straight from the dealer with competition wheels and tires, a Mopar solid rear axle with a performance gear ratio, a two-speed drag race transmission with integrated roll control, a complete competition fuel system with fuel cell and a complete interior with gauge package, finished in Stock Eliminator and Super Stock configuration.
Thomas's record came after Frank Teuton Jr. gave the Mopar V-10 Drag Pack its competition at the 2011 NHRA Gatornationals less than a month ago. His brother Joseph Teuton snapped up the V-10 Drag Pack's first win in AA/SA at the JEGS Cajun SPORTnationals on March 18.
Thomas had made only eight passes before his record run. "It's a spectacular car," Thomas was quoted in a press release. "We basically added weight bars to make minimum weight, and that was it....It's a turn-key operation."
Dodge isn't the only one to build a modern drag race special. Ford has built several iterations of the race-prepped Mustang CobraJet.
But as Pietro Gorlier, Mopar president and CEO said, "Mopar is the only source for racers who want to purchase a factory-built, V-10-powered race-ready package car." And that would be the Dodge Mopar Challenger V-10 Drag Pack.