This original custom car started to be a modern engine and transmission swap into a 69 Plymouth Roadrunner. But the neighbor had a Dodge Challenger, and I measured the width and wheelbase, and all the measurements came up very close. So rather than rebuilding a 69 Roadrunner suspension, interior, radiator supports and A/C remount, the best alternative was to cut the body off a newer Challenger and cut the undercarriage of 69 Roadrunner. With that in mind I purchased a 2019 Hellcat Red Eye that was totaled with 5K miles on it and a 1969 Roadrunner rolling chassis, no engine, no interior, and lots of rust issues. Once I cut the body off the Challenger and could get exact measurements, I determined that the Challenger was 1/4 inch narrower than the 69 Roadrunner at the rocker. The subframe of the Roadrunner was the exact same width as the subframe of the Challenger.

The 2019 Hell Runner is what I renamed it has a 797 HP engine, super charged, Hellcat Red Eye with an 8-speed automatic transmission and all the modern conveniences inside such as climate control, backup camera, Sirius radio, and all the interior upholstery and uses the red key fob to open and close the doors with remote start. It also has factory bass speakers in the trunk, Challenger headlights with fresh air intake, shaved bumpers so you do not see any bumper bolts. The current exterior color is Go Mango Orange with a clear crystal in the 5 clear coats with black interior and orange houndstooth inserts in the seats with.

I sized down the rims and tires to 18 inch from 20 inch to give it more of a classic look. The gas tank is under the back seat and that is factory for the Challenger, so I had to mount the gas fill on top of the fender which I used a hidden cap so as not ruin the body lines of the Roadrunner. With the modern computer in the car, you can use track mode, sport mode and ECO mode which you can set your cruise at 85 MPH, and I get 24 miles per gallon. Car started out with 5K miles on it and I have 9K miles now and I have driven these 4K miles, without any issues.

– Melvin Deines

Photos by

Rod Loveless