Supercharged 2008 Challenger Comes With Carbon Flames & Caveats

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2008 Challenger SRT

First-year Challenger has some cool upgrades but it’s likely lived a pretty hard life.

Few cars were as hotly anticipated as the Dodge Challenger. When the production version finally arrived for the 2008 model year, it was a relief to see that it closely matched the sensational, retro-styled concept car.

The lucky previous owner of this Challenger we ran across on Classic Cars was one of the first to get their hands on one after waiting patiently for their pre-order to be fulfilled. Their patience was rewarded, as this early-production model features a dash plaque commemorating its status as one of the first new Challengers.

While the 5.7-liter Hemi was enough to keep new Challenger owners satisfied in those days, it wasn’t long before owners wanted something more to keep up with their neighborhood Mustangs and Camaros. While we have the Hellcat and Demon as the Mopar standard-bearers now, things were quite different a decade ago.

 2008 Challenger SRT

The original owner of this car paid substantial money to upgrade to a supercharged 6.1-liter Hemi that produced more than 600 stampeding horses. That’s more than enough to satisfy most any Challenger owner, and will give just about anything on the street a run for its money.

Not satisfied with just making their Challenger faster than stock, the previous owner also opted to personalize their pony car. That meant custom paint that retained the stock orange color while adding carbon fiber accents and realistic flames.

2008 Challenger SRT

Now, this early Challenger is due to hit the auction block, but we can’t help but notice a couple of glaring issues. First off, the fitment of the left front fender to the front bumper gives us pause, and there’s clear damage to the right front fender. They’re pretty noticeable issues, and ones you’d think would be fixed before auction to help the car bring top dollar.

We also can’t help but feel that the awesome paint job is let down by a cheap, ugly set of aftermarket wheels. With all of the money spent on the engine and on paint, this wheel and tire combo cuts the wrong sort of corners. Perhaps the next owner can fix these issues and have a fun car now, and a future collectable later.

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Longtime motorcyclist and automotive journalist Cam Vanderhorst is a regular contributor to Harley-Davidson Forums, Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Corvette Forum and MB World, among others.

When he's not busy working on his Harley-Davidson bike, the vastly experienced writer has covered an array of features, reviews, how-tos, op-eds and news stories for Internet Brands' Auto Group and is also a co-founder and co-host of the popular podcast Cammed & Tubbed.

Check him out on Instagram at: Camvanderhorst.

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