As part of Mopar’s 75th anniversary celebration and the 2012 edition of the SEMA Show, Mopar and the Street and Racing Technology (SRT) team collaborated with comedian Jeff Dunham and his crew from Camarillo, Calif.-based Palmer’s Customs to create a custom 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8.
The modern-day hot rod, dubbed “Project UltraViolet,” was unveiled at the SEMA Show. The vehicle features a new Mopar 426 crate engine offering 515 hp and 490 foot-pounds of torque, and engine tuning capacity and calibrations performed by Martinsville, Va.-based Arrington Engines, according to a press release from the participating builders.
Dunham, a Comedy Central comedian and car enthusiast, collaborated with Alan Palmer, Palmer’s Customs owner, and Mark Trostle, head of SRT, Mopar and Motorsports Design for Chrysler Group, to transform a manual transmission Dodge Challenger SRT8. The project takes its name from the two-tone paint scheme chosen for the Dodge Challenger that combines a ultra-violet body color with a black upper half.
“Alan and his guys do some of the best work my car buddies and I have ever seen,” Dunham said. “That’s why I chose them for this job. Everything from absolutely perfect body lines, to custom-built aluminum panels and parts, to paint work that’s unmatched, this is no ‘looks great from 10 feet away’ custom job. And believe me, the first rock chip I get is going to make me weep.”
According to the press release, the vehicle was lowered one inch and equipped with 22-inch HRE brand performance wheels sporting a matte and semi-gloss black finish. The rear end is wider with larger, more dramatic wheels flares that were added to both front and rear to create a muscular, more sinister appearance.
Numerous handmade parts and pieces added to the Challenger include a new rear diffuser, dive-planes, new front splitter, all-new rocker panels, new lower-rear spoilers, new deck-lid spoiler and custom aluminum side sills with the exhaust exiting in front of the rear wheels.
The bumpers were modified to flow with newly designed fenders. The team also added a new slightly larger grille, created with a water-jet cut out of 0.25-inch plate 441 aluminum. Under the hood, the engine is tricked out with “cherry on top” ornamental valve covers molded with “UltraViolet” to colorfully blend the entire scheme of the car together. All of these new elements create an old-school muscle car look and contribute to the machine’s aggressive design.
In addition, handcrafted, full-grain Nappa leather with color-keyed accent and computer-controlled custom embroidery panels decorate the interior. The inside of the vehicle also features custom-built one-offs supplied by Lear, a tuned exhaust with stainless steel tips customized by Palmer and a Hurst brand short-throw shifter.
“Project UltraViolet,” a three-part webisode series that documents the collaborative effort and transformation of the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8, is available at www.youtube.com/jeffdunham on Dunham’s YouTube channel.