Roadside Attractions – Dodge Challenger 392with an unexpected surprise

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This past weekend, while returning from a vintage VW show, I decided to make a pit stop at my favorite Fivebucks, where my wife is a barista extraordinaire. Ever since they came out with the peach syrup, a big cup full of ice cold sweet tea is never more than one or two intersections away (and sometimes free). That’s not why I’m writing, though. The reason I’m writing is because, while strolling across the parking lot to fetch my tea, a black & gold car caught my eye and didn’t let go. It was one of those times where I did a real double take, because I couldn’t believe my eyes at first. I had to stop and get a better look.

Check it out for yourself.

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It turns out the owner and his wife know my wife the barista extraordinaire, and were also on their way in for a refreshing drink. I introduced myself, told him about the Hooniverse (just doing my job), and asked if he would mind letting me get a few pictures. He said sure and did me one better – he put the top up, latched it, and let me get a picture of it in both configurations. Nice guy!

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Here he is applying the latches on the drop top. He explained to me that he sent the Challenger to a guy in California who does convertible, er, conversions. Using my expert research skills, I was able to deduce that there were approximately 100 third-generation convertible Challengers built by Chrysler, but none like this. The guy who did the work manages to fit all the moving parts behind the seats while leaving the rear quarter windows in working condition.

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Crappy, blurry picture. I wanted to show you the top of the windshield, and that 6-speed manual.

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Here’s a decent look at the top folded down, without the cover. You can see that it all fits without altering the interior, except for the front seat belts.

I like running across unusual cars like this, and I like it even more when I can talk to the owner and get a better feel for the car. I hope you like it, too. Let us know what you think in the comments.

[Photos Copyright 2013 Hooniverse/Marcal Eilenstein]

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15 responses to “Roadside Attractions – Dodge Challenger 392with an unexpected surprise”

  1. longrooffan Avatar

    Getting an owner to open up about his/her ride is what makes this hobby most enjoyable for me.
    Having said that, did I send you my old image taker by mistake?

    1. MVEilenstein Avatar

      I paid good money for this phone, and I ruin a good shot with a shaky hand!

  2. Scandinavian Flick ★ Avatar

    I think they are missing out by not making a production version of this. Like the current Camaro, I think it looks better topless. This looks like a really well done conversion.

    1. MVEilenstein Avatar

      I agree. The few that did get made were pre-bankruptcy, so they're kind of dead in the water.

    2. JayP2112 Avatar

      And caniballize sales from the 200 'vert??

  3. JayP2112 Avatar

    + 1000 internets for the manual trans
    – 150 for the wheels
    Still, an awesome car.

  4. Lotte Avatar

    They had to make workable rear quarter windows; they are permanently closed in stock form.
    With that said, I wonder if that shop can do a pillarless hardtop conversion…

  5. scoudude Avatar

    It does look good with the top down. Even with the top up it looks good, many times the aftermarket conversions don't look quite right with the top up.

  6. James Avatar

    From the (admittedly iffy) pictures this looks just like how Dodge would've made it – very nice conversion, no weird basket handle or huge tonneau stack etc.
    I've always flipped out seeing convertible versions of cars that weren't factory. There are two (2!!) different drop-top Fieros I see around my town from time to time, and it's a trip.

  7. gomerpig Avatar

    The current generation of the Challenger is my favorite Chrysler product in decades and this looks to be an excellent modification. Having said that, I 'd like to trim some of the bulk from the rear quarters to mimic the svelte of the 1st gen Challengers more closely, particularly in a production convertible.
    <img src="http://www.carinsurancecomparison.com/Images/dodge-challenger.jpg&quot; width="600">
    <img src="http://images.thecarconnection.com/lrg/sergio-marchionnes-2011-dodge-challenger-srt8-392_100421689_l.jpg&quot; width="600">

  8. jasonlkn Avatar

    It's not built in L.A. or by Dodge, although apparently commissioned (and in part paid for) by Dodge for SEMA 2008 … it's built by DropTop Customs in Florida.
    Here's a pic of mine.
    <img src="https://qph.is.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-5b0d05a662d29654d3268938e1c40be8"&gt;

    1. Jeff Moran Avatar

      Thank You Jason for clarification. As the owner of Drop Top Customs I appreciate when our customers care enough to make sure credit is given where it is do.
      Glad to hear you are enjoying your convertible Challenger.

  9. FW Parker Avatar

    The SEMA show in Vegas the year they were 1st sold had almost a dozen convertibles in a rainbow of colors (including purple, orange, yellow, etc)on display in the parking lot outside of the main Expo Hall…Looked great and well done

    1. Jeff Moran Avatar

      Thank you for remembering our circle of Challenger Convertibles at SEMA. That is one of the photos on our web site http://www.droptopcustoms.com .I have to give credit to my friend Ralph Gilles at Chrysler though, as he was instrumental in the design aesthetics.

  10. Rod Avatar

    SWEET! Just a couple of small complaints:
    Personally, I don' t care for the stripes.
    Whatever happened to the way cool rallye wheels that used to be available on Dodge and Plymouth sports cars?

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