With the International Motor Show taking place this week, leaked photos and debuts from Frankfurt are common place. Here is the first of 2009 SEMA Show photos to be released. LuxuryAutoDirect.com is proud to be the first to get our hands on the images of the “Drop-Top Revenge” R/T Challenger by Droptop Customs (A division of Convertible Builders, LLC) that will make its debut at the 2009 SEMA Show. If it is anything like its 2008 sister car which won the Chrysler Design Excellence Award, it will be the Crown Jewel of the 2009 SEMA Show taking place in November at the Las Vegas Convention Center .
2009 represents a year of financial turmoil that spread like a wild fire across the globe. Chrysler, not unlike many other organizations was not immune to the chaos and soon joined GM as both giants were ushered by our Congress into bankruptcy. With a change of leadership and forced intervention by the US Government, Chrysler reorganized and quickly moved out of bankruptcy. Those faithfully following the recently reintroduced Challenger saw rumors of introducing a 2009 convertible crushed and the masses watched intently for signs of Dodge pulling out of further production and ending what will likely be this generation’s last great pony car war. Instead, America and the rest of the world got a glimpse of better times and witnessed the resurrection of a Mopar icon!!
Special ordered from the Brampton factory by Chrysler of Cortland, N.Y, Drop Top Revenge represents 1 of only 450, Deep Water Blue Pearl, 2009 Challengers built with a 6 speed manual Tremac transmission. The basic design that comprised the early Project N96 concept actually occurred months before the order was placed.
Using scrap paper during hospital visits and later, the time associated with the many sleepless nights that followed a life threatening motorcycle accident; from the Shaker Hood and the custom graphics, to the Hurst Shifter the intent up to this point was to bring back the Classic look of a 1970 Dodge Challenger, with an eye for new and modern electronic technology.
As a S.E.M.A. attendee for numerous years, the research associated with building Project N96 brought forth a certain show stopping car that won the Chrysler Design Excellence Award and had become the talk of the 2008 show. It was a Snake Green Creation that the Chrysler Corporation commissioned to be built by a company called Coach Builders Limited (now called Drop Top Customs) A company who has the reputation of being the oldest convertible conversion company that specializes in OEM look, fit, and finish. This car was also featured in the February/March 2009 issue of Luxury Auto Direct Magazine.
What happened to this award winning show machine? After S.E.M.A. this car was quietly scrapped by the Chrysler Corporation!
And so the final piece of the build fell in place…to cut a perfectly good roof from the car…and re-create the legendary look of the Dodge Challenger Convertible! The factory order was changed….the car was re-routed to Gainesville Florida instead of to his hometown dealership in Cortland. Having flown down to Gainesville to witness the first “cut”, here this build took its second and final turn! Hidden in the corner of the shop, under cover and away from prying eyes…the wheels! The wheels that were from the Original Drop Top Convertible of the 2008 S.E.M.A. show car. They sat on a pallet. You see, Chrysler did not own the wheels…so they were saved from the crusher!
It was decided then, between the owner and the builder, that this was to be more than a convertible, this would become a tribute to a car whose life ended just as it had begun to live.
The Foose Challenger Classic “shoes” and the addition of Snake Skin Green highlights as well as the custom Katzskin Leather Seats are a tribute to the “Big Brother” of this little Hemi that there is nothing little about.
The addition of Green Halo effect lighting creates an effect that catches onlookers by surprise. As though it stirs from within.
As though something lives within it. Perhaps the spirit of Drop Top has been re-awakened.
This vehicle represents all muscle car enthusiasts who are aware of the story of Drop Top, and it fills their need for…..REVENGE!
Photography and Graphics by Eyespike Design
BARRETT-JACKSON & SHELBY AUTOS TO AUCTION THE 800 HP PRUDHOMME EDITION GT500 SUPER SNAKE CONCEPT CAR
Two American racing legends, Carroll Shelby and Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, will be on stage when Barrett-Jackson Auction Company and Shelby Automobiles, a wholly owned subsidiary of Carroll Shelby International Inc. (CSBI.PK), sell the original concept car for the Prudhomme Edition Super Snake Shelby GT500 Mustang on Oct. 9, 2009. The rare Shelby concept car will be sold at No Reserve during Barrett-Jackson’s second annual Las Vegas Collector Car Auction, taking place Oct. 7-10, at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
“Concept cars and prototypes are sought by collectors because they represent a historical milestone and so few are offered to the public,” said Barrett-Jackson Chairman/CEO Craig Jackson. “Barrett-Jackson has become the premier venue for these types of vehicles. This is the first time that Shelby Autos has sold one of its concept cars at auction and we’re pleased that Carroll and Don plan to be on stage for such an important occasion.”
Racing legends Carroll Shelby and Don Prudhomme joined forces to build the ultimate street legal dragster. Shelby is the only man to ever win the 24 hours of Le Mans as a driver, team owner and manufacturer and was twice named “Sports Car Illustrated’s” Driver of the Year. Prudhomme’s successful racing career included winning the NHRA funny car championship four times and he was the first funny car driver to exceed 250 mph.
“Don Prudhomme is one fast son of a gun who knows how to burn up the quarter mile,” stated Carroll Shelby. “In 1968, he drove a Shelby Super Snake dragster in NHRA for me. Last year, we decided to build a car together for grassroots racers who want a Shelby for the drags. This is the concept for that program and it’s a very fast car.”
Shelby Automobiles announced its limited edition Prudhomme Edition Super Snake package for the GT500 Mustang at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, Calif., earlier this year.
“In the 1960s, Shelbys ruled the road courses and terrorized the drag strip,” noted Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “This car was built in the same spirit as the Cobra ‘Dragon Snake’ that made Shelby a feared name on the quarter mile. The Prudhomme Edition concept is a real piece of history and a very exclusive car.”
The Prudhomme Edition Super Snake is powered by a 5.4-liter, supercharged engine that produces 800 hp on race fuel or 750 hp on 93 octane pump gas. Only 100 total Prudhomme Super Snake post-title packages are being offered by Shelby Autos to current GT500 owners. The package features:
· A Kenne Belle supercharger and modified air intake sticking out of the hood in the tilt front end
· Five-point impact safety harness and roll bar
· Borla side exhaust system
· A front and rear adjustable BMR racing suspension and drag tires
· Lower side rockers
“I’ve really enjoyed working with Carroll and the Shelby Autos team on this program,” added Prudhomme. “When I was a kid, we’d drive our cars to the drag strip, race them and drive back home. We designed this car to do the same thing, and do it very, very well.”
According to Shelby Autos president Amy Boylan, “This Shelby is truly special. While most concept cars can’t be driven, this one is street legal and can be enjoyed on the road. That makes it a rare Shelby and concept vehicle.”
In addition to the live auction, attendees can review the impressive vehicles for sale, enjoy exhibitors offering an array of merchandise and play the Barrett-Jackson slot machines for a chance to win a new car. For those who can’t attend, SPEED will provide live, high-definition TV coverage of all auction days.