How Alex Taylor’s Dodge Challenger Lost 500 Pounds

Marc UrbanoAutomobile and Driver

From the November 2021 concern of Car or truck and Driver.

Alex Taylor started out drag racing at 16. Now 24, she grew up all around cars and trucks at her parents’ sizzling-rod store in Booneville, Arkansas, and nonetheless works by using it as a house base for her automotive YouTube channel, Driving with Alex Taylor. Whilst the store specializes in fast drag vehicles with a common look—like her dad’s ’55 Chevy gasser and her 1968 Camaro—the Taylors are content to take on the undertaking of making any automobile faster. They received a probability to test their skills on a fashionable canvas when Dodge invited Taylor to take part in a Challenger make-off competition. Dodge provided opponents with a bone-stock Challenger or Charger Hellcat to modify as they delighted. The winner would be past builder standing just after a road-design drag matchup. The rules: stock-showing up overall body, stock engine block, and stock-showing up 2.7-liter supercharger housing. Taylor went for the Lotus method, stripping everything down and earning it as gentle as probable. The end result was a targeted make with basic electronics and major sticky tires, trimmed as shut to kitten body weight as a significant cat can get. And yeah, she received.

“Far more ability was the very last detail on our to-do checklist,” Taylor claims. “We wanted to strike excess weight, simply because Hellcats are significant. We just unbolted everything that could be unbolted and commenced slicing out what couldn’t.”

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Taylor’s large-system Challenger came to the store with the rear seat and a several other pieces by now taken out, giving it a setting up body weight under the stock 4500 pounds.

Setting up bodyweight: 4300
End bodyweight:


The Taylors slice out all the structure inside the fenders, bumpers, and trunk. “It can be just Challenger shell now,” states Taylor.

Rolling (Un)inventory

Eleven-by-20-inch wheels are now 15-by-15s in the again, wrapped in Hoosier Quicktime Professional DOT drag tires. Up front, the stock brakes had been changed with compact discs, and protected with skinny front­runner wheels and tires, for a bodyweight price savings of 70 lbs for each aspect.


All the glass in the Challenger is stock, whilst following the 3rd time Taylor broke the rear window, she may perhaps have regretted not changing it all with Lexan.


The impartial rear suspension was reduce out and replaced with a drag-racing four-backlink live axle. Shh, it really is a Ford 9-inch.


The transmission tunnel was modified to match a Turbo 400 3-speed as a substitute of the stock ZF eight-velocity. The driveshaft was replaced to in shape the new trans and rear conclusion.


What seats? A Momo race seat for the driver. The passenger’s is now a nitrous bottle.


All the in-sprint factors, composition, and wiring—sayonara. Motor administration is handled by a Holley stand-by yourself laptop or computer. Just a person harness weighed almost 100 kilos.


No additional stereo controls on the steering wheel, and really don’t even request about cruise manage. The stock steering column and wheel are outta here.


“Hellcats are created for drag or road racing,” Taylor states. “We just wished to drag-race.” The front suspension was modified and simplified to concentration on a straight-line solution, and the digital power steering was changed with a manual rack.

Engine Bay

Under the hood, the supporters and intercooler are gonzo. Taylor fitted a new water-to-air intercooler in the back for improved fat distribution. Apart from the radiator, “the only thing left up front is the motor, and we set that again four inches in the engine bay,” Taylor says.

“We dropped around 1000 lbs .. It was down to about 3200, but then we extra 500 pounds again to the rear to get a 50/50 fat distribution so we could start it.” —Alex Taylor, Hellcat Food plan Guru

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