Ford, Dodge, and Chevy all produce very limited turn-key race cars for use in NHRA and National Muscle Car drag racing sportsman classes. Dodge’s Challenger Drag Pak has been produced about every other year since 2009. Most of them have been Hemi-powered of varied displacement. But in 2011 Dodge offered the Challenger Drag Pak with a V10 Viper engine. It was a nine-second quarter-mile crazy fast freak right out of the box.
It was the first and only over-500 cubic inch factory-built drag car
With 8.4-liters of V10 from the Viper, it was mated to a two-speed automatic transmission. A few prototypes got the six-speed manual transmission. But these never left Fiat Chrysler. It was the first and only over-500 cubic inch factory-built drag car ever built. The advertised horsepower was 650, but we don’t know whether that was accurate or a sandbag number.
Priced at $85,512, these were brutal machines, and brutally quick. As with other Drag Pak models, the windshield wiper assembly was removed, as was the HVAC system, rear seats, and power steering. Lightweight polycarbonate windows replaced glass windows, and the small fuel cell was housed in the trunk. The gas door on the quarter panel was bolted shut. Weight was reduced to 3,250 lbs eliminating 1,000 lbs based on a Hellcat-powered Challenger.
Options were very limited. A Competition Package got you an eight-point roll cage, window screen, and six-point safety harness for an additional $7,950. A Mopar body wrap could be had for $950. And you could only get it in white unless you opted for the $6,800 that a factory paint color cost.
Only about 70 Viper Challengers were made and only this one year
These stripped-down haulers saw nine-second quarter miles and 150 mph easily. Only about 70 were made and only this one year. Future Drag Pak Challengers got either a naturally-aspirated 426 ci Hemi V8, or a supercharged 354 ci Hemi V8.
Dodge made the application to buy one of these Viper Challengers extensive to ward off collectors. It wanted these in competition and, of course, not on the street. We know of a couple of COPO Camaros built under a similar Chevy program that has been licensed for the street. They’re a novelty for sure, but it is a sketchy deal to try and pull off.