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How It's Made: Hurst Hemi Dodge Challenger - Click above for a high resolution gallery

At SEMA last year, the legendary shifter company Hurst made huge waves with its Hemi Challenger. We've been following Hurst's progress of the cars ever since, and even got the chance to get behind the wheel of the prototype car for a brief stint. We recently made the trip down to Hurst Performance Vehicles' headquarters in Irvine, CA to see just how stock Challengers are transformed into one of their limited edition muscle cars.

You might think that Hurst would be hard pressed to find customers in today's economy, but we were surprised to see their building overflowing with Challengers. There were completely stock cars that had just been delivered, cars getting superchargers and suspension upgrades, and plenty of complete cars waiting to be delivered to their lucky new owners.

Hurst was kind enough to give us a full tour of the facility, and showed us exactly what goes into making one of their Challengers, whether it's a base Series 2 model or a full blown Series 5 with all the bells and whistles. Follow us on our tour in the gallery below, which includes high-res photographs and detailed descriptions that follow a Hurst Challenger from start to finish.


  • Challengers, both R/T and SRT8 models, arrive at Hurst's facility in Irvine, CA. Customers have to provide the car to be transformed into a Hurst model.
  • Hurst has their own paint facility, where they apply the gold stripes to the car. Each car gets its front bumper, hood, trunk, and rear fascia stripped down and then repainted with the gold stripe.
  • Hurst has their own paint facility, where they apply the gold stripes to the car. Each car gets its front bumper, hood, trunk, and rear fascia stripped down and then repainted with the gold stripe.
  • Series 5 models get the same White Pearl paint scheme found on the SEMA show car. Each car is completely stripped down and fully painted at Hurst's facility.
  • Series 5 models get the same White Pearl paint scheme found on the SEMA show car. Each car is completely stripped down and fully painted at Hurst's facility.
  • It would be easy to simply put Hurst decals on the side of the car, but they are actually painted on - a testament to the amount of detail that goes into each Challenger.
  • Once paint is applied, each Challenger goes into the workshop to get engine, suspension, and interior upgrades.
  • Once paint is applied, each Challenger goes into the workshop to get engine, suspension, and interior upgrades.
  • Once paint is applied, each Challenger goes into the workshop to get engine, suspension, and interior upgrades.
  • Each Challenger is fitted with custom Hurst 20" polished forged wheels wrapped with BFGoodrich KDW tires.
  • The interior gets a makeover with gold perforated inserts and gold stitching on the seats and center armrest.
  • Each door gets gold stitching as well.
  • It wouldn't be a true Hurst without one of their legendary shifters. For the Challenger, Hurst uses a special gold handle instead of the classic white ball.
  • That's a lot of shifters!
  • Series 4 and 5 Challengers get a Vortech supercharger that helps the Hemi put out 572 horsepower and 528 lb-ft torque.
  • A look at a completely installed Vortech supercharger under the hood of a Series 4 Challenger.
  • The Challenger's suspension is completely overhauled with parts from Eibach including new springs, shocks, and sway bars.
  • A side-by-side look at the stock springs and shocks compared to the Eibach units.
  • The Eibach shocks can be adjusted for ride height and stiffness with a special tool provided with the car.
  • This Series 5 Challenger is awaiting its Eibach suspension components.
  • One of Hurst's technicians installs the shocks and springs into a Series 5 Challenger
  • A full Magnaflow stainless steel cat-back exhaust system is installed next. The system provides a wonderful sound befitting of a true muscle car.
  • New BFGoodrich KDW tires waiting to be installed next to a completed Series 4 Challenger.
  • Hurst has already completed dozens of Challengers, as evidenced by the completed cars seen here. Customers can choose to take delivery at a Dodge dealer of their choosing, or they can pick it up at Hurst's facility.
  • Each Challenger Series gets its own serial number, and each owner will know what is their car number via a plaque on the dash. Hurst is also starting a registry to keep track of each Challenger.
  • Along with the Challenger, each customer also gets a photo book of the car being put together. It's items like this that add to the collectability of Hurst vehicles.

Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      2009 HURST/HEMI-CHALLENGER SERIES 2 R/T & SRT8
      MSRP $18,495.00*

      2009 HURST/HEMI-CHALLENGER SERIES 3 R/T
      MSRP $29,150.00*

      2009 HURST/HEMI-CHALLENGER SERIES 4 SRT8
      MSRP $29,150.00*

      2009 HURST/HEMI-CHALLENGER SERIES 5 SRT8
      MSRP $36,450.00*

      *Hurst MSRP does not include the cost of the base vehicle
      • 5 Years Ago
      You know, the shop doesn't look bad necessarily, but it seems like Hurst would have a nicer shop. This looks like some random body shop. And what's with the giant block of foam holding up the rear suspension of a car on the lift?
        • 5 Years Ago
        my guess is that they need to drop the rear subframe a few inches to do their suspension work, the block is under there to hold it up.

        The shop is nice and clean, I'm impressed with the tape job and downdraft paint booth, the attention to detail is obvious everywhere.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Saw one of these in person at Englishtown Raceway a few weeks back. BEE-YOO-TEE-FULL.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Now thats pretty cool. I've never really seen a company cover the customer car in plastic while it waits to become transformed.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Anybody remember when Linda Vaughan was on your 'to do' list????
      • 5 Years Ago
      those rims with the gold look like they belong on a fisher price plastic car for tots.
      996700
      • 5 Years Ago
      Im all set with with the gold, blackgold white and gold either way it needs to be removed, save the gold flakes for the tequila!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      It sorta looks like the rotors could be bigger, like the original tiny drums looked/were so small. Maybe it's because this body's so much bigger than the original that the brakes look so tiny.
      • 5 Years Ago
      But will it blend?

      My problem with the Charger:
      Too heavy.
      Crappy suspension.
      Slushbox.

      It looks like they've fixed the suspension, brakes, and added power.
      I hope the freaking thing was put on a diet, too.

      Does Hurst do anything to reinforce the frame?