While Jeep has created a number of vintage-bodied custom vehicles with modern components, this year's SEMA show plays host to Dodge's take on the idea. The Shakedown concept began life as a 1971 Challenger and ditched almost everything in it, including the engine and chassis. What's left is a modern car with a retro look.

The chassis was a particularly complicated part of the job, since the Challenger was originally a unibody car. However, Dodge chose to separate the Challenger's iconic body from its structural parts, and moved it onto a custom, one-off chassis from which the body can be removed as needed. The chassis also carries lowered suspension, Challenger Hellcat brakes, and a 6.4-liter 392 Hemi V8 connected to a six-speed manual transmission from the Viper. Dodge also installed the engine using the new Hemi engine swap kit from Mopar. With the shaker cold-air intake and custom exhaust, the Shakedown's powerplant makes 485 horsepower.

1971 Dodge Challenger Shakedown SEMA concept
  • Image Credit: Joel Stocksdale / AOL
1971 Dodge Challenger Shakedown SEMA concept
  • Image Credit: Joel Stocksdale / AOL
1971 Dodge Challenger Shakedown SEMA concept
  • Image Credit: Joel Stocksdale / AOL
1971 Dodge Challenger Shakedown SEMA concept
  • Image Credit: Joel Stocksdale / AOL
1971 Dodge Challenger Shakedown SEMA concept
  • Image Credit: Joel Stocksdale / AOL
1971 Dodge Challenger Shakedown SEMA concept
  • Image Credit: Joel Stocksdale / AOL
1971 Dodge Challenger Shakedown SEMA concept
  • Image Credit: Joel Stocksdale / AOL


The body itself received plenty of tweaking as well. Dodge shaved off the drip rails, door handles, and turn signals for a cleaner look, and also fitted the grille, headlights, and taillights from a 2017 Challenger. The whole thing is finished in matte black paint with a "vibrating" stripe offset on the left side. The Shakedown also gets 20-inch Slingshot rear wheels and a pair of custom 19-inch versions for the front. On each fender is a bright red "392" decal that uses the same font as the labels on classic Mopars 360 cubic-inch V8s.

Inside, the Shakedown gets the same radical upgrade as the chassis. Two Viper seats accompany a Viper steering wheel, and the rear seats are gone altogether. The Viper gearbox is shifted with a Challenger Hellcat gear knob, and carbon-fiber accents and leather adorn the wheel, door panels, instrument panel and center console.

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