Cleveland Power & Performance Just Built The World’s First 6spd Manual SRT8 300


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The 300 SRT8, like the Magnum and Charger SRT8 models came with the NAG1 five-speed automatic transmission. This transmission featured an unique automatic transmission calibration with revised shift schedules, faster shift times, and an AutoStick driver control system that allowed the driver to manually go through the gears. The NAG1 proved to be a very well built transmission that could not only handle the abuse a lot of SRT8 owners would throw at them but would remain reliable for years and thousands of miles later. While the NAG1 automatic was great for most, there were the occasional few that questioned why there was no 6 speed manual transmission offered on the LX platform 300, Magnum or Charger. The designers at SRT seemed to avoid the question and never really answered as to why it wouldn’t happen.

With the complete refresh and new platform designations of the Charger, 300 and Challenger for the 2015 model year and the release of the Hellcat models, the questions again surfaced and became a front running question to the SRT designers. Would there finally be a 6 speed manual transmission Charger or 300? It seemed many really wanted a manual Hellcat Charger; after all, it would be pretty cool! Finally, SRT and Dodge came out of the woodwork and explained why there wasn’t and probably would never be a manual transmission Charger or 300 and it was simple; money.

In order to put a manual transmission in the Charger or 300, it involved a significant tear up and redesign of the floor pan in the car that was completely different from the 8 speed automatic cars. When you have to redesign that much of the structure and floor, Dodge would be required to do a whole new set of full impact and crash safety certification tests for the car. This would obviously be big bucks, and the pencil pushers upstairs at FCA just didn’t think it was worth it. They couldn’t foresee enough manual transmission Chargers or 300s selling to justify the massive efforts and funds it would take to make it happen. That being said, they told everyone a manual transmission Charger or 300 just wasn’t going to happen.

This is the same reason that people haven’t done manual conversions to their Chargers, 300s or Magnums either. It’s just too invasive. While there has been less than a handful of these conversions done, it’s never been done on a 300 SRT8. That is until now.

Cleveland Power And Performance has just finished a very cool build – a 2010 Chrysler 300 SRT8 that just so happens to be one of 40 silver 300 SRT8s produced in the United States for 2010! This 300 arrived at their facility as a stripped shell that we assume was a theft recovery. Cleveland Power And Performance was originally called Cleveland Pick A Part as they buy wrecked modern high performance cars and part them out. They are very well known for their ‘turn key pallets’ which feature complete running modern engine swaps for your hot rod projects. Everything you need for a swap is ready to ship on a pallet. Over the past few years, they’ve been rebuilding a lot of  lightly damaged cars for resale and changed their name to Cleveland Power And Performance.

For this 300, they decided it was too rare to part out and crush so they decided to do a full rebuild. Along the line, someone came up with the idea; why not take a 6.1L Hemi & 6 speed manual set-up from a wrecked SRT8 Challenger they have in stock and install it in the 300? They decided since nobody has put a 6 speed manual in a SRT8 300 yet, they would be the first! They have documented the entire build (which includes the modifications to the body to get the 6 speed manual to fit) on their Facebook page and the result is a very sweet one-off B5 Blue painted stunner. Rolling on a set of Charger Scat Pack wheels, this 300 is sure to draw a crowd!

 

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Cody Cole

Associate/ Car Feature Editor – cody.cole@shawgroupmedia.com Since the age of 4, Cody has been obsessed with everything Mopar. On Christmas of 1998, Cody's parents gave him a rusty '69 Charger shell that his father saved from a field. Cody's garage still features that '69 Charger as well as the additions of a '70 Coronet, '71 Charger R/T, '71 Road Runner, '04 SRT-4, '06 Grand Cherokee SRT8, '08 Challenger SRT8 and a '17 Ram 1500 Rebel. Cody can truly and proudly say him and his wife are true Mopar nuts in love with all types of Mopars!

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