Could a New Challenger T/A Be What Dodge Needs?


Dodge Challenger T/A Concept

Some 45 years ago, Sam Posey was throwing his fluorescent lime green Challenger T/A around the trickiest road racing tracks of America and Canada. It was a valiant attempt by a brilliant driver to win an SCCA Trans-Am Championship for Mopar that was fatefully not to be. But it did spawn some way cool street cars. Yet, back then, nobody would even consider taking a 340 Six-Pak Challenger T/A off the showroom floor and trying to match Posey’s time at Watkins Glen.

Fast forward to 2015 and “Track Day Specials” are all the rage. Chevrolet‘s Z/28 is kicking butt and taking names right off the dealer lot – as delivered this car is frighteningly capable of setting lap time records. The Z itself was in response to Ford’s new Boss 302, a wonderful track car that has now given way to a brand new Shelby 350R. Old names from the past, familiar to all, but still there is no Challenger T/A. Hellcat you say? A racetrack is to be carved, not bludgeoned. The 707 horsepower is fun but in a nearly 4,200 pound package, hardly agile. No, we need the Challenger T/A. Moparites need it. The racetracks of America need it. And the GT350R and Z28 need it – those two are lonely out there in the asphalt sandbox.

Yeah, I know there’s a concept car. It was at SEMA. But it lacked the true credentials of a track star. The ingredients are already in the Mopar cupboard: brakes and controllable coil-overs from the Hellcat. A de-tuned Hellcat powerplant, let’s say 505 horsepower with a completely re-worked powerband for taming the twisties. Some meaty 305 tires, cross-bracing and tower supports, great seats, as much carbon-fiber as you can afford to keep the weight down and Voila! It’s a corner-carver with which a modern day Sam Posey could win a Trans-Am Championship.

With such a car, Mopar would have a fighting chance of putting those pesky Zs and Rs on the trailer. Please, please see the way clear to building this car, Ma. The Challenger is on a roll now that the Hellcat has blown the ZL1 and GT500 into the weeds. And nothing would fill out the Dodge line like a T/A. I’ll take one…in Lime Green. Oh, and I’ll have the side-exit exhaust option, please. Sam himself wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Des Ryan

Des Ryan has been involved in all levels of Mopar musclecar ownership, from barn finds to drivers to a high-level restored Hemicar. He's also spent over 20 years in the advertising industry as a copywriter and creative director. With pen in one hand and pistol-grip shifter in the other, Des is bringing his two passions together to keep you Direct-Connected.

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