The Hellcat drivetrain has been around long enough now that we’ve seen quite an array of vehicle makes and models be subject to major surgery for the shoehorning of this 6.2L Hemi. A few of the Charger, ‘Cuda, or Challenger builds have certainly been painstakingly well done, but there’s something to be said for the courage and charisma it takes to shove one of Mopar’s greatest engines into a smog-era truck.
This 1979 Plymouth Trail Duster in the process of being purr-ified by Horsepower Northwest just might be the perfect blend of something that’s a little bit off the beaten path, but still Chrysler to the core.
“We started out with a fairly clean ’79 Trail Duster with the intention to build the baddest ones on the planet. Tons of work has gone into the chassis to handle the horsepower and torque of the Hellcat. Lots of hidden goodies and quality part throughout, all with the intention of keeping true to the original form,” says Aaron Porter of Horsepower Northwest.
One of those hidden goodies is a totally reworked custom gauge cluster from Redline Gauge Works (RGW).
“We converted the speedometer to electronic and upped the mph readout to 120 MPH instead of 100. All small gauges were converted to modern stepper motor internals, there’s an amp to voltmeter conversion with a printed volt scale, and a water temp. gauge face printed with a numerical value that reflects a more modern scale to suit the new Hemi,” explains RGW’s Shannon Hudson.
It looks like all it’s missing is a bad-to-the-bone build name. Maybe Trail Cat? Or Hell Duster? We’d better leave that up to the ones turning the wrenches.