If you happen to be one of the quickest and hardest hitting cornerbacks in the NFL, you can bet when the time comes to build a special ride that it is going to show some serious muscle. DeAngelo Hall of the Washington Redskins had gotten to know the folks over at YearOne during his time with the Atlanta Falcons, and when the idea for this radical ’69 Dodge Charger began to take shape, he turned to YearOne’s Ghostworks division to make it happen. The game plan was specific; it had to turn the stats with numbers that impress, and more importantly it had to be usable. Unlike some of the all-show Pro Touring machines, this Charger is no Pro Poser. Here we are talking much more than packing plenty of power in the engine room, with handling and braking ranking just as high on the scorecard. Yes, in terms of performance it was going to do everything a car should do in a bigger and better way than any stock ’60s Charger, but most of all it was going to be far more refined than a typical Pro Touring machine or any stock muscle car from back in the day.
As one of the world’s premier suppliers of muscle car restoration parts, with over 30 years in the business, YearOne naturally has unique capabilities when it comes to building these machines. Back when the Pro Touring trend began gaining momentum over a decade ago, the company started modifying some of its own cars. As these in-house projects began to get attention at events across the nation, the strong interest eventually evolved into Ghostworks, a dedicated division specializing in bringing these unique automotive creations to life. Project coordinator Phil Brewer and the team at Ghostworks handle building internal projects for YearOne, as well as a select few custom outside projects, such as the Charger featured here.
Now you don’t just jump into a build like this without a well-planned strategy, and before the first wrench was turned there were serious development sessions between DeAngelo and the Ghostworks team to iron out a game plan. Every major feature of this build was well thought out before work began. Arguably, nothing produced out of the Motor City has the recognition and pure muscle car identification as a second-generation Charger, and to preserve that timeless vibe, it was decided to reject radical and outrageous exterior body mods. There’s no denying that the shape sculpted by the Dodge design crew has withstood the test of time, still evoking a pure message of performance after over four decades. As Phil relates: “One of the things when we were discussing the project was that we didn’t want it to be too trendy. We didn’t want something that would be out of style in a few years.”
There would be body mods, cleaning and tucking in the front and rear bumpers, extending the rocker panels, and incorporating refined design themes in the front and rear valance panels, however, there would be no radical alteration of the classic original form. Stance, rolling stock, color, and detail would be enough to emphasize contemporary performance. Likewise, the interior would get upgrades in both form and function, from a high-end sound system, to the expected added insulation and upgraded seats, as well as an infinite number of understated details that go practically unnoticed but are just so right. As with the exterior, the interior makeover would remain true to the original theme of yesterday, with subtle upgrades of materials and components without destroying the classic appeal of a vintage Charger.
For huge levels of reliable...
For huge levels of reliable power, nothing compares to a late-model engine built with cubes and the aid of forced induction. This Gen III Hemi was bored and stroked to 426 cubes, while a Techco supercharger provides pressurized power to the tune of 640 hp at the wheels. Ghostworks Phil Brewer tells us: “The supercharged combination allows us to produce a very high power output while keeping the engine very well mannered for real street use.” The engine build was handled by Arrington Engines of Martinsville, Virginia.
Aggressive rubber on just...
Aggressive rubber on just the right wheels was a big part of achieving the look of a modern supercar with that of classic ’60s muscle. The Michelins in 275 (front) and 345 (rear) section widths achieve that goal, however, getting them to sit perfectly under the Charger’s skin took some serious doing. Visible behind the Forgeline wheels are 13-inch six-piston Baer brakes, used at all four corners.
The control room retains the...
The control room retains the unmistakable look of a second-generation Charger, however, it has been upgraded with modern components and materials that are a far cry from the original slippery vinyl. The black and charcoal cabin features leather Cerullo seats, and such conveniences as a Vintage Air system, custom Alpine/Boston Acoustics sound system, and power windows. The later Mopar Tuff Wheel, and E-Body shifter mechanism integrate nicely. Thanks to a full complement of restoration components from YearOne, every detail inside appears factory fresh.