The build plan would include a fully modified chassis and suspension. Up front, the factory torsion bar suspension and industrial-sized steering would get the knife for a Reilly Motorsports AlterKation subframe. The system mounts in place of the original K-member and features a coil sprung suspension with tubular control arms, big 13-inch Baer brakes, and power rack-and-pinion steering. At the rear, in the interest of coping with the supercharged Hemi’s massive torque, a solid rear would be retained in the form of a bulletproof Moser Dana 60, carrying matching Baer 13-inch discs. Instead of the primitive leaf-spring suspension, however, the rear would be hung on a custom-built four-link coilover arrangement, located laterally by a fabricated Panhard rod. The rear suspension system would clear the way for steamroller 345/30ZR19 Michelins, mounted on Forgeline SO3P 19x12 hoops, while up front 275/35ZR18s spin on 18x9 Forgelines.
With a clear vision of what this custom Charger was destined to be, and what it was expected to do, Ghostworks got to work, completing the Charger over the course of 16 months. The starting point was a green 383 ’68 Charger. As Phil describes it, “It was a pretty decent survivor; it had never really been messed with, but it had a little rot here or there. It was basically an unmolested Charger SE.” Even though the car was solid to start with, considerable metalwork was involved in achieving the final form.
Of course there were the custom touches, such as the body mods planned from the start, including the valance, rockers, and bumpers, as well as the sheetmetal surgery needed to achieve the desired stance. The inner and outer wheelhouses were replaced, opening the available space for the rubber to come by mini-tubbing the wheelhousings.
Much of the body and chassis work was really assimilation in terms of getting the wheel and tire fitment and stance just where Ghostwork envisioned it. This meant integrating the body and suspension to achieve the final result. The AlterKation front suspension setup was modified to pull it further up the rails, increasing travel at the desired ride height. At the back, the rear suspension was custom fabricated, using a four-link arrangement with sectioned framerails to tuck the moving parts up into the unibody. Phil expanded: “Getting that drivetrain and suspension up into the car was one of the key custom aspects of this build. We raised the front suspension up into the car, and raised the transmission tunnel and driveline into the car, then custom-built the rear suspension so the body just kind of sat over everything.”
The engine work was contracted to the Mopar experts at Arrington Engines in Martinsville, Virginia, starting with a 6.1 Gen III Hemi and boring and stroking to the magic displacement of 426 cubes. Internally, the engine measures 4.080 inches in both bore and stroke, with the holes now filled with Mahle pistons linked to a K-1 forged crank by K-1 H-beam rods. Power comes on via a custom COMP cam working the valves in a set of CNC-ported OEM 6.1 heads. A Techco supercharger adds pressure to the mix, making the combination good enough to deliver 640 hp at the rear wheels. The beauty of the supercharged Hemi is it makes this kind of power while being docile on the street.
Completing the drivetrain, a five-speed 545RFE automatic from Bouchillon Performance was bolted to the stout Hemi, with the addition of a custom torque converter from Edge Racing Converters, and a Canton Racing trans cooler. An aluminum driveshaft was built to order from Precision Shaft Technologies, mating the trans to the Moser 60 rear. Of course, the high-tech blown and injected Hemi and electronically managed transmission require a full electronic management system to function. The control is supported by OEM electronics with a custom calibration using a Diablo Sport tuner by Arrington Engines.
Making all those correct visual cues come to life while improving function on the road is
The entire OEM suspension and steering was discarded in favor of a Reilly Motorsports Alte