Mopar and SRT Reveal Comedian Jeff Dunham's Project Vehicle at SEMA
LAS VEGAS, Oct. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
- Dunham's custom 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 no laughing matter
- New Mopar 426 crate engine, 515 horsepower / 490 lb.-ft. of torque, with just announced engine tuning capability and calibrations performed by Arrington Engines
- Dunham along with Palmer's Customs left no panel untouched
- View finished project vehicle at www.mopar.com/sema/2012
- Three-part webisode 'Project Ultraviolet' at www.youtube.com/jeffdunham
- Mopar offers more than 150 quality-tested performance parts and accessories for the Dodge Challenger at www.Mopar.com
- Mopar livestream all-access pass to SEMA http://a.pgtb.me/8Dpldh
As part of Mopar's 75th anniversary celebration and the 2012 edition of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show, Mopar and the Street and Racing Technology (SRT) team collaborated with comedian Jeff Dunham and his crew from Palmer's Customs of Camarillo, Calif., to create a custom 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8. Mopar, SRT, and Dunham revealed the modern-day hot rod, dubbed Project UltraViolet, today at the SEMA show in Las Vegas.
Dunham is a lifelong car enthusiast and well-known comedian who premiered his fifth special, "Minding the Monsters" on Comedy Central earlier this month and will launch his new "Disorderly Conduct" tour next month in Canada.
"It's a major understatement to say that I've been looking forward to the SEMA show this year, as we've had an awesome time creating this one-of-a-kind Challenger," said Dunham, who touts the 1970 Plymouth Barracuda "as my favorite muscle car of all time" and recently purchased a 1970 numbers-matching four-speed convertible 'Cuda as proof.
As for his unbridled enthusiasm for all things Mopar, "having a project like this is the kind of thing you dream of being able to do as a kid," Dunham noted. "And to be here today to reveal UltraViolet is the kind of fun that would be tough to match."
Dunham, along with Alan Palmer, owner of Palmer's Customs, worked closely with Mark Trostle, Head of SRT, Mopar and Motorsports Design, Chrysler Group LLC, on Project UltraViolet to transform a manual transmission Dodge Challenger SRT8 and help guide the design and customization process to complement the attributes and pay tribute to the heritage of the vehicle.
"It was great to work closely with Jeff and create a remarkable, one-of-a-kind 2012 Moparized Dodge Challenger SRT8," Trostle said of Project UltraViolet, which takes its name from the two-tone paint scheme chosen for the Dodge Challenger that combines an 'ultra'-violet body color with a black upper half. "The project shows the possibilities of what customers can do to customize and modify our vehicles with more than 150 quality-tested performance Mopar parts and accessories for the Dodge Challenger."
Under the Mopar T/A hood with functioning air scoop, is the most noteworthy change to the vehicle - a new Mopar 426 crate engine, with 515 horsepower and 490 lb.-ft. of torque. The project also takes advantage of the new engine tuning capabilities performed by Arrington Engines, based in Martinsville, Va., which currently has Mopar-authorized tooling and software to create performance calibrations for select 2011, 2012 and 2013 model-year Chrysler Group vehicles.
Following drawings and design suggestions from Trostle and the SRT team, Dunham, Palmer, and crew went to work on the vehicle's visual transformation.
"Alan and his guys do some of the best work my car buddies and I have ever seen," Dunham said. "That's why I chose them for this job. Everything from absolutely perfect body lines, to custom-built aluminum panels and parts, to paint work that's unmatched, this is no 'looks great from 10 feet away' custom job. And believe me, the first rock chip I get is going to make me weep."
Changes and details on the customized Challenger are extensive. The vehicle is lowered 1 inch and equipped with 22-inch HRE brand performance wheels sporting a matte and semigloss black finish. The rear end is wider, and larger more dramatic wheels flares are added to both front and rear to widen the body 4 inches and create a muscular, more sinister appearance.
Numerous handmade parts and pieces include a new rear diffuser, dive-planes, new front splitter, all-new rocker panels, new lower-rear spoilers, new deck-lid spoiler and custom aluminum side sills with the exhaust exiting in front of the rear wheels. Bumpers are modified to flow with newly designed fenders. The team also added a new slightly larger grille, created with a water-jet cut out of .25 inch plate 441 aluminum and moved it forward 2 inches to match the new placement of the front bumper. Headlamp lenses are added along with tinted taillights.
The interior features handcrafted full-grain Nappa leather with color-keyed accent panels, premium-grade color-keyed accent stitching and computer-controlled custom embroidery. Seats are custom-built one-offs supplied by Lear, plus a tuned exhaust with stainless steel tips further customized by Palmer, and a Hurst brand short-throw shifter.
When looking under the hood, the new engine is tricked out with the final "cherry on top" ornamental valve covers with "UltraViolet" molded in to colorfully blend the entire scheme of the car together. All of these new elements create an old-school muscle-car look, and contribute to the machine's aggressive design.
Dunham's Moparized Dodge Challenger SRT8 Project UltraViolet will be on display along with other unique Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram, SRT and FIAT brand vehicles outfitted with more than 500 Mopar performance parts and accessories at the Chrysler Group's 15,300-square-foot exhibit at the SEMA show from Oct. 30–Nov. 2 in Las Vegas. The customized vehicle may also be viewed at www.mopar.com/sema/2012 and will be featured during the three-day Mopar Livestream all-access pass to SEMA http://a.pgtb.me/8Dpldh Oct 31- Nov 1.
A three-part webisode series called "Project UltraViolet" documents the collaborative effort and transformation of the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 and is available at www.youtube.com/jeffdunham on Dunham's YouTube channel.
"The guys worked tirelessly night and day in a very short six-week window, and completion took right up to a couple of days before this reveal at SEMA," Dunham added. "We've done the dyno work, but nothing actually on the track yet. After we get her back home, this is one I'm looking forward to sticking my foot into… and will likely be included in the third and final webisode."
About Jeff Dunham
Jeff Dunham has risen to become a multi-platform global standup comedy phenomenon, not merely live onstage but on TV, DVD and the Internet. For three successive years he's been the top comedy box office draw in North America and for two of them also No.1 in concert earnings worldwide. His five televised comedy specials – "Arguing with Myself," "Spark of Insanity," "A Very Special Christmas Special," "Controlled Chaos" and "Minding the Monsters" – have all been ratings smashes on their Comedy Central debuts. Their collective DVD/Blu-ray sales are rapidly closing in on an astounding 8 million copies. His clips on YouTube and other websites have been viewed more than a half billion times.
Over the past two years, Dunham has published a New York Times bestsellers list autobiography, "All By My Selves," and debuted on film in the major motion picture "Dinner for Schmucks," - among other notable accomplishments. The DVD/Blu-ray of "Minding the Monsters" went platinum within its first week on sale. His latest "Disorderly Conduct" tour starts in November 2012.
The Chrysler Group's Street and Racing Technology (SRT) brand uses a successful product development formula featuring five proven hallmarks: awe-inspiring powertrains; outstanding ride, handling and capability; benchmark braking; aggressive and functional exteriors and race-inspired and high-performance interiors to remain true to its performance roots.
The SRT lineup in the 2013 model year features five vehicles that are world-class performance contenders and bring the latest in safety technologies and creature comforts. The Chrysler 300 SRT8, Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, Dodge Charger SRT8 and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 are joined by the SRT flagship Viper and Viper GTS models which are making their highly anticipated return to the high-performance sports car market.
Mopar has introduced numerous industry-first features, including:
- Vehicle-information apps: first to introduce smartphone vehicle-information applications, a new channel of communication with consumers
- Electronic owner manuals: first to introduce traditional owner manuals in a DVD and brief user-guide format
- Wi-Fi: first to offer customers the ability to make their vehicle a wireless hot spot
- Wireless charging: first to introduce in-vehicle wireless charging for portable devices
- Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS): first to market with a new interactive vehicle tracking device that sends owner a text when vehicle is driven too fast or too far based on pre-set parameters
- 2011 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak: first to introduce a 500-plus cubic-inch V-10 drag-race package car
- Camper trailers: first to introduce off-road camper trailers
- WiTECH: first to support vehicle diagnosis and software updates leveraging off-the-shelf personal computers and a dedicated wireless tool network
About the Mopar Brand
Mopar is Chrysler Group LLC's service, parts and customer-care brand and distributes 280,000 parts and accessories. With the creation of the Chrysler Group and Fiat SpA partnership, Mopar is extending its global reach, integrating service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance dealer and customer support worldwide. Combined with Fiat SpA, Mopar's global portfolio includes more than 500,000 parts and accessories which are distributed in more than 120 countries. Mopar is the source for all genuine parts and accessories for Chrysler Group and Fiat SpA brands.
Mopar parts are unique in that they are engineered with the same teams that create factory-authorized vehicle specifications for Chrysler Group and Fiat SpA vehicles — a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. A complete list of Mopar accessories and performance parts is available at www.mopar.com.
75 Years of Mopar
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was trademarked for antifreeze product in 1937. The Mopar brand made its mark in the 1960s — the muscle-car era. The Chrysler Corporation built race-ready Dodge and Plymouth "package cars" equipped with special high-performance parts. Mopar carried a line of "special parts" for super-stock drag racers and developed its racing parts division called Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use. The brand has expanded to include technical service and customer support.
SOURCE Chrysler Group LLC