Photos and text by Gene Yetter
Allpar joined with the New Jersey-based Slant Six Club for a combined meet in New Brunswick on Oct. 3 and by all accounts had the largest turn out of cars in the 23-year history of the Slant Six Club's annual event A big boost was given to the number of registrations by the arrival of nine members of a recently formed club, the NYC Mopar Club in their cars. They found their way to the show having seen announcements about it on the allpar site.
The NYC Mopar members arrived in two convoys consisting almost entirely of muscular 2004-or-later Mopars including three Ram trucks, two Dodge Magnums, two Dodge Charger SRT8s, a Jeep Cherokee SRT8 and, in the second convoy, five Crossfires (including four non-member Crossfire owners). The club's one pre-modern Mopar was a red 1974 Plymouth Barracuda. Several NYC club members won trophies for the day, sweeping 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the "General Class." They were: Anthony Crispino, 3rd Place, 2004 Crossfire; Abhi Joshi, 2nd Place, 2007 Dodge Hemi Charger; and Eddie Corley, 1st Place, 2005 Dodge Magnum R/T. The red Barracuda, owned by Jeff and Denise DeRienzo, took 3rd place in the 1970-79 Class.
Abhi Joshi's 2007 Dodge SRT8 Charger caught my interest when I saw that it has installed an SMS 296 Supercharger System, a product of the company southern California directed by Steve Saleen [see the SMS 570 at Allpar]. Saleen has a long background in road racing and performance-car building. Some of his cars appeared in the Fast and Furious films. In 2006 he introduced a thousand-horsepower vehicle, the Saleen S7 Twin Turbo supercar. After a long history of other production projects, he began offering his performance innovations on the modern Mopar Challenger in 2008.
As of October 2010, Saleen has been touring the U.S. and visiting dealerships that are selling his cars and performance products. Abhi was out to meet him at Johnson Dodge in Hackettstown, New Jersey, on Oct. 2nd, and his car now has Steve's autograph on the radiator support in the engine compartment.
Abhi purchased his car new in 2007 at Baker Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge. It now has about 43k miles on the odometer. Apparently the car is the first Charger anywhere to get a Saleen SMS 296 supercharger. That possibility was indicated by the shop where the installation was done, Krazy House Customs on U.S. Highway One just north of Princeton, New Jersey.
"Around February this year I decided I wanted to supercharge the car," Abhi says. "At Krazy House Customs, technicians suggested the 296, but said that they couldn't produce a video or other materials about a Charger installation because none are known to have been done since Saleen's introduction of the product. I was a little worried about being the guinea pig, but being the first to do something has its own appeal!"
The installation went ahead and was completed on April 1st. "It took some time," Abhi said, "because it required some modifications which they had to figure out as they went along. Fitting the heat exchanger required some cutting, and they had to notch out the ducting that cools the front brakes. The SRT8's hood scoop tubing had to be removed to allow the hood to close. The engine compartment is still getting air through the scoop, but it isn't flowing as originally directed.
"When the installation was done," he continues, "the engine had the stock set up and kit boost. It was tuned on the shop's Mustang dyno. Since then we've raised the boost and re-tuned for a smaller pulley, long tube headers, and bigger throttle body and air filter to produce more horsepower. Before the supercharger went in, the car was making about 380 hp. Boost is now at 5-5.6 psi and it is making around 500 hp on the Mustang dyno. Gas mileage has dropped off from about 16 to 15 mpg average."
Abhi lives in Somerset County, New Jersey; he plans to race his car when upgrade modifications and tuning issues are resolved, and power is up to expected levels. He is looking forward to putting on racing rubber and heading to the track!
The NYC Mopar Club started up in June of this year and already has 117 registered members. As an online community, the club doesn't bar residents outside New York City's five boroughs. The club meets on Wednesday evenings at South Shore Commons Plaza, 2965 Veterans Road West on Staten Island (in front of Pinera Bread).
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