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Since the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger with the Hellcat Hemi were introduced, most drag racing news has focused on the cars with the lightning-quick 8-speed automatic transmission. The self-shifting Challenger was the first into the 9s, followed by the Charger (which only comes with the automatic), but we hadn’t seen any manual transmission Hellcat Challengers near the 9s until Bill Gamble came onto the scene.
Bill Gamble made a name for himself by setting the manual transmission record a few weeks back with a run of 10.25 at 140 miles per hour. That beat the previous record of 10.62 at 133 miles per hour held by Jon Sipple, but it was still a far cry from the 9-second record of the automatic Hellcat Challenger.
Gamble headed back to the track this weekend and, thanks to a combination of cooler air, more seat time in the car and more nitrous oxide, he was able to make his Hellcat Challenger the first in the 9-second range. In fact, not only did he crack into the 9s, he ran a 9.798, pulling within 3 tenths of a second of the automatic Hellcat Challenger record and beating his previous record by almost a half a second. Part of this strong run was Gamble’s launch, which afforded him an incredible 60-foot time of just 1.484 seconds. If you race, you know just how quick that is, and how hard it is to pull short times like that with a manual transmission car.
After that first run, Gamble came out for his second run of the day with the hopes of getting even quicker, but due to a little slower launch (resulting in a 60 foot time of 1.61), his ET dropped to 9.82, but on that second run, Bill’s Hellcat Challenger trapped 149.88 miles per hour. That is the fastest speed recorded by any Hellcat car in the quarter mile, beating the quickest automatic cars by almost 5 miles per hour.
Unfortunately, on his third run of the day, Gamble launched so hard that the aftermarket rear differential failed and he wasn’t able to complete his run – or take another shot at his own record.
Having spoken with Bill Gamble after setting the record (and breaking the rear diff.), it certainly sounds like he plans to come out stronger next time – hopefully with a rear-end which will hold up to the power of the Hellcat Hemi.
Here is a video showing Gamble making his record-setting 9.798 pass in his manual transmission Hellcat Challenger.
The title of “quickest Hellcat car overall” still belongs to John “TopCat” Toutkoushian, who passed away last month after a hard-fought battle with cancer. TopCat’s Hellcat Challenger with the 8-speed automatic transmission ran a 9.46 at 145.50 earlier this year; since then, no other Hellcat car has gone quicker. The video below shows TopCat’s record run from earlier this year.
Finally, the record for the quickest Hellcat Charger belongs to Linda Toutkoushian, wife of the late John “TopCat” Toutkoushian. Linda set the record late last year and since then, I have not seen anyone claiming a quicker quarter mile time with proof. Her Hellcat Charger ran a 9.71 at 140.39 miles per hour, making her best time with the supercharged sedan slightly quicker than the new manual transmission Hellcat Challenger record.
All three of these record-setting Hellcat Dodge cars were tuned by the same shop and the same person – High Horse Performance of Delaware and Josh Schwartz. HHP has tuned a great many Hellcat cars, and has allowed the three quickest quarter mile cars in the world to make the power needed to set those records.
See this 707 horsepower mud machine... and the Dodge Charger SRT, Hellcat engine, and the Dodge Challenger SRT
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