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Foose-designed Challenger shown at SEMA

by Bill Cawthon on

The WD-40®/SEMA Cares Foose Challenger was unveiled in the SEMA Show Grand Lobby yesterday, two months before it gets auctioned to benefit children’s charities.

The creation of legendary hot rod designer Chip Foose, the custom 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8, with its distinctive Foose look, is a tribute to auto specialists who use WD-40 to get the job done. The vehicle features custom BASF paint mixed by Chip Foose, a Street Scene/Foose Design body kit, one-off MHT/Foose wheels and WD-40-branded Katkzin upholstery, among other upgrades.

WD-40 Company and SEMA Cares partnered with a number of aftermarket auto and technology companies, which donated parts, equipment and services to give the WD-40/SEMA Cares Foose Challenger the power, style and performance it needed. Build partners include: Street Scene Equipment; Advanced Clutch Technology Inc.; BASF Paint; Cie Games; Hotchkis Suspension; Katzkin Leather; K&N Filters; Lanzini Body Works; Magnaflow Exhaust; MHT Wheels; and Pirelli Tires.

After the SEMA Show, the Foose Challenger will tour selected West Coast auto-related events until it’s time to head to Scottsdale, Arizona, where it will be go on the block during the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction January 15-22, 2012. Proceeds of the sale go to Childhelp, an organization that provides services to abused and neglected children, and The Victory Junction Gang Camp, which provides life-changing camping experiences to special needs and chronically ill children. A virtual version of the vehicle will also appear in Nitto 1320 Legends, an online racing game and social network with nearly 2 million members.

“The WD-40/SEMA Cares Foose Challenger pays tribute to the technicians, aftermarket professionals and auto enthusiasts like Chip Foose who have trusted WD-40 Multi-Use Product to get the job done in their shops and garages,” said Tim Lesmeister, vice president of marketing at WD-40 Company. “We’re proud to partner with Chip and others, the best in the business, to build something that will support such a great cause.”

“I’ve used WD-40 Multi-Use Product for as long as I can remember and continue to use it everyday in my shop, so when WD-40 Company asked me to help design and build their charity vehicle, I jumped at the chance,” said Foose. “A lot of hard work went into making this custom 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 unique, and I hope it turns heads and raises a lot of money for these two very deserving charities.”

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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