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The mystery of the mangled Demon

by Patrick Rall on

The image above, showing what is clearly a badly wrecked 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, has been going around the internet for the past week. Many people are lamenting the fact that one of the 3,300 840-horsepower muscle cars built for consumers, but there are many variables which lead me and several others to question whether or not this is a privately owned-and-wrecked 2018 Demon.

On Monday or Tuesday of this week (April 9th or 10th), the image above began traveling around the various social media groups. This is clearly a new Dodge Challenger SRT Demon that has been badly wrecked, but in the week or so since the picture began circulating around the internet, no more information has come up – and that is very strange.

Shortly after the first Hellcat Challenger was wrecked, the owner and friends of the owner were sharing the story online. Within the first week after that wrecked, the car was listed for sale on a salvage website. We would expect that the first wrecked Demon would be a very hot commodity for the high performance salvage companies, but after a week of reading discussions about this wrecked black Demon – no more information has surfaced.

You might be thinking that the owner doesn’t use the internet or social media, so he or she hasn’t seen this picture of their wrecked Demon online. If they don’t use the internet, that means that someone else posted it, but that person also hasn’t come forward to share any information on the car or the picture. Also, the owner’s friends either haven’t come across any of the discussions online in which they could say “hey, I know the owner of that car, he lives in so-and-so and here is what happen”.


Next, someone drove this rollback tow truck, but we haven’t seen any posts online from the tow truck driver. The car is badly wrecked, so it was likely totaled, meaning that it would have gone to a junkyard and if it wasn’t totaled – it would have gone to a body shop. So far, there have been no posts by body shop workers or junkyard workers talking about having a wrecked Demon on the property. Of course, if this car was wrecked on a public street, there would have also been police officers and passers-by, none of which have shared what they know.

Now let’s assume that this is a privately-owned Dodge Demon that has been unfortunately smashed. For no information to turn up anywhere online, it means that the owner isn’t talking, his or her friends aren’t talking, the tow truck driver/service isn’t talking and employees of the body shop or junkyard where the car ended up aren’t not talking. Or, none of the people listed above have come across the picture online, so they aren’t aware that there are questions about what happened.

It seems highly unlikely to me that all of the people listed above either haven’t seen the picture, but it is possible. Maybe the owner, his or her friends, the truck driver and the folks at the junkyard don’t use Facebook, so they haven’t had the opportunity to offer up what they know. Then again, this picture originated somewhere, so the person who took it and shared it online has also not come forward to share what he or she knows.

It could be some strange coincidence that absolutely no one involved with this wrecked 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon haven’t seen the image posted online, but to me and a few others, it seems more likely that this isn’t a privately owned Demon.

I grew up in my dad’s shop, next to a body shop that brought in lots of cars in similar shape to this Demon. In every case, there were fluids running out of the mangled front end, onto the deck of the rollback. However, there appears to be no fluid of any kind on the rollback deck or anywhere on the front of the car. The intercooler and radiator are most certainly crushed, yet there is no sign of coolant anywhere. Sure, much of it could have drained before the car was pulled up onto the truck, but in most cases, tilting the car to load it causes more fluids to run out – yet everything in this picture is as dry as a bone.

Next, this Demon appears to be between a nondescript, warehouse-type facility and a wooded area. Many crash testing facilities would look like this around the outside, and if the car had been intentionally crashed for the purpose of studying the damage, it would have likely been in a facility like this one. Along the same lines, had the car been crashed intentionally, fluids may have been removed beforehand, or in the time that the car was moved away from the planned crash site, the fluids would have had more time to run off, unlikely the average on-road crash scene where the tow truck driver is looking to clear the street as quickly as possible.

The location is weird, the fact that there are no fluids is weird and the fact that absolutely no one with any information has shared it online leads me to believe that this might not be a privately owned Demon. It could be a crash test vehicle or it could be a movie car. The Demon is insanely popular right now, so it seems likely that we would see more examples of the most powerful American road car ever in TVs or movies. If that was the case, we wouldn’t hear from the owner or the owner’s friends because there is no owner, and although someone snapped and shared this picture, behind-the-scenes Hollywood types aren’t likely to share the story on the internet.

In the end, we know that this picture shows a wrecked 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, but we don’t know if it the most mysteriously-crashed, privately owned car in the age of the internet or if there is a more unusual story behind this picture. It could be a preproduction car crashed for internal research and studies or it could be another Hollywood car.

With any luck, the owner, the owner’s friends, the tow truck driver, the junkyard employees or perhaps the police on the scene of the crash will see this story and share some information in the comment section.

Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.

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