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Meet the world’s first 7-second modern IRS Challenger

by Patrick Rall on

John Reed’s 2009 Dodge Challenger laid down a stunning 7.82 at 177 miles per hour at the final Modern Street Hemi Shootout event of the season, making it the first modern Challenger with independent rear suspension to cover the quarter mile in the 7-second range. Today, we bring you a look at that record-setting run, along with details on what it takes to put a modern Challenger with independent suspension in the 7s.

First up, here is the video of John Reed’s 7.82 run. He is in the near lane, running at Atco Dragway last month.

As you can see, he trapped almost 178 miles per hour on this 7-second run, essentially making this the quickest and fastest modern Dodge Challenger in the world with independent rear suspension and a Gen 3 Hemi. Now for the details…

Reed’s Challenger is powered by a Gen 3 Hemi from Billy Briggs Racing Engines, based on the 6.4-liter block and measuring 426 cubic inches. That big modern Hemi is topped with a set of ThiTek cylinder heads, with a Vortech YSI-B supercharger providing the boost needed to make more than 1,200 horsepower.

All of that power is channeled to the rear wheels by means of a TH400 automatic transmission from RPM Transmissions while a DriveShaft Shop 9-inch rear differential puts the power to the wheels. By the way, this Challenger ran that 7.82 on street tires –275/60r15 Mickey Thompson Street ET R to be exact. Also aiding in the traction effort is a BMR suspension setup with Menscer Motorsports coilovers.

Rhodes Custom Auto provided the work for the 25.3 chassis certification including an elaborate safety cage and the car has been lightened up by means of a set of fiberglass doors and a fiberglass front end. Of course, it has skinny front wheels and tires as part of the continued weight-saving effort.

On the inside, Reed’s Challenger has a custom dashboard that is designed to look like the 2009 factory dash, with things like the radio, the HVAC controls and the gauge cluster being presented as images, but there is a custom gauge screen and switches on the center stack.

When you put all of these features together, you get the world’s quickest modern Dodge Challenger with independent rear suspension and Gen 3 Hemi power, running a 7.82 at 177.9 miles per hour.

On that run, he pulled a 1.254 short time while covering the 8th mile with a 5.06 at 142 miles per hour. Also, at the same event, Reed backed up the 7.82 with two runs of 7.85, leaving no question that this is a legitimate 7-second Dodge Challenger.

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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