Kevin Hart’s Hellraiser – SpeedKore Wraps a Hellephant Hemi in a Carbon Fiber Charger
Hot rodding has reached a point where there are few, if any, limits to the ways you can build or reimagine a vintage vehicle. Top-tier shops and craftsmen can design, machine, or fabricate just about any structural component or body panel imaginable, and the variety of available performance suspension, brake, and drivetrain parts is more expansive than ever. The sky is truly the limit – provided you have the budget.
SpeedKore Performance Group embodies this new ethos of refined car crafting. The company’s one-off builds test the boundaries of imagination, combining cutting-edge methods, technologies, and products. SpeedKore is known for its use of pre-impregnated carbon fiber on classic and modern vehicle builds and on a wide range of aftermarket body panels and parts. They regularly unveil new mind-blowing builds at the SEMA Show and amaze crowds at Goodguys and other events.
The Wisconsin-based company’s latest creation is this ’70 Dodge Charger known as “Hellraiser” thanks to its Hellephant crate engine – a supercharged 1,000-horsepower 426c.i. modern Hemi from Dodge. Having actor, comedian, and car enthusiast Kevin Hart as the client for the build gave the shop plenty of latitude for pushing limits.
“The Hellephant is the most powerful crate engine ever offered by an OE manufacturer,” said Jim Kacmarcik, president of SpeedKore. “When we found out we would be receiving one of the engines from Mopar, we had already been in talks about a new build, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get started. Hellraiser represents the pinnacle of SpeedKore design and engineering.”
Like previous SpeedKore builds, Hellraiser features a custom-constructed carbon-fiber body. The process for building it involved performing a blue-light scan of an original Charger, from which a five-axis CNC machine created molds and plugs to build the carbon fiber panels. SpeedKore uses aerospace-grade pre-impregnated carbon fiber and an in-house autoclave to ensure consistent fiber consolidation, panel thickness, and weave uniformity. Hart wanted to leave the high-tech carbon fiber panels exposed, so the body was finished with several layers of BASF Glasurit gloss clearcoat.
The other exterior elements are no less impressive. The grille assembly and most trim parts are machined from solid aluminum and Cerakoted in a gray titanium finish for a modern muscle appearance. Flush-mounted glass and deleted rain gutters smooth out the lines, while a SpeedKore-designed taillight panel and integrated dual exhaust tips refine the hind end. To highlight the Hellephant engine, there’s a hood cutout exposing the supercharger, which is customized with a tailor-made billet and carbon fiber cover.
With an incredible 1,000-horsepower and 950 lb-ft of torque on tap, the Hellcrate engine needed no performance enhancements. The SpeedKore team built a custom exhaust using fabricated headers and dual Magnaflow mufflers and backed the engine up with a Dodge Demon-spec ZF 8HP90 eight-speed automatic transmission.
Supporting both body and engine is a custom SpeedKore-designed frame with an integrated 14-point roll cage. The Detroit Speed front suspension incorporates Penske double-adjustable coil-over shocks and Brembo six-piston disc brakes, while a four-bar rear suspension locates a 9-inch rearend suspended by two more Penske coil-overs and equipped with Brembo four-piston discs. All that power meets the pavement through 19×9- and 20×12-inch HRE S201 three-piece wheels wrapped in sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires sized at 245/35/19 and 345/30/20.
SpeedKore turned to a familiar hot rod name for help reimagining the cabin – Gabe Lopez at Gabe’s Custom Interiors in California. Gabe upholstered the Recaro GT Sportster seats in contrasting red and black leather and covered other panels to match – including a black pad with red stitching for the custom dash. A one-off console and a complement of other custom components create a retro-modern feel, with thoughtful details like SpeedKore-branded gauges from Classic Instruments and billet switches. Modern amenities like a full audio system using Kicker and Focal components and modern climate controls give the Charger grand-tourer comfort.
Let’s review. You’ve got a carbon fiber version of a classic 50-year-old muscle car body; a 1,000-horsepower supercharged Hemi backed by an eight-speed transmission; a performance suspension capable of precision handling; and a stylish interior befitting a modern supercar. Yeah, it sounds like a Hellraiser all right. And it’s a downright impressive example of modern hot rodding capabilities.
Photos by Drew Phillips