Challenger Kowalski Edition SRT-8
4 of 10 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Kowalski Edition 392 HEMI
Considered a cult movie classic, “Vanishing Point” is Mopar lover's equivalent to “Gone in 60 Seconds”. The plot centers around a tough guy named Kowalski who drives a wicked fast 1970 Challenger R/T on a long, high speed exodus across the American Southwest to win a bet. The result is roughly two hours of footage in which a bad ass white Mopar tears up the roads and runs flat-out against all odds. What more do you really need for a great car guy movie?!
The concept of a special edition movie car is nothing new, but this 2011 Challenger SRT-8 Kowalski Edition is, indeed, something very special. In 2009, a very motivated guy named Bob Frederick of New Wilmington Dodge in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania envisioned a fitting “Vanishing Point” tribute car. Initial thoughts revolved around using a regular Challenger, because white was added to the color palette in 2009; but Bob knew that any kind of “Vanishing Point” tribute car worth its salt had to be a top-of-the-line SRT-8 model with massive firepower and a 6-speed manual transmission. There was only one problem with that logic: white was not on the menu for the SRT-8.
Enter the 2011 392 Inaugural Edition Challenger SRT-8 which FINALLY offered white among its available colors. Bob immediately called Auburn Hills and told them his plan: A white, stripe delete SRT-8 392, 6-speed manual transmission with Dark Slate SRT seats, 20 inch aluminum SRT wheels, a navigation system and SRT Option Group II. Technically, his plan was very possible, but he threw in one other caveat for the guys at Dodge: he wanted sequential VINs. After some hand wringing and a lot of convincing, the pentastars aligned and ten white, stripe delete, 6-speed SRT-8 Challengers were delivered to Bob's New Wilmington Dodge showroom. Once they arrived at the dealership, the Challengers underwent a slew of minor modifications which included: custom fender tags, unique “Kowalski Edition” engine bay stickers, a pair of Scat Pack quarter window bee decals that are reminiscent of the ones used on Dodges 1970 performance models, Mopar quad chrome exhaust tips, 1970-style Hurst Pistol Grip shift handles that are complete with both wood grain grips and a six-speed shift-pattern inserts and specially numbered dash plaques. Additionally, the cars come with unique broadcast sheets courtesy of Chrysler Group LLC, and as a tribute to the movie that will get fans excited, a reproduction Colorado license plate that matches the one used on the “Vanishing Point” movie car. The result is a plain white bodied car that looks amazing; and while the lack of stripes and exterior markings helps the car keep a low profile on the street, it still has the ability to stand out in a crowd of 'normal' SRT-8s.
Of course, all ten Kowalski Edition Challengers were snapped up before the broadcast sheets even hit the assembly line printer, and this one, number 4 of 10, was initially ordered new from New Wilmington Dodge and delivered directly to our RK Motors Charlotte. With only 1,161 carefully chosen miles on its odometer, it is factory new in every way. If this were a 1970 Challenger, this is where we would include the fender tag decode; and since the Kowalski Edition Challengers now carry their own special fender tags, here's the information:
21X - 392 cubic inch Hemi V8, 6-speed, Track Pak
PW7 - Monotone White exterior paint with white SRT spoiler
ULDV - Dark Slate Gray leather/suede interior
MMS - Stripe delete
RHR - Super Soul Guidance System (Media Center 730N Navigation)
AY2 - SRT Option Group II (Kicker sound system)
WP3 - SRT 20x9 aluminum wheels
A19 - Frederic Scat Pack Kowalski Edition
J42 - Hurst Pistol Grip shift handle
D23 - Hurst short throw shifter
N42 - Chrome quad exhaust tips
V25 – Sequentially numbered dash plaque
V27 - Scat Pack window decals
N92 - High flow filter element
Y21 - Additional build sheet and fender tag
57X - Special Kowalski Edition factory build
Pretty cool, huh? We thought so!
For the 2011 model year, Dodge gave the Challenger SRT-8 some serious upgrades. Power comes from a new 392 cubic inch Hemi V8, which now makes and even 470 horsepower and 470 pounds of torque. With the Kowalski Edition, there's a high-flow air filter which may free up a few horsepower and provides a definite big block sound that's strangely absent on the stock car. Otherwise, the engine bay is in untouched factory condition, with all the original markings, labels, and components 100% intact. Remember, this is basically a brand-new car that has been kept by guys who understand the value of not altering ANYTHING on a special edition piece.
Underneath the car, a 6-speed Tremec TR-6060 with a dual disc clutch is more than up to the beating it's sure to receive at the hands of the big Hemi, and the rear differential internals are now shot-peened for extra strength. The exhaust system has been reworked, and according to Chrysler engineers, just barely passes drive-by sound requirements for production cars. Other changes for 2011 include new hydroelastic engine mounts which suppress idle shake and better control the engines mass during cornering, stiffer suspension bushings that are complemented by larger front and rear anti-roll bars, a steering ratio that has been quickened from 16.1:1 to 14.4:1, and an increase in the front negative camber from 0.8 degree to 1.4 degrees. Together, these changes make the SRT8 a lively handler that belies its size. Wheels are those gorgeous SRT-8 20-inchers wearing 245/45/20 Goodyear Eagle RS-A radials.
Inside, its 100% stock Challenger SRT-8, which includes leather and suede buckets with SRT logos embroidered on the seatbacks. The dash has silver-faced gauges that comprehensively monitor the engine and the navigation and entertainment system is easy to use and powerful. The cars special equipment wood grain pistol-grip shifter looks right at home in the brushed aluminum console, and the steering wheel is one inch smaller in diameter than last year's car. As with the rest of the car, the interior is in absolutely pristine as-delivered condition throughout.
Documentation is an important part of any special edition car, and this Challenger is no exception. In addition to the aforementioned fender tag under the hood, this one carries a Kowalski Edition build sheet, as well as the original build sheets that come with all new 2011 Challengers. We also have the window sticker, special owner's manual kit with the new Scat Pack logo, and all the original paperwork from Chrysler. Oh, and don't forget about that custom 1970 Colorado license plate from the original Vanishing Point Challenger.
If you're a fan of the movie or simply love the unique opportunity that this car represents, you cannot afford to wait. Rarely does the factory cooperate with a dealer to create something like this, and it's highly unlikely that they'll do it again. Nine of the Kowalski Edition Challengers have vanished into prominent Mopar collections, leaving only number 4 here looking for a new home. There's no doubt this is a special car. MOVE FAST; it won't be long until this one is gone. Call today!
UPDATE: Now here's where it gets really cool. If you follow RK Motors Charlotte, you know that our cars are like homing pigeons; our customers love to buy new stuff but tend to get bored really fast. We sold this Challenger back in the spring to a customer named Kowalski! No, we are not making that up! Kowalski is one our best customers and when he spied our new HEMI GTX, a deal was quickly struck and the Challenger is back resting safely in our showroom. If you were one of the 20 guys who called me after we sold this car back in May and asked when we would get another one (answer: never), guess what-we lied! Here's your second chance! This extremely special car will likely last about as long as it did the first time we had it, so if you wanted it then and were too slow on the draw, here's your chance to redeem yourself. Call now!
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What Customers Are Saying
First I would like to say that the staff at RK Motors were very professional and courteous. I was very impressed with the write-up and the details that were presented on this car. The photo shoot was amazing and the video was outstanding. Tony Klein, the consignment manager was amazing to work with. Tony always answered all of my questions within a timely manner. I was impressed with the time frame in which my vehicle was sold. I would and have recommended RK Motors to all of my car enthusiasts. Thank You RK Motors for a great job!