Then and Now – Dodge SRT Demon
Man, that Dodge Challenger SRT Demon hype was real. It kind of feels like the SRT Demon came and went though. Maybe the requirement of signing a waiver to own the Demon, or the limited ability to drive one on the streets turned people away. Even with all the goodies like the Demon Crate, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon was made for drag racing, and we think Dodge knew that. With the announcement of the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye and the 2019 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, it’s clear Dodge decided to dial things back down for consumers and make retail vehicles that someone can actually drive to work as well as on the track. Still, it makes us a little nostalgic to look back at how the Dodge Demon started.
It all started in 1971 when the Dodge Dart needed a bit of a boost and released a new addition based off of the Plymouth Duster platform, but under the Chrysler LLC name and owned by the Dodge brand. It was the first Dodge Demon. Available with two powertrain options, either a 198 cubic inch slant six or a 318 cubic inch V-8. engine, consumers had their choice of power. They could also change up the style with a vinyl roof, and one of fourteen body paint colors, four of which were High Impact Paint (HIP legacy colors. It all cost less than $2500 at the time.
The Demon Causes Trouble
1971 wasn’t just the release of the Dodge Demon but also a year of controversy for the automaker. In the beginning, the first sign of warning came before the Demon even debuted. Initially, the vehicle was going to be called the Dodge Beaver. For anyone from the UK or Canada, you’ll know “Beaver” is slang for…something else entirely, and the automaker decided to dodge that problem with a simple name change.
There were also some who took offense, but those that did also think rock music is made by the Devil, so whatever. Custom Auto Parts organization Mopar took a liking to the Demon and decided to give it some upgrades. These consisted of a 275-hp 340 cubic inch V8 engine and heavy duty 3-speed manual transmission with floor shifter standard; a Rallye Suspension Package with heavy duty front torsion bars, front stabilizer bar, rear springs, and shock absorbers; 10 x 2.25 front drum brakes and 10 x 1.75 drums on the rear; E70 tread bias belted tires outfitted to 14-inch wheels, and an instrumentation cluster by Rallye that came with a 150 mph speedometer.
That was some upgrade! Too bad new federal regulations on gas usage sprung up by the end of 71, and the Demon 340 had to tone down its engine to meet the new standards.
The Dodge Demon 240 returned in 1972 with minor aesthetic changes and a weaker engine. No longer boasting horsepower, consumers didn’t find the Demon to be a worthwhile vehicle. Only 39,062 Demon units and 8,700 Dodge Demon 340 units were sold in all of 1972. So Dodge changed the Demon to what became the Dodge Dart Sport trim and disappeared for over 40 years.
Come 2018, Dodge decided to bring the Demon back as an SRT vehicle now that they had the technology to do it right. Powered by a a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI Demon V8 engine, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon produces 840 horsepower and 770 lb-ft of torque. It has the highest horsepower of any production car, highest g-force of any production car, first production car to pop a wheelie, and is the world’s fastest production car, able to accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 2.3 seconds, and able to cover a quarter mile in 11.7 seconds.
And they’re all gone.
Limited to 3000 units in North America, consumers won’t be finding any Demons left. But hey, that’s why Dodge decided to rethink things and put Demon parts into not just two vehicles, the Challenger SRT Hellcat and Charger SRT Hellcat, but also the Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack trim for consumers on a budget. Find yours at Aventura CJDR.