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Hagerty Employee

What If? 1969 Charger Hellcat

Welcome to What If, a new feature from imaginative illustrator Abimelec Arellano and Hagerty. We’ll be taking you back in time—and possibly forward into the future—to meet alternative-universe automobiles.


One year ago, the revitalized Chrysler Corporation, under the guidance of Lynn Townsend, introduced the baddest midsize car around: the 1968 Charger R/T. Super-sleek for the super-speedway, the R/T came stock with a 375-horsepower 440 Magnum V-8. A few of you crazy people spent about $600 on top of the $3500 base price to upgrade to the rabid 426 Street Hemi. From the factory it could run a 13.5-second quarter mile at an astounding 105 miles per hour. Let’s see Chevy or Ford beat that!


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I absolutely loved this. The hood-off shot is perfection and the addition of the Super Stock scoop and Super Bee-style "Hellcat" logo is fantastic. 


I'd ask for a "production" mid-engine C2 but to mess with those lines would get you run out of town on a rail. 

Advanced Driver

I was employed as an engineer at Chrysler in 1968. Since I was still wet behind the ears and owned a Hemi Road Runner, one engine lab assignment was to test drive two candidate camshafts for the coming 440 Six Pack.  It was a simple matter of driving two cars back to back on the Davidson freeway near Chrysler's Highland Park, Michigan, headquarters.  I did so and reported my preference for the cam which was stronger at the low end albeit as some high end output.  That camshaft subsequently arrived in the production model.


575 hp is an understatement. Street 426 made 485 to 510 on the dyno in 68 with the hydraulic cam. The pictured engine has the offset ram manifold of the super stocker, adding 30-40 hp without the blowers. Dropping the compression to 9:1 and adding the blowers should add almost 150 hp to the configured 550.

Intermediate Driver

Well, you can't expect Chrysler to give the figures, you'd never be able to get it insured...

Intermediate Driver

Apparently in this alternate reality the Clean AIr Act of 1963 with the 1965 vehicle amendment didn't pass, so the 1968 model year requirement didn't happen.  I really like this series, very creative and enjoyable.



What a great idea for an article. Extremely well done illustrations. Really funny, too. "Heavy duty 11-inch drums", the whole business of the ridiculous tires, on and on -- had me laughing. I love how they underrate the horsepower so that maybe, somehow, a buyer could find somebody to insure this lunatic death machine! If the modern Hellcat is 700+ net, this thing is 700+ gross all day long! Until you spin out into a concrete barrier when your brakes fade to oblivion and your tires function like ice skates.

Intermediate Driver

Running out of ideas, are we?  


I think so  Hubcaps falling off???  I lost a hubcap once when I was driving on a rough road!  I think this article was written by a high school kid who was dreaming of getting his driver license...


The current 4 door Charger should have been a Coronet.  A 2 door Charger the size of the Challenger would have felt right and a smaller Challenger more in line with the classics.

Intermediate Driver

S I G H ! ! ! If only. 

New Driver

New Hemi engine is junk!
SEARCH: Gen 3 Hemi Camshaft Failure Mystery Explained!


Only thing missing: Yellow, plastic, front splitter guards. 

Intermediate Driver

Hagerty should have a contest based on these heavily photoshopped Charger photographs, with a drawing for a grand prize.

Any people that find 20 mistakes can enter into the drawing. 

To keep it fair, if you know anything about Mopars, you must find 50 mistakes to play.



Perhaps the Challenger would have been a better subject for the article than the Charger since the current Hellcat is a Challenger? Just sayin'.