Welcome To The Deep End: Randy Kirkley’s 2008 Challenger SRT-8 Wing Car Is A Commitment To Going All-In


Welcome To The Deep End: Randy Kirkley’s 2008 Challenger SRT-8 Wing Car Is A Commitment To Going All-In

Opinions on a late-model Dodge Challenger that has been transformed into a retro-modern take on a Mopar Wing Car are going to vary wildly, from love to hate, with very little middle room. On one hand, the Challenger is the first car in the Mopar lineup that could hang with the street-going versions of the Plymouth Road Runner Superbird and Dodge Charger Daytona. It has the right options: stout V8s, a row-yer-own manual trans, and rear-drive. But the iconic nose cone and wing on the Challenger will rankle more than just the die-hard Mopar guys. Even Chad has thrown in a couple of cents on what he thinks about them (not a fan). But is there a place for them?

Randy Kirkley certainly makes a strong case for one. His 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT-8 is the kind of car that can grab attention just about anywhere, but what we really dig is that this isn’t just a body-kitted Challenger…it’s a full-on build that gets beat on like it was a cheap rental. It still wears Hemi Orange and the carbon-fiber stripes that it probably left the factory with, but that’s about where “stock” really should end. Under the hood is a 528 cubic inch Gen 3 Hemi fed with a Paxton blower that pushed the acceptability limits of NCM Motorsports Park’s stringent noise level rule pretty hard as it repaved the launch point at the autocross. We watched Kirkley as he threw the Challenger into corners and powered out of them with the rear tires ablaze.

It’s built up and runs like the Devil is on it’s heels, but lots of cars can do that. What is it about the Challenger that really has our attention? Well, let’s look at a couple of things on the car itself. For starters, there is the “kill list” on the front fender, reminding us of a WWII-era fighter’s kill markings, but in cute, fluffy creature form, ranging from squirrels with commitment issues to fresh venison. Should you be surprised that Kirkley has re-made the nose cone more than a couple of times? There’s the Road Runner’s natural enemy, Wile E. Coyote, as the mascot of “Acme Team Racing” in lieu of the standard Superbird logo. Or there’s the very concerning, “I RACE NAKED” banner across the rear bumper. We were not going to ask if that is a legitimate warning.

Hunkered down over it’s Forgeline wheels, the Challenger looks ready to rock just about any racing venue you could run it at. Silver State, Bonneville, Optima…the car can handle it all. We might have even heard something about an alcohol-drinking engine for serious attempts…the aero package is a Petty-designed kit, and it functions as it should. You might not approve of the look, but if you are going to go to the trouble of converting a Challenger into a Wing Car, going full-kill race car with it is always a great step as well. You jumped into the deep end of the pool, so who cares if you do a cannonball on the way in? Just please…don’t do it naked, ok?


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9 thoughts on “Welcome To The Deep End: Randy Kirkley’s 2008 Challenger SRT-8 Wing Car Is A Commitment To Going All-In

  1. arrowhead

    IMO, the areo kit should have been part of an OEM optional package on the new gen Challenger and received the “Daytona” moniker, FCA likely would have sold hundreds if not thousands of them and made more profit $$$ then they ever will with the Demon

    Reply
  2. wayne

    As if the challenger didn’t weight enough lets throw another 100 plus lbs of garbage on it and turn a good looking car into an ugly POS.

    Reply
  3. Terry McKay

    Wow!! I am a Chevy guy, but I can give compliments when deserved. This challenger looks awesome!! I actually love it.

    Reply
  4. Paul

    Front end looks great but I’ve got to say no on the wing.
    At the very least, make it a more traditional sized spoiler on the back.
    (Kind of looks like Lightning McQueen in the last photo)

    Reply
  5. Randy Kirkley

    Thank you Chad and all the guys from Bangshift for doing a great article on my car. Yes, I wanted to take Chad for a ride in it but, we didn\’t get the chance to. As we already know just like in the 70\’s you either hated the wing cars (superbird or daytona) or you liked them. I never wanted to put a roadrunner decal on the wing due to respect for the original superbirds.Besides, I like Wiley Coyote better lmao!! I originally built the car for land speed racing but, I love road racing, optima events, and autocrossing it as well. It also, has a fire suppression system and dual chute setup Now, the wing is the same size as the superbirds of the 70\’s. Now, with the kill list on the fender. Those are confirmed kills with this car since it has been a superbird type car. Being a retired Air Force veteran that\’s why they ended up on the fender along with the tail number on the eponage on the wing denoting 08-2023 the year and number built. This is not a trailer queen nor does she live in a garage at all. It\’s a daily driver to work and a fun race car. During the Fm3 road trip cars and cones event which was a blast to see friends and to make new ones. No body actually knew that I started out the events in 3rd gear to keep the tires spin down and still smoked them lol Again, Thank you Bangshift for an amazing article.

    Reply
    1. Larry Lovelady

      I like it because it\’s all functional
      Not built for looks
      Would love to go for a ride at Daytona or Talidega

      Reply
  6. Doug

    It\’s butt ugly. The problem with using this body is there is too much vertical between the rocker panels and the hood line compared to the original Daytonas and Superbirds. The nose cone looks like a shovel instead an aerodynamic piece. Basically, it looks like bolt-on nose and spoiler to a frumpy body.

    Reply

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