The Dodge Charger and Challenger Hellcat have emerged as the new benchmark for muscle car performance, and it’s easy to see why. A goliath 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque give the Hellcats incredible drag strip agility…from straight off the dealer showroom.
But how does the new-age Hellcat compare to its Mopar elders on track? Onlookers found out at the Mo-Kan Dragway in Asbury, Missouri, earlier this year when a 2015 Hellcat Challenger lined up for a drag race against a 1961 Dodge Lancer with a highly beefed-up slant-six engine. Take a look at the epic pass, below.
Admittedly, a Hellcat versus a stock ’61 Lancer drag race wouldn’t be much of a showdown. But this Lancer is far from showroom stock. Its specifications are unknown, though the Chrysler slant-six engine under its hood is likely putting out some gargantuan horsepower figures given its rowdy wail and ability to light up the tires.
While the slant-six may seem like an odd powerplant to tune-up to stratospheric levels, it carries a history of putting up V8-rivaling performance. In the early ‘60s, Dodge issued the Lancer with either the 170 or 225 cu. in. slant-six engine, of which the larger made 145 horsepower. However more grunt was made available via Chrysler’s Hyper Pak, which added a new intake manifold, four-barrel carburetor, camshaft, and exhaust headers to bump power in the bigger six all the way up to 195 hp, making this setup quite the leaning tower of power.
Both cars cross the line with the Lancer edging the Hellcat with a pass of 11.08 to the Challenger’s 11.86 seconds. Which would you rather have? A ballistic Hellcat or some vintage Lancer slant sickness?