When it comes to legendary car chase movies, the 1971 film “Vanishing Point” stands tall, and at the heart of its cinematic magic was the iconic 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T. Fast forward to today, and a modern homage to this silver screen star has emerged in the form of a 2012 Dodge Challenger R/T. This remarkable recreation at Garage Kept Motors in Grand Rapids, Michigan, pays tribute to the original while boasting contemporary power and performance.
In “Vanishing Point,” we follow the enigmatic Kowalski, a war hero turned pill-addicted driver, as he embarks on a high-stakes journey from Colorado to California in a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T. His daredevil spirit and a wager with his drug dealer propel the film into a heart-pounding police chase, turning Kowalski into a symbol of freedom, immortalized by radio jock Super Soul.
The Vanishing Point Challenger R/T, with its Alpine White exterior, became an instant classic. Five pristine models were loaned to the production by Chrysler; all returned unaltered upon completion. Four of these muscle-bound beasts were equipped with 440 cubic-inch engines and four-speed manual transmissions, while the fifth sported a 383 cubic-inch engine with a three-speed automatic. While the movie depicted the car as “supercharged,” none of the engines bore this enhancement; instead, post-production magic added the distinctive supercharger sound effects.
The 2012 Dodge Challenger R/T, currently available at Garage Kept Motors, pays homage to its legendary predecessor. The vehicle, boasting a 5.7-liter HEMI® V8 engine, has been elevated with a Magnuson supercharged kit. Mated to a 6-speed manual transmission with a pistol-grip shifter, this modern powerhouse has been dyno-tuned to deliver an astonishing 598 wheel horsepower, far surpassing the original 440’s 390 horsepower rating.
This modern recreation mirrors the original’s striking white exterior, capturing the essence of a bygone era. Its aggressive stance and custom wheels echo the spirit of the iconic movie car, making it an undeniable head-turner on any road. The interior, featuring houndstooth fabric seat inserts, beautifully blends classic charm with modern convenience.
Every detail of this Challenger is meticulously crafted to pay tribute to the original. No stone has been left unturned, from the steelie-inspired wheels to the lowered suspension, and even the boldly spelled out “Dodge” badge on the hood. Inside, a wooden pistol-grip shifter adds a touch of old-world elegance to the contemporary 6-speed manual transmission.
While the asking price of $39,900 may seem steep compared to other Challengers of similar vintage and mileage, for aficionados of the ’70s classic “Vanishing Point,” this modern recreation is a priceless gem.
Supercharged 2012 Dodge Challenger R/T Vanishing Point Remake Image Gallery: