Custom 1973 Dodge Challenger: Winner of the Charles Schwab Challenge

The 1973 Dodge Challenger is a classic car that holds a special place in automotive history. In this article, we’ll explore the story behind the creation of a custom 1973 Dodge Challenger by Steve Strope of Pure Vision Design. This unique Challenger was built for the Charles Schwab challenge and showcased at the SEMA show. We’ll delve into the details of the build, modifications made, and the overall design philosophy behind this stunning automobile. So, let’s jump right in and discover the beauty of this custom 1973 Dodge Challenger!

The Exterior Modifications

To make the custom 1973 Dodge Challenger stand out, several exterior modifications were implemented. The goal was to enhance the car’s appearance and give it a more aggressive yet elegant stance. Let’s take a closer look at the exterior enhancements.

Enhancing the Body Design

The body design of the 1973 Challenger was already iconic, but some tweaks were made to elevate its visual appeal. One notable addition was the use of aluminum trim from Clayton Machine Works. This trim added a touch of sophistication and complemented the overall design of the car. Additionally, a unique Aston-style Zagato insert was created to enhance the body lines and create a distinctive look.

Upgrading the Lighting

Another significant change was made to the lighting setup of the custom 1973 Dodge Challenger. The bulky rectangular marker lights were replaced with the sleeker and more stylish 1968 Charger marker lights. This modification not only enhanced the car’s aesthetics but also improved its visibility on the road. In addition, the rear spoiler and chin spoiler were upgraded to those from a 1970 Challenger T/A, adding a sporty touch to the overall design.

Spoilers and Splitters

The addition of spoilers and splitters can greatly enhance a car’s aerodynamics and visual appeal. In the case of the custom 1973 Dodge Challenger, a rear spoiler and chin spoiler from the 1970 Challenger T/A were seamlessly integrated. These modifications not only improved the car’s aerodynamic performance but also contributed to its aggressive and sporty appearance.

Unique Badging

To personalize the custom 1973 Dodge Challenger even further, the original Dodge lettering on the front grille and rear decklid was replaced with custom Schwab lettering. This bespoke badging not only paid homage to Charles Schwab but also added a distinct touch to the car’s overall branding. The custom lettering was carefully crafted to match the style and era of the Challenger, seamlessly integrating with the design.

Engine and Transmission Upgrades

No custom muscle car is complete without some serious power under the hood. The 1973 Dodge Challenger received a substantial engine and transmission upgrade to elevate its performance. The stock engine was swapped out for a modern Mopar Performance 392 Hemi crate engine, delivering an impressive 485 horsepower. T

he transmission was upgraded to a Tremec T56 Magnum six-speed manual transmission, providing smooth and precise gear shifts. These upgrades transformed the driving experience, making the custom Challenger a true beast on the road.

Suspension and Handling

To complement the increased power, the suspension and handling of the custom 1973 Dodge Challenger were also upgraded. The car received a complete suspension overhaul, including new front and rear sway bars, coilover shocks, and tubular control arms. These enhancements improved the car’s stability, cornering ability, and overall handling, allowing for a more enjoyable and controlled driving experience.

Interior Transformation

The interior of the custom 1973 Dodge Challenger underwent a complete transformation to create a comfortable and luxurious driving environment. High-quality materials, such as custom leather upholstery and plush carpeting, were used to elevate the interior’s look and feel.

The seats were redesigned and bolstered for improved support during spirited driving. Modern amenities, such as air conditioning, power windows, and a premium audio system, were also integrated to enhance comfort and convenience.

Comfort and Style

The focus on comfort and style extended beyond the interior. The custom 1973 Dodge Challenger featured a number of additional touches to enhance the overall driving experience. The steering wheel was replaced with a modern leather-wrapped unit for improved grip and comfort. The dashboard received custom gauges and controls, providing accurate and easy-to-read information for the driver. These thoughtful details combined to create a harmonious blend of classic style and modern comfort.

Attention to Detail

Throughout the build process, meticulous attention was paid to every detail of the custom 1973 Dodge Challenger. From the carefully aligned body panels to the precisely fitted trim pieces, no aspect was overlooked. The goal was to create a car that not only looked stunning as a whole but also stood up to scrutiny under close inspection. The commitment to excellence and craftsmanship is evident in every aspect of the vehicle.

The Wheels that Shine

The custom 1973 Dodge Challenger featured a set of eye-catching wheels that added a touch of flair to its appearance. Classic American Racing Torq Thrust wheels were chosen, finished in a polished aluminum finish. These wheels not only complemented the car’s retro-inspired design but also provided a striking contrast to the body color. The larger diameter and wider width of the wheels improved traction and gave the Challenger a more aggressive stance.


In conclusion, the custom 1973 Dodge Challenger, inspired by Charles Schwab, is a remarkable testament to the passion and craftsmanship of automotive customization. The attention to detail, from the unique badging to the engine and transmission upgrades, showcases the dedication to creating a truly exceptional muscle car. The interior transformation and comfort enhancements provide a luxurious driving environment, while the suspension and handling upgrades ensure an exhilarating and controlled ride. With its striking appearance, impressive performance, and meticulous attention to detail, the custom 1973 Dodge Challenger offers a driving experience that is both nostalgic and modern, capturing the essence of a classic muscle car while delivering the thrills of contemporary performance. This custom Challenger is a true standout in the world of automotive customization, representing the perfect fusion of style, power, and craftsmanship.

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