Want to buy Challenger Hellcat and have convertible top installed....

Discussion in 'SRT Hellcat Purchasing' started by Curt S, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. Curt S

    Curt S Rookie

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    I have always liked the challenger body style since Dodge brought it back. They have yet to release a convertible, and the many many hours I have spent researching tell met they will not offer this in the challenger body style. Now that they have come out with the hellcat, even though I have not drove one, I am more then impressed from the numbers it posts and based on the reviews feel I would love driving this car.

    I have found an aftermarket company that does this conversion. Drop top customs (coach builders). They charge 18k to do this. I have read reviews online and seen many pictures of other challengers they have done which look great from the pics.

    My Idea: Order a hellcat from a dealer and have it drop shipped to Drop top customs in Florida and have them do the conversion and ship to me when completed.

    My Concerns:
    Finding/ordering a hellcat. Looks like the best I may find is sticker price, which is quite a bit with adding the 18K for the convertible top. I'm not sure down if I ever did choose to sell the car that I would recoup anywhere near the 90K I would have in it. I'm concerned that "cutting" the top off and making an aftermarket alteration would take away resale value, but also wonder if that is not the case because I would have one or maybe a handful of convertible hellcats. Insurance is another question, since it is modified from its factory condition. Of course the last concern with the power these cars make, I'm really putting a lot of faith in the aftermarket company to do a good job engineering the car to handle loosing its top support and still be able to maintain its structure and not leak etc. I have spoke with Drop top customs who say there modifications lower the center of gravity for the car which help in handling and only add less then 200 lbs in weight which surprised me. Last of all, the same question a lot of people have....stick or auto. I love stick and always have, but this automatic seems incredible. I am not a racer and don't expect to ever go to a track, but love opening up my cars around town and on the highway.

    Any input is appreciated, I know I have a lot of questions. Thanks.
     
  2. RadCat

    RadCat Left Shark

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    Considering that the factory didn't seem confident in only installing a sunroof, in order to do it reliably, with the power and body twist this car is capable of, I definitely wouldn't cut the whole roof off.
     
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  3. hellcat1

    hellcat1 Gold Member

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    A hellcat convertible would be a keeper,, something to sit on and enjoy,,a off
     
  4. X-Men Fiend

    X-Men Fiend Gold Member

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    Higher torque vehicles are tough to add a convertible top to, unless you plan to never use the red key; If you do use the full power, don't be surprised if the car twists like a pretzel!
     
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  5. april77

    april77 Naughty SheDevil Mod Staff Member Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member HCC Charter Member

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    I wouldn't do it ... the Hellcat has too much torque and reaches speeds too high for a sunroof, much less a convertible. If you have your heart set on a Challenger convertible, get a RT or 392 and convert that, perhaps? Either of those would be a nice option for you, just sayin'.

    April
     
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  6. MoparProud

    MoparProud Silver Member

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    First off, you're looking at it the wrong way. Don't look at it as a monetary investment, look at it as an investment of enjoyment; who gives a shit about resale? No way would you recoup the $18k for the convertible, so don't worry about it.

    Second, you absolutely CAN have a convertible with lots of power under the hood; modded Camaro ZL1's and Cobra Mustangs have been doing it for years. They will brace the understructure (how exactly they do it, I'm not sure) and you won't have to worry. It certainly won't twist into a pretzel...

    There have been convertible conversions on these Challengers since they came out, and a number are modded and I've seen plenty supercharged. I've yet to hear reports of issues....

    My vote says go for it. Talk over the bracing with them and see what they do. I want a drop top Hellcat as well.
     
  7. Curt S

    Curt S Rookie

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    Not so much investment as 10 years from now when the new challenger puts out 2,000 horse power or whatever and i fall in love with that one, if I go to upgrade that I can recoup a decent portion of what I have spent. Absolutely your right I don't think I will recoup the 18k convertible cost but don't want to devalue the car because I cut the top off either. Guess all of that is yet to be determined. I currently have a 2003 Cobra Convertible (supercharged) 6 speed. Its around 450 hp 450 tq. It handles it great. I understand the hellcat is 30% more power then that, but it is also a larger vehicle and I will emphasize that the frame be strengthen to play it safe with the pretzel scenario. I'm excited and think I am going to do it. I'm going to wait till the pricing/availability on these cars becomes reasonable.

    I would rather wait till fall/winter if it will save me 5k+. Any one have any idea on when the production is going to ramp up to equal/exceed demand? All I can find online is the supercharger manufacturer is the one delaying the Dodge.

    Also, whats is like to drive one of these? I'm coming from an 03 cobra supercharged 6 speed 450hp/450tq. Am i going to to blown away by this car? I surprisingly have not read to much about people saying anything about how fast it was to hop in and drive one. Plus, I'm still struggling with the stick/auto question. I'm leaning toward stick tho....

    Thanks for info thus far....im glad Im not the only one who wants a hellcat convert...I live in Chicago and have to enjoy every few seconds of summer I can get.
     
  8. MoparProud

    MoparProud Silver Member

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    For someone that wants a drop top, they will pay a small premium for one already converted.

    When it gets down to it, the conversion hinges on the quality; if it's done well, there isn't going to be an issue. Of course there will always be that paranoid faction that wouldn't touch it, but overall it's going to be an interesting car because there just won't be that many out there. But it's still something you would have to catch someone that wants a convert, and I don't know what that market looks like. Here in Wyoming it's small compared to something in Florida or Cali.

    I don't see it devaluing the car at all.
     
  9. Curt S

    Curt S Rookie

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    Thanks for the info. You make very good points, and it makes me feel better about buying one.
     
  10. redkey

    redkey Senior Hellcat Member

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    I don't know if I'd go as far as to say "like a pretzel" but IMO without sufficient added reinforcement there's definitely a risk of warping the vehicle to the point of serious functional damage if it's put under enough stress and that's bad enough.

    after all, it's metal and at some point it's going to bend, not just flex.

    if that's what makes you happy, I hope you're able to get it done in way that doesn't just end up being a money pit.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
  11. Hugh Jorgan

    Hugh Jorgan Silver Member

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    The Challenger convertibles do look pretty nice with the top down but they are fugly as hell with the top up.


    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Zacuda

    Zacuda Silver Member

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    Look at that wing on the car in the background. Funny
     
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  13. BKuz

    BKuz Retired American Fighting Man

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    I looks like a ironing board! LOL!

    BKuz
     
  14. Harts

    Harts Gold Member

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    Having a 70 convertible I understand you love for convertibles. My 440 is bored & stroked to a 500, with torque over 550 and I have had problems with body twist. Yes, XV Motorsports frame connectors (welded) no rust. The newer cars are light years ahead of the 60's and 70's, but not so sure I would do remove the roof on a car like this as it is structural.

    If you have to have a convertible get an older (70 or 71) and make that your toy! It makes a great bookend next to your new Hellcat!
    .
     
  15. Curt S

    Curt S Rookie

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    yes, they are for sure ugly with the top up....one thing i have been struggling with.....
     

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