Ah, the LC-Body Dodge Challenger… Some say it’s too big, others say it’s too heavy. Both are undoubtedly true, but just like how you can’t pick who you fall in love with, I have found myself head over heels for them since I first saw the concept car back in 2006. So much so, in fact, that I pulled the trigger on a brand new 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 six-speed back in 2011, and it remains one of my favorite cars in my burgeoning collection.
Needless to say, I’m now part of a Challenger Club, Challengers Unlimited, go to tons of Mopar car shows and events, and I am always reading and writing about Dodge’s two-door muscle car. Yes, I admit it, I’m ridiculously smitten by that retro shape and all that power. So when I come across a genuinely unique LC build, I’m practically bound by law to write about it.
Enter Jeffrey Davis’ 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392.
I first became aware of Jeffrey’s car when I was writing my column about Mike Haislet’s rare, COPO, Kowalski Edition Challenger a few months back. Mike and Jeffrey were good friends, and while working on that article, Mike mentioned to me that he knew of a guy with a fantastic SRT that would make for a great build review. I reached out to Jeffrey, received some pictures from him, and agreed straight away with Mike’s assessment: Jeffrey’s car is an excellent piece of work!
A retired firefighter in Michigan, Jeffrey has always been a car enthusiast and was accustomed to doing modifications and customizing every vehicle he’s owned. In 2011, he decided that he wanted to buy a new sports car. “I looked at Porsches, Chevrolet Camaros, Corvettes, Cadillac CTS–V’s, some used Ford GT’s, Lamborghinis, and the Dodge Challenger SRT8. I chose the Dodge because you get the best bang for your buck.”
The car Jeffrey bought on November 29, 2011, was a loaded SRT with the then brand new 392ci V8 and the five-speed automatic in eye-popping Green With Envy with black longitudinal stripes. “There was snow on the ground when I bought it, so I drove it straight from the dealership to my garage, where it sat out the Michigan winter until March 2012.”
“Over the winter I joined clubs online and made a good friend, John Eveleigh, who also had a 2011 Green With Envy. We would be up all night talking online about our cars or something car related.”
All that talk resulted in some simple initial modifications that Jeffrey wanted to do. He started with an anodized under-hood kit that replaced all the reservoir caps and a custom engraved air/oil separator catch can, both from Billet Technologies. He also replaced a portion of the radiator hose with a clear Gorilla Glass tube, by Killerglass.
Jeffrey went to his first Mopar car show, ChallengerFest in April 2012, where he met John in person for the first time. Jeffrey made some friends in the Mopar world through John that day and touring the rows and rows of tricked out LXs and LCs, got some ideas for further customizing his car.
A trip to St. Louis in June saw Jeffrey’s car, now named “Envied,” take first place in his class at the Monster Mopar show. It was then that the mod bug really sunk its fangs into Jeffrey.
“Upon returning home, a set of black chrome wheels replaced the factory WPA SRTs, and a black Drake fuel cap was added. The mods just kind of progressed from there and then snowballed,” recalls Jeffrey. “My next mod was 392 ghosted billboards on the sides of the car which were painted by Advanced Custom Paint in Belleville, Michigan. When I picked it up, I was blown away by how beautiful the work was. My painter then suggested doing something with the solid black factory stripes. I asked him if he could ghost paint them and add ‘SRT’ into the stripes. He said he could do anything I wanted if I were willing to pay for it, so we went ahead and did that.”
The day after the latest paintwork was done, Jeffrey had Envied trailered to the 2013 Detroit Autorama show, where the car took second place in its class, and he received the Street Achievement Modern Muscle Award.
“The person who judged my car said it was really nice, but suggested I do something with the interior if I wanted to take first place in future years. I took his criticism in stride and spoke with my brother-in-law about finding someone who could redo my interior. A few months later, he gave me the name and number for Spencer Pearson. We made contact and went over plans for several weeks. We went back-and-forth and finally came up with a design that I was happy with.”
That design included seats with Green With Envy micro-suede inserts with hand perforated SRT logos in the fabric, matching micro-suede door inlays, and red French stitching.
The mods kept coming fast and furious after that. Custom LED lights were installed throughout the car and illuminated 392 Hemi SRT8 scuff panels were installed. A chrome Mopar T-handle shifter was also added. In May of 2014, a friend of Jeffrey’s custom painted the console, steering wheel and door lock hardware in Green With Envy, and custom GWE Mopar logo floor mats and LED taillights were procured.
That same month, Advanced Custom Paint took another crack at Envied, and custom painted an “Imported from Detroit” trunk lid.
As most mod addicts can attest to having experienced though, Jeffrey’s tastes took a turn during the winter of 2014. “I decided to change the theme of the car from SRT to the Dodge Brothers,” Jeffrey recalls. “I bought a new T/A style hood, and Envied went back to Advanced Custom Paint to have the Dodge Brothers emblem painted. We also added the DB emblem to the wheel center caps.
In June 2017, Jeffrey changed the trunk lid to the Dodge Brothers theme as well, and the following month Michigan Hydrographics added custom transfers to the valve covers. Around that time a custom firewall insert with an illuminated SRT logo was also installed, as was an engraved fuse box cover.
The final touches to Jeffrey’s build, added just last month, include a Mopar CAI with custom hydrographics and a Carven cat-back exhaust, both aimed at enhancing the sound and freeing up the engine’s ability to breathe.
All of these custom touches have led to an impressive array of awards and accolades over the years, including:
- 1st Place, Monsters Mopar Weekend. St. Louis, 2012
- 2nd Place, Detroit Autorama. Contemporary hardtop 2011-2013 class
- Street Achievement Modern Muscle Award, 2013
- Top 30, Moparpalooza, 2013
- Best Paint Moparpalooza, 2013
- Best of Class, Mopar’s @Baker’s, 2013
- Best of Class, Mopar’s @Canterbury, 2013
- 1st Place, Best muscle car CEMA show, 2013
- 2nd Place, Detroit Autorama, 2014
- Street Achievement Modern Muscle Award, 2014
- Best of Class, Roseville Mopar, 2014
- 1st Place, Moparpalooza, 2014
- People’s Choice, Mopar-Nation Midwest, 2014
- 2nd Place, Lone star Moparfest, 2014
- 1st Place Best Custom lights, Lone star Moparfest, 2014
- 1st Place modern muscle car 1980-2014 class, CEMA show, 2014
- People’s Choice, Best Domestic class, MSU Spring car show, 2015
- 1st Place 2003-present class, MSU Spring car show, 2015
- Best Domestic, MSU Spring car show, 2015
- 1st Place, Moparpalooza, 2015
- Best Modern 2001-2016 class, CEMA show, 2016
- Best Paint, We Are Mopar, 2016
- Top 100, We Are Mopar, 2017
So what are the things Jeffrey has come away with through this seven-year odyssey?
“I’m completely satisfied with how things have turned out. I can’t say that I’m definitively done, but I’m content for now. The biggest takeaway though has been the people I have come to know throughout the process. From painters and upholstery fabricators, to show judges and fellow Mopar aficionados, I have made a host of wonderful friends on this journey, and I’m very thankful for that.”