This Black Velvet Dodge Challenger Is A ‘Retromod’ Masterpiece
A modern carbon body and Hellcat horsepower converge with 1968 Charger style.
You’ve undoubtedly heard of a restomod— a classic car that’s been restored with modern parts to give gearheads the best of two eras: timeless looks and modern performance.
But Greenville, Pennsylvania’s ExoMod is one of a few companies pioneering the “retromod,” a term coined by none other than MotorTrend. Think of it as the restomod’s inverse: Each project starts with a modern muscle car that’s modified to look like an old-school hot rod while retaining contemporary architecture, chassis and powertrains.
The results, at least in the case of ExoMod’s Black Velvet, are nothing short of striking. Starting with a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, the firm goes to work on a comprehensive carbon fiber makeover that sheds 450 pounds. The body kit includes 1968 Charger-style reveal hood and rocker moldings, a silvery Bumblebee stripe, gloss graphite grille and taillight trim, Forgeline Roadster rims, and a gorgeous gloss black paint coat.
Only the red Brembo brakes and the hefty rear diffuser will tip onlookers off to the Black Velvet’s retromod status at a glance—more eagle-eyed passersby might notice that the body is four inches wider than an original’s.
The contemporary underpinnings become more obvious from inside the cabin, which is outfitted with heated seats clad in Italian leather, a rear back-up camera, parking-assist system, an 8.4-inch infotainment screen with GPS, and an 18-speaker Harman Kardon system with its own subwoofer and amplifier.
Then there’s the powertrain. The Black Velvet iteration pictured here channels 717 horsepower from a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 through an eight-speed automatic transmission, but ExoMod also offers an 807-horsepower retromod Challenger courtesy of Dodge’s Redeye tune or a truly hellacious 1,000-horsepower version from, you guessed it, Hennessey Performance.