When you mention the word HEMI, people perk up and want to see what car you’re talking about. There’s just something about the HEMI that appeals to almost anyone who loves cars, even if you’re not into Mopars.
Then there’s Joel Highsmith with his “Highsmith HEMI”, a 2008 Dodge Challenger that has been modified quite heavily. But the first modification you notice is not the Power Ported Performance built blown 426 HEMI under the hood. The first thing you notice is the Superbird wing out back, and the Superbird-style nosecone on the front end.
Not only does this car stand out, but the aerodynamics that he’s added to this car are functional as well, as evidenced by the adjustable crossbar on the huge spoiler. This body kit is purpose built to take the car up to 200 mph.
We caught up with Joel recently at the Mojave Mile where he was putting the Challenger through it’s paces. But this wasn’t the first time he’s driven the car fast, he also ran it at the Texas Mile where he ran a respectable 180 mph. He told us that he just got the car off the dyno the night before, and drove it around the block a couple times before loading it up to bring it to the Mojave Mile.
He made a couple runs, and told us that he was pretty sure they could get close to 200, but he was concerned that his limiter would prevent that. So he ran the car a 190.4 miles per hour, and he told us it handled great and was very stable at that speed. Then he gave the keys to his daughter, Sammi, and she raised him 5 miles per hour and pulled in a 195.1 run. Sammi was just as personable as her dad, and talking to her gave no indication that she had such a heavy right foot.