several notable announcements at the 2004 SEMA Show that focused on the
Hemi engine and excited muscle car enthusiasts of all generations. First
off, a modern 5.7-liter Hemi will be available as a crate engine with
an easy-to-use, plug ‘n’ play engine controller. There are
also a variety of classic Hemi crate engines for hot rodders available
from the Mopar Performance catalog. So if you’ve got an old Dodge
truck, you have a nice variety of crate engines for restoring your truck.
perspective, the one Hemi that caught our eye was under the hood of a
hacked-up Durango called the “Dude.” Conceived and built by
the Chrysler Group SkunkWerks team, the Dude looks a little like a regular
cab Dakota with an SRT-10 hood; that is if Dodge made a regular cab Dakota.
But since they don’t, the team chopped off the back of a Durango,
rounded off the roofline a little and fabricated the leftover sheetmetal
into a cargo bed. The Dude is also modified with a cat-back exhaust, lowered
suspension, custom front and rear fascia, 20-inch Budnik wheels and hot
PPG Tangerine paint. Don’t expect any such vehicle to appear in
any showroom. To be honest, we’d rather see the SkunkWerks team
chop up a Dodge Magnum and make a Rancher/El Camino-type pickup.
team did have a Dakota on display. Inspired by the pre-runner look, the
team built this Warrior HO, and it could possibly end up in some production
form. The Quad Cab is powered by a 260-horsepower 4.7-liter HO engine,
which should be available in the Dakota by spring. Modifications to this
truck include a water-fording intake system, integrated bumper-winch combination,
off-road tires and decoupling sway bar system (like the one on the Power
Wagon). Adding a little extra character are hood scoop, wheel flares,
bed-mounted spare tire, tubular tailgate, light bar and sport bar. Don’t
be surprised if you see some type of extreme off-road package for the
Dakota given the huge response to the Power Wagon.
Dakota in the Dodge display was built by Performance West and follows
the T/A theme made famous by the Dodge Challenger in the late ‘60s
and early ‘70s. The Club Cab’s 4.7-liter engine is assisted
by a ram-air intake package that is topped off with a 6-Pack style hood
scoop. Setting off the truck are the Plum Crazy purple paint, T/A graphics
and 20-inch wheels.
The hottest Ram in the display was a Sublime Green regular cab created
by Roush Industries. It features a functional shaker hood scoop and dual
exhaust that exits in front of the rear tires. Other mods include deep
front fascia, cladding, rear roll pan, 22-inch Alcoa wheels and Pirelli
Scorpion Zero tires.