So there wasn’t anything obviously different about the black Challenger SRT Demon, mixed among the Dodge Challengers, Chargers and Chrysler 300s on the line, that made its way through Brampton on Wednesday, May 30.
Except that every worker knew that this was the last SRT Demon to be built, completing the run of 3,000 cars for the U.S. market and 300 for the Canadian market.
For the 48 seconds or so that the car spent at each station along the line, the crew flashed a thumbs up or knowing glance at each other as they added their component to this historic, 840-horsepower muscle car.
Being the last makes this one-year-only production car extra special. But this Challenger SRT Demon is also part of a unique pair, to be joined by the last 2017 Dodge Viper built and auctioned during the Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction in Connecticut during June 20-23, with all the proceeds being donated to the United Way. The pair of cars is billed as “The Ultimate Last Chance.”
By the time the last Dodge Challenger SRT Demon arrives at the Barrett-Jackson auction, it will wear the same Viper Red paint color (production code LRN) as the last Viper, along with the SRT Demon badges and wide 18- by 11-inch wheels and sticky Demon-branded Nitto 315/40R18 street-legal drag tires, which are added after the vehicle leaves the Brampton plant.
“We have a lot of pride in this car,” says Ron Vukovic, launch manager at the Brampton plant. “It really resonates with our plant’s motto of ‘Belief, Ability and Pride.’ ”
There is a lot of love for the Challenger SRT Demon and performance at Brampton. The plant gift shop has a tough time keeping many Demon-branded items in stock. Plenty of Brampton workers wear shirts touting the plant as the home of the SRT Demon and the Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcats.
“Building the Challenger SRT Demon has been more than just a job, it’s been a passion,” says Ardis Snow, Unifor Local 1285 plant chairperson. “You feel this car inside you when it goes by and we could not have been more proud to have it here.”
The last Dodge Challenger SRT Demon body shell entered the Brampton line around 7 a.m. on Wednesday and rolled off the line just before 3 p.m., just as the plant’s first shift was ending. The timing made it possible for many in the plant to gather for a “family photo” with the car, before it completed its journey through the plant’s validation and inspection stations then loaded for transportation.
It’s not the first time this car will be in the spotlight, nor will plant officials be surprised if someday it comes back home. They’ve grown accustomed to Challenger SRT Demon owners and fans bringing their cars back to Brampton for a photo or two.