TMCP #524: SEMA Show 2022 Special #2: Finale Speed – Carbon Fiber 1970 Charger, Chad Seymour – High Horsepower from Direct Connection, Kevin Hellman – Dodge Last Call Special Editions, Mike Musto – Hemmings Hellcat Durango “Track Support Special!”
Our second show of SEMA 2022 coverage is now live! Our full team was onsite for the show and grabbed a litany of fun interviews that we know you’ll love. Some interviews were scheduled in advance, but many were new and fun discoveries found on the fly.
This show is a combination of both and features a specific theme: all of them were conducted within the Dodge booth in Central Hall. Dodge made an enormous push for SEMA 2022 and had a presence in Central Hall for the the first time in the area that Chevrolet previously held. They were definitely the OEM that came to play and were the biggest story to cover. Enjoy!
Finale Speed, Carbon Fiber 1970 Charger: Finale Speed is the company that brought the internet breaking 1970 Carbon Fiber to Dodge during the Dodge August Speedweeks event. Specifically, during the 2023 model year drop Tim Kuniskis featured their car as a newly licensed Mopar product….which then lead to a million and one questions. Was Dodge going to reproduce 1970’s Chargers again and were they making carbon fiber body parts available to the public? Luckily, a fortunate (and accidental) encounter with Jared and JD from Finale Speed answered all of those questions, and then opened up a few more.
Officially, their company (Finale Speed) is just a few months old but realistically they’ve been in the business of high end vehicles for nearly 20 years. They’re located in Yukon, OK and are well connected throughout the automotive OEM and aftermarket industries. Their story of becoming a licensed Mopar producer will blow your doors off, as will the 1970 carbon fiber Charger that they brought to SEMA!
Finale Speed can produce licensed MOPAR products and the Charger is their first (to market) presentation of it. The innerstructure and VIN of the car are indeed from an original 1970 Charger….but that’s where the original car ends. The entire body is manufactured via carbon fiber and the full Dave Salvaggio Designs chassis with Detroit Speed front and rear suspension is unique to them. The Charger that was just a rolling chassis and body in August now contains a full drivetrain and is on it’s way to full completion. They do have the licensure from MOPAR to create other classic Chrysler offerings as well….which you’ll hear. Visit Finalespeed.com for more information.
Chad Seymour, Direct Connection: Chad Seymour gave the full rundown of what Direct Connection is, does, has, and can do! In a nutshell, selective trained Dodge “Power Dealer” dealerships throughout the company have the access to serve and install Direct Connection performance products to you, the Dodge owning enthusiast. That means that if you’d like a 1500HP crate HEMI for your ’63 Dart you can get it directly through them. If you’d like an upgraded rear-end for you 2019 Charger, you can get it through them and they can install it for you! They’ve expanded their crate engine offering significantly (with even an inline twin-turbo-6 cylinder variant), and while the 2023 Chargers and Challengers will be the last year a HEMI is under the hood from those car, the Dodge Direct connection program will offer might motors for years to come! Visit https://www.dcperformance.com for details.
Kevin Hellman, Dodge Muscle Brand Manager Last Call Special Editions: I caught up with Kevin Hellman to discuss the 7 unique Special Edition variants of the 2023 Charger, and he was just the person to give the nitty gritty details we all wanted. Kevin is literally the lead for all muscle cars in the Dodge portfolio. (He’s also a former show guest! Roadkill Nights episode #407).
During the 2022 Speed Week event Dodge announced the Last Call editions of the muscle car platforms. At that time they discussed that 7 unique editions would be released with each one being special to the heritage of the Charger and Challenger names. To date 6 have dropped and Kevin walked us through them all (the 7th will release in 1st quarter 2023). Each special edition has a unique spin and one in particular is only available in a manual transmission. The Charger “King Daytona” really caught my eye and he said it was based on the 1969 Charger of Drag Racing star and activist William Robinson. All of the King Daytona Chargers will be in GoManGo Orange and feature 807 horsepower and 707 lb-ft of torque.
Mike Musto, Hemmings/Dodge: Mike has been in our industry for years (known as “Mr Angry” and has continually found his way to the front of media content creation. A few things are certain: he loves speed and he loves Dodges! Today he is the director of New Media at Hemmings and is in charge of creating and distributing content. He has built a couple of different vehicles and released videos on the process, the latest of which is a green Hellcat Durango Redeye which was turning heads in the Dodge booth. The truck was built up as a “race support vehicle” that could tow a car to the track, stow all of the tools, gas, and tires one would need there, and provide shade and comfort via a rooftop awing (similar to an RV camper)! His recently updated ’69 Datona was there as well, tuned by Kevin Wesley of Wesley Motorsports. You can find out more at Hemmings.com or at Youtube/hemmings . You can also do a simple Google search for Mike Musto and you will find him.
Stay Tuned for more SEMA content
This interview sponsored by our pals at National Parts Depot – your premier source for muscle car restoration parts!