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Road & Track Comparo: Challenger 392 Vs. Shelby GT350

Posted in Cool Stuff, Dodge, Mustang, Shelby, Videos by Kurt Ernst | March 21st, 2011 | 2 Responses |

Aside from the fact that both of these cars are coupes, I’m a little puzzled at what else they have in common. Sure, both put out tire-shredding amounts of horsepower and both will run the quarter mile in respectable times, but that’s about where the similarity ends. The Challenger 392 is a “factory custom” version of the newly updated Challenger, and it celebrates the legendary 392 cubic inch displacement of past Chrysler Hemi engines. The Shelby GT350 is a tuner version of the Mustang, built in limited quantities at “if you have to ask you can’t afford it” pricing. One works well on a racetrack, while the other is a bit portly for track day fun. There’s a reason why sumo wrestlers generally don’t compete in 1,000 meter Olympic track and field events, after all.

I may not understand the logic behind pairing these cars against each other, but the video is entertaining to watch. Who wouldn’t want to fog for mosquitos using the rear tires as smoke generators? Who wouldn’t want to throw the back end of a Challenger out around corners, catching the slide then lighting up the meaty rear tires in an effort to translate horsepower into forward motion? Even the Shelby looks like a blast to drive at speed, though it clearly has much higher limits than the Challenger.

The Shelby would be fun on the track, but I can’t help looking at it as a tuner Mustang with a body kit. It’s got too many farkles for my tastes, and I can’t imagine it’s much fun to live with as a daily driver. The Challenger, on the other hand, looks cleaner and probably works far better in the real world. At half the price, the savings covers a lot of track day sessions and new rear tires, too.

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2 Responses

  1. Lightnup says:

    There aren’t many things that upset the earth’s balance more than wide racing stripes that don’t reach all the way to the bottom of the bumpers. It’s painful to see the GT350 with those bare buttocks, especially since the Shelby Mustangs and Cobras of the 60’s are my prime examples of doing it right.

  2. Wing nut says:

    Twice the price? Not worth it. If you’ve got more money than brains, have at it.