Kevin Hart is floored by his new ’69 Roadrunner custom muscle machine
Kevin Hart can’t get enough of custom Detroit muscle, and we can’t get enough of Kevin Hart not getting enough of custom Detroit muscle. So, of course, we’re excited about his newest addition.
The actor, comedian, and car collector just got his first look at a 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner built to his specs by Wisconsin-based craftsman Dave Salvaggio and lead designer Sean Smith. Hart and Salvaggio have collaborated before, and this time Hart asked him to create a Mopar tribute with a Hemi engine, custom carbon-fiber pieces, a sinister black-and-orange color combo, and an aggressive stance with modern components. Hart wanted a vehicle that would appear simple and industrial; hence, for example, his choice of traditional hubcaps to conceal the modern wheels.
Did Salvaggio nail it? Judging from Hart’s reaction, he did. “Y’all did this up. This is stupid, man,” Hart says of the car he calls “Michael Myers,” a tribute to the lead character in the Halloween movies. “Dave, this is stupid.” (For the uninitiated, that means awesome.)
Starting with a sound donor car, the team at Salvaggio Design used 3D scanning to create a computer model before designing a custom frame with CAD software. With input from Detroit Speed & Engineering on its X-Gen 595 front suspension package, the frame was fabricated by Salvaggio’s Craig Provencher, Telly Violetto, and Randy Russell. Their efforts proved so successful that the frame will soon be available separately for all Mopar B-body platforms.
The crew also built the roll cage; fabricated removable floors, a custom firewall, radiator support, wheel tubs, and trunk; and shaved the drip rails to create cleaner lines without diluting the original Plymouth design. The only original parts that remain are the roof, doors, fenders, and rear quarter panels.
Among the new panels was a carbon-fiber hood designed by Smith, who integrated styling cues from the Roadrunner’s A12 race package. He also devised the flush-fitting carbon-fiber bumpers, which were manufactured by Brothers Composites.
Salvaggio’s Mark Klos did the bodywork, metal finishing, and paint. The car has a high gloss exterior, matte clearcoat for the interior, and matte orange pearl underneath.
The three-piece grille borrows from the original design and was machined and finished in brushed nickel by Ogden Chrome. The driver’s door mirror repeats the brushed nickel and adds a Halloween orange flourish.
The Roadrunner’s 940-horsepower, supercharged Hemi V-8 is mated to a Tremec 6060 six-speed manual transmission, and the gear shift resembles a slasher movie knife. Built by Mario Abascal at Gearhead Fabrication, Salvaggio describes the 426-cubic-inch Hemi as a hybrid Demon/Hellephant motor designed to run on California 91-octane fuel. Among the engine’s upgrades: a Winberg crank, CP pistons, Boostline rods, ARP hardware, Dodge Demon camshaft, ported Demon heads, and Holley Dominator EFI fuel injection. The engine is crowned by a Whipple 3.8-liter supercharger with a bespoke CNC housing painted Orange Candy satin, and a Magnaflow exhaust ensures that the whole package exhales with a proper song.
The wheels wear high-performance Michelin rubber, including 345/30 R20 in the rear to provide ample grip.
We’re guessing Hart can’t wait to jump behind the wheel and let ’er rip on the mountain roads near Los Angeles … and doesn’t get stupid. (The literal meaning, this time.)