Most of us are tired of renders. We're tired of clicking cool cars to find out they don't exist. But a special few are inspired, like Bentley owner Rob Hoover, who saw a mockup of a Hellcat-swapped Turbo R and decided he'd make it real.
Hoover's project began with hunting for an old Arnage, which he had a mind to upgrade with a Chevy LS V8. When he stumbled across a rare, half-restored 1989 Turbo R, however, he purchased that instead—only for a render of a Hellcat-powered Turbo R to float past him almost immediately after. To Hoover, who said on Instagram he "firmly believe[s] that everything happens for a reason," the meaning was clear: He was to build this car for himself.
When Hoover began digging into the Bentley, though, he was daunted by its complexity, which Murphy's Law dictates means "less reliable." But Hoover told me, "the car gods must have had this planned out," because he realized the Turbo R's wheelbase was within half an inch of a Dodge Charger Hellcat's. "After that, it was game on," he said.
To be sure the Bentley body and Charger chassis would fit together, Hoover bought a surplus police Charger, which he hacked up to test-fit the Bentley's body. He did so by lowering and raising the Turbo R body on the Charger frame hundreds of times, making small cuts as he went, to be 100 percent sure the two could fit together. Measure twice, cut once.
With that out of the way, he hunted down a Hellcat donor, which proved harder than expected. Wrecked Hellcats are apparently going for hardly any less than running, driving examples, so Hoover just bought one of them instead—a 2016, which he's had tuned to 715 horsepower at the wheels. He says this is the car that'll go under the knife in a couple of weeks.
Hoover told me his goal is "to have a classic Bentley that is reliable, powerful, and [has] modern luxury features. I'm getting old and need things like nice leather and AC. But I also need to go fast." He acknowledges the task will be "tricky" because he's not a mechanic and admitted he, "literally know[s] nothing about upholstery." So, he's expecting to send the car off to a pro to have its interior finished.
But as extreme projects for amateur wrenches go, this one's off to a promising start. If you want to track its progress, you can follow it at @therealrichiepetty on Instagram. I am because this project is the cat's meow. Or should I say Hellcat's meow.
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