By the early 1970s, blunt-force Detroit iron had become so powerful, and oftentimes deadly, that insurance companies were forced to respond. The response was punishing policy costs, which -- when taken with the Clean Air Act and the OPEC oil embargo -- defanged the muscle car for the next 30 years.
Emboldened by the safety revolution of the early 2000s, carmakers engaged in a horsepower war that would, in a decade, elevate top performance cars' output from 300 hp to 500 hp to 600 hp, and on up to the 707 hp Dodge Hellcat V8.
And then came the Demon.
With the Challenger SRT Demon, Dodge has become the first mass-production automaker to break the 800-horsepower barrier, offering this street-legal drag car with 808 hp on pump gas and 840 hp on 100+ octane. On race gas, it'll run the quarter-mile in under nine seconds. Of course, if you want to run those nines unfettered at an NHRA member track, you'll need to put in a roll cage and other safety equipment. Or stick with pump gas and run 10s all day long. Your choice.
Yes, 10s. On pump gas.
So, what about insurance? Turns out, Dodge has worked out a deal with Hagerty, known for insuring specialty and collector cars, to be the official insurer for the Demon. It's the first time Hagerty -- which also offers track-day insurance -- has made this kind of association to cover a brand-new production car.
Why? On this episode of AFTER/DRIVE, Hagerty CEO McKeel Hagerty talks about why the company would take the risk on insuring the Demon, despite its massive power and likelihood of owners taking it on the racetrack. Plus, which cars will be the collector cars of the future. How will car collecting change as buyers get younger, and their tastes start effecting the market for enthusiast cars? Let's find out.