What has two door, an open sky and a glorious view of the sky? It isn’t the stock Dodge Challenger that rolls off the Chrysler assembly line, that’s for sure. Try a convertible Challenger.
It’s been whacked, hacked and transformed into a convertible, suited more for hauling a surfboard than lugging a baby buggy.
Convertible Dodge challenger are rolling out of NSC in California.
NCE is shipping converted Challenger to dealerships from California to New Jersey, said Al Zadeh, president and a chief engineer.
So far, the company, has made 50 convertible Challengers and hopes to do hundreds more by the end of the year.
It takes four weeks to “re-image” a Challenger, an option not offered by Chrysler.
The cars are usually sent to Zadeh by dealers who want to offer convertible-tops.
The conversion process is involved. Reinforcing the chassis by adding tubular steel along each side of the vehicle’s underside and to the body between the front and back doors. The front windshield is reinforced.
For almost three decades, Zadeh has masterminded the crop-top look for high-end vehicles, including the Mercedes, BMW and Acura NSX, as well as Cadillacs, Ferraris and Rolls Royces.
Zadeh’s business was born out of his dissatisfaction with his own MGB when he was a student at the University of Southern California engineering school.
Later, he converted his Nissan 300ZX and then a Porsche 928.
Convertibles, according to Zadeh, are very expensive to manufacture in high volume. That’s where NCE comes in, working with some of the major manufacturers to produce convertibles.
Dodge Challenger is a fun automobile,” he said. “When it came out, I looked at the different design and saw a fun surfer car. I looked at the lines and it seemed like it would be a fun car for a convertible.
And that’s how Dodge Challenger convertible was born!