The term “American Muscle” is a well-known moniker in the automotive world. But what exactly does that mean? Does it apply to just cars built in the United States in the ’60s? What about those foreign jobs or even those bought from the American market and built elsewhere?
However you slice it, this 1968 Charger owned and built by Swedish automotive enthusiast Johan Eriksson, may just change your idea of what constitutes the perfect expression of “American Muscle.”
“With help from Jörgen Persson and Otto Tillander, this 1968 Charger RT/R is the product of a long-time dream for Eriksson. Growing up in a small town in Värmland, Sweden, Eriksson always had a passion for anything with an engine, which quickly turned him to customizing bikes and mopeds as a child.
But Eriksson wasn’t content sticking with minimally-powered “play things”, so he branched into modifying and customizing cars as he got a bit older. It was his passion and incredible skills that led to him winning the 1994 Elmia Styling Prize with a custom 1988 Mercedes 300 coupe. That was just the beginning.
As his skills and passion began to sharpen, Eriksson found himself dreaming of building one of the baddest American muscle cars out there – a big-engined classic Mopar. And that’s exactly what he’s been doing over the last several years.
While Eriksson has tuned, built, and customized many cars in the last couple of decades, it’s three he currently has in his own stable that have gotten him the notice he deserves, including the 1968 Charger RT/R you see here.
Built on a modified chassis with custom sub-frames, Eriksson’s Charger is a one-off enthusiast’s dream. Every inch of the car has been modified with no body panel left untouched, but it was done in such a way that unless you really know your late ’60s Chargers, you wouldn’t be able to tell that this was not the way it left the factory.
As Eriksson’s website states, “Almost every part of the car is massaged, broadened, cropped, tilted, sectioned or in other way[s] modified.”
That being said, the Charger is still 100-percent American muscle to its core – the one thing Eriksson was determined to keep.
The car is topped off with DeBeer paint, which is the result of a custom mix of red, black, silver, and gold paint colors, and then waxed to perfection using Turtle Wax (thanks to the company’s sponsorship of the build).
Inside, the Charger is much more modern than its classically-built counterparts, but Eriksson made sure the car maintained its brutish muscle car feel throughout. In this completely custom interior, Eriksson and his crew used over 65lbs of raw materials to create all of the aluminum interior details, like the custom center console that fits perfectly over the car’s massive drivetrain.
Up front, the car is equipped with a completely custom dashboard fitted with custom gauges decked out in RT/R emblems, as well as a custom steering wheel. Front and rear bucket seats wrapped in leather make for comfortable seating all the way around, while a custom leather-wrapped roll cage protects the car at every point.
The car also features a full Pioneer stereo system with a digital head unit and multiple speakers throughout the car’s cabin. Subwoofers for the Lars K Design-built sound system reside behind the rear seats.
While this Charger is certainly an aesthetic piece of rolling artwork, it offers much more in the form of performance.
Under the hood of this Swedish-built Charger is none other than a 2007 Viper V10 engine, but it doesn’t stop there. Bolstering the powerplant are components like Callies connecting rods, JE pistons, an LSM camshaft, Manley valve springs, and T&D roller rockers. Adding even more power to the already potent modern Mopar engine are dual BorgWarner turbo chargers, pushing the power numbers up to what the owner expects will be well into the 4-digit arena (the car has yet to be dyno-tuned). Managing all of that power and performance is a MaxxECU engine management system.
With as much power as the V10 is producing, you’ve got to have a drivetrain that can hold up to its standards. That’s why Eriksson equipped his Charger with a high-strength Viper clutch mated to a Tremec 6-speed transmission. Behind the gearbox is a custom driveshaft leading to custom shortened drive axles.
Pushing the car’s power to the pavement are custom one-off wheels measuring 22×11 inches in the front and 24×15 ½ inches in the rear. These custom hoops are wrapped in 295/30R22 Pirelli Scorpion tires in the front and 405/25R24s out back. Braking power for the car comes in the form of 16 ½-inch carbon ceramic discs with 8-piston Bentley Continental GT calipers up front and 15-inch carbon ceramic Corvette ZR1 discs with 6-piston calipers in the rear.
With only the best-of-the-best fitted to the build, she is sure to ride like a dream and pull like a jet engine!
Ten years in the making, this incredible Charger has taken the automotive world by storm — not necessarily here in the States, but it’s bound to make waves as it continues its American circuit, starting back at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Something the automotive scene here in the USA doesn’t see very often, this car is sure to gain notoriety and coveted titles like it already has in Europe!
For more on this amazing Charger, be sure to check out the Rod Authority Photo Gallery below!