Words: Reynald Fries
Photography: Jeremy Cliff
The country seems to have been yearning to see Charger coupes reincarnated since 1987. One man in particular, Nick Kizi, was especially anxious for the coupe version. So much so that he has sat down in his newly opened shop, Fantasy Collision & Customs, hit the drawing boards and designed a Charger the way he thought it should look. It was the beginning of 2013, and Fantasy hadn’t even been in business a year yet, but the crew had decades of experience, so they were ready to build what Dodge should’ve built years ago. “[Dodge] used to make them with the coupe body,” Nick recalls. “Now they make the four-door sedan, and most people don’t like that. So we decided to make a coupe like they used to.” They knew it would be a tremendous challenge, but there was only one way to find out just how tough it might be.
Nick made haste as he went directly to the Dodge dealership, copped a 2013 Charger and brought it to his shop. With only two employees assigned to the job, they started right away by cutting the brand-new sedan in half. The crew removed the rear doors, cut the wheelbase down by 10 inches and extended the length of the front doors to make it a coupe. Keeping it in proportion, the roof was lowered by two inches. To ensure this project sets the bar for all custom Chargers, Nick designed it as a widebody, so the guys extended each rear quarter panel by seven inches. They carefully reused the same quarter panels, being sure to maintain the original factory body lines. And when the rear was widened by 14 inches, the rear bumper had to follow suit, so the crew cut it into three pieces before extending it to the perfect length.
With the Charger looking like the perfect factory coupe, it was time to mount wheels. Opting for Rucci rims, Nick ordered 24x9s in front and colossal 24x15s for the rear—the Charger was really taking shape. But when the rear wheels are 24 inches in diameter with a ridiculous 11-inch lip, they’re going to need serious stopping power. The candidate for the job: a set of Wilwood brakes with 16-inch rotors, normally used in heavy-duty pickup trucks but repurposed by Fantasy with custom-built brackets to hold them in place. The coupe is strategically slammed on airbags to give it that perfect stance and painted Fantasy White with a matching pearl-white interior, making this Charger look like a cumulus cloud inside and out (or something that fell to earth from heaven). The final dramatic effect was the custom roof made entirely of glass.
Having spent more than 4,000 hours on modifying the exterior, plus an extra 1,000 hours to customize the interior, Nick and his team of two successfully built what a Charger is supposed to look like straight from the factory—and they hit the nail on the head. “We built this Charger for the shop, to show the world what we can do,” Nick declares with authenticity. And given that his Charger could fool just about anyone into thinking Dodge finally produced a coupe, he has certainly proved his point with authority.
PERFORMANCE: Stock 5.7L HEMI V8 engine; custom electric exhaust cutouts; Wilwood brakes with 16-inch rotors, custom-built brackets; custom air-ride suspension
EXTERIOR: Fantasy White paint custom mixed by Fantasy Collision & Customs; red pinstripes; removed rear doors; wheelbase shortened 10 inches; front doors extended; rear quarter panels widened 7 inches; length of rear bumper extended; roof lowered 2 inches; custom side windows; custom glass panoramic roof; custom LED fog lights
INTERIOR: Pearl-white leather with red diamond stitching; fiberglass shifter, steering wheel; front door panels extended; rear side panels redesigned; center console shortened; repositioned, customized headliners; fully wrapped in soundproof Dynamat
WHEELS/TIRES: Rucci Da Corsa wheels, 24×9-inch front, 24×15-inch rear; Pirelli tires, 275/25/24 front, 405/25/24 rear