Call it a guy thing, but I like a bit of shiny.

Sure, black wheels have their place, but when it comes to under the bonnet, I want it to look good too.

When people ask to look under the bonnet of my 2016 Dodge Challenger, I cringe. “Sure,” I say, “come at look at lots of black and grey plastic.”

Because that’s pretty much all there is in the stock standard Challenger. I am sure the Hellcat looks a whole lot better straight out of the factory, but the stock 5.7 Hemi R/T is all about the plastic.

So when in the US for a month in September this year, I decided to get a few parts for the Dodge, including a dress-up kit for the engine cover.

There isn’t too much to the kit – some stainless steel ‘HEMI’ letters to go over the grey plastic embossed ones on the cover; a stainless cap for the top of the cover with ‘5.7L V8’ letters in stainless, and some chrome plastic strips to go over the top of the ribs that run down the cover. But it was enough to lift the engine so I’m not quite as embarrassed as before.

For all of 20 minutes’ of work, I now have a slightly better engine bay.

Next up is fitting the stripes to the car – I have them, but there’s no way I’d even attempt to fit them. I can imagine me doing this, and wrecking them. Stay tuned for part two when I get a professional to fit them for me.

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Fred Alvrez
How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm a driving instructor and an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.


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