Jonathan Oppenheim ©2018, courtesy of RM Auctions
  • 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 SRT engine
  • 8-speed automatic transmission
  • Serial no. 0589; accompanied by window sticker
  • Purchased from Rick Hendrick Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram of Charleston, SC
  • Includes Demon Crate (customer-arranged pickup)
  • Recent delivery example

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
Years Produced:2017
Number Produced:3,300
Original List Price:$86,090
SCM Valuation:$148,500
Tune Up Cost:N/A
Chassis Number Location:Base of windshield
Engine Number Location:N/A
Club Info:SRT Hellcat Forum
Alternatives:2018 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, 2018 Shelby GT350R
Investment Grade:C

This car, Lot 1128, sold for $148,500, including buyer’s premium, at RM Auctions’ Fort Lauderdale, FL, sale on April 6–7, 2018.

In a world that’s rapidly changing, especially for fossil-fuel cars, we seem to be in the Hail Mary phase of rebooted horsepower wars. It’s like the 1960s all over again — but with even more power.

Ford is selling hyper-fast Mustangs and the weaponized 647-hp 2018 Ford GT. The boys over in the GM camp are selling 650-hp ZL1 Camaros. And, at Team Pentagram, Mopar engineers have the biggest grunt of them all with the 840-hp 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. Not only does Dodge get bragging rights, they also transfer all the power to the rear tires with a staggering 770 foot-pounds of torque.

So just how fast is the new Demon? Try an ET out of the box of 9.65 seconds in the quarter mile. Or for those of you who wish to wave bye-bye to whatever Ferrari is at the light next to you, this car will do 0–60 in 2.3 seconds. And the MSRP is under $100,000.

The technology built into this machine is equally impressive. This is truly a halo car that takes some of the best of the old-school ideas, such as cold-air induction, weight savings wherever possible (like no back seat) and the very first transmission brake on a production car, and couples that with all sorts of electronic goodies that, in the right hands, can propel the Demon from 0 to 140 in well under 10 seconds.

The car is a drag racer in a box. It even comes with a “Demon Crate” that includes skinny front tires, a passenger mirror block-off plate, and a special performance air filter, to name a few of the items. It all comes neatly packed in the Demon Crate — a bright red box branded with the Demon logo on it. It’s a pretty cool item that makes the car just a bit more special.

Breaking all the rules — and records

I’m sure more than a few college professors in Toyota Priuses cringe at the notion of a car like this. Us old-car rebels find immense joy in it. Gas mileage? Who cares? Impractical? So what? The gas-guzzler tax is a badge of honor.

Consider these new records: The fastest acceleration of any mass-production car. The very first production car that can actually pull a wheelie. The fastest quarter-mile time for any currently produced production car. In fact, there are likely only a handful of production cars, from any era, that could even come remotely close to taking this car on in 1,320 feet of blacktop.

It’s simply amazing that we are talking about a car like this in 2018. That conversation is usually reserved for cars such as Yenko Camaros, Hemi ’Cudas, LS6 Chevelles, L88 Corvettes and Shelby Cobras.

This won’t last. Maybe

Those who did not grow up wrenching on big-block engines on a warm Saturday night will never really appreciate the sound of a throaty V8, the smell of vaporized gasoline swirling around the 4-barrel carburetor or the thrill of finally getting everything to click just right before you hit the streets in perfect tune. In the not-too-distant future, performance will be about lithium batteries and how fast you can charge the system.

Now, that’s okay. It’s just progress. But cars like the Dodge Demon will be, perhaps, the very last of the true “horsepower wars” cars to ever hit the streets.

But while my crystal ball is broken, my rear-view mirror isn’t. Most all of the late-model “collectibles” seem to have one thing in common. If you drive them, you drive down the value — quickly.

Using first-edition Ford GTs as an example, we can see by the data that cars with anything over a few thousand miles are severely affected in value. On the Mopar front, we can look back at the Hellcat, the last halo car by Chrysler. Tons of guys jumped on that car thinking that it was a sure thing to invest in. It wasn’t.

Just when you think you’ve got the collector-car market pegged, it backfires on you. That’s why just about every car-market guru will tell you to buy what you love, not what you think will put a few bucks in your pocket. If you get lucky, you might get your money back, or maybe even make a few bucks.

Accelerated value

The Demon has done fairly well at auction given the original MSRP of $86,090. Keep in mind there are options that can add up, but not by much. Some of them are only one dollar. I configured one online and my tally ran up to about $91,000. Add in sales tax and some additional dealer mark-up, and I’m sure you can figure a cool $100,000 by the time you do a burnout leaving the dealership. Some dealers might even charge you an additional “marketing fee” that could take the cost up much, much higher — more in line with what they are fetching at auction.

Current comps for this car are pretty steady no matter what auction, with most coming in at $145,000 to $150,000, including the buyer’s premium. The reality is that some guys just aren’t patient enough to order one and wait for it. In this case, at least right now, that could cost you about $50,000 — assuming you could buy a new one near the MSRP.

Of course, miles mean everything. Basically the cars selling at auction are “in the wrapper,” meaning that they have nearly no miles other than driving them home from the dealership. Our subject car had only four miles on it.

Whether the values hold steady or not is anybody’s guess. I’d suggest that right now, the steak is still sizzling as it is being served. Once that sizzle cools off a bit, I think we’ll see these take a downshift in value — similar to the Hellcats. My suggestion is to buy one because you want to experience the machine for what it was built to do: make a Ferrari owner cry. Fairly bought in the current market.

(Introductory description courtesy of RM Auctions.)

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