SP Rides: The Reaper Comes


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By Michael Kitchens

Name: Michael Judkins Jr.
Age: 22
Occupation: USN Corpsman
Hobbies:  Photography, golf, music
Year/Make/Model: 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8
Color: Brilliant Black Crystal Pearlcoat
Build Time: 10 months
Engine: Arrington Performance Carbon Fiber Cold Air Intake, Flowmaster Super 10 Exhaust, Modern Muscle Ported Throttlebody 90mm, Lakewood Strut bar brace
Exterior: Big Worm Motorsports Headlight, taillight, and marker light tint, Advanced Automotive Concepts “Night Rider” L.E.D Bar, Over 200 inches of Red L.E.D. light strips, Billet Technology’s Full Engine bay dress up kit, Show and Performance gloss black painted coolant tank, 3G Customz Engine Half cover, 3G Customz ABS Cover, Billet Technology’s Door still guards, sun visor and beverage delete kit, and strut covers, Show -n- Go hide-away plate, LED underglow kit
I.C.E.: Custom “one off” Sub-woofer enclosure loaded with Rockford fosgate P-1s with matching amps
Wheels/Tires: Powder coated flat black SRT Alcoa rims, Goodyear Eagle F1s 245/45ZR18s
Shout-outs: For my father and my fiance, Angelica, for all her love and support.

To many, the modern automobile is simply a mode of transportation — a way to get from point A to point B with little care for the significance of its ownership. For others though, it can symbolize emotions strong enough to encourage a passion and discipline to take a project to another level. Sometimes, it’s even more than that.

Michael Judkins Jr. developed his passion for domestic goodness from his father, Michael John Judkins Sr., whose motto stood proudly as “MOPAR or No Car.”  From a young age, Mike Jr. would see his father restoring cars in their garage as an automotive painter.

“Every car we ever owned was some sort of Chrysler product,” says Mike. With a strong upbringing for the love of the legendary brand, he jumped at the opportunity to own a 2008 Dodge Charger.  Although pleased with the ownership, he soon craved something the V6 platform couldn’t provide even after modifications: brute force power.

A trip to the dealer revealed a more fitting alternative for Michael — a 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 in Brilliant Black Crystal Pearlcoat. Stock from the factory, the 6.1L Hemi V8 pumps out a pavement pounding 425HP and 420 pounds of torque, which more than sated his lust for power. His father viewed it as the “Holy Grail” and was absolutely ecstatic about the purchase. It was perfect, and Michael felt that keeping it stock was the way to go for his future plans.

All that changed when only after a few months of ownership, Michael received a call that no son wants to receive. His father had suffered a heart attack and the prognosis was grim. With gut-wrenching heartache, Mike Jr. flew to his father’s bedside and said his goodbyes. Looking for a way to endure the pain, he vowed to build the baddest MOPAR ever in his father’s memory.

With his focus set, Mike Jr. immediately began planning his build. Heavy on his mind was the dark and menacing stance he felt the car needed to present. The car now features a list of modifications to that effect, including more than 200 inches of red LED light strips placed in the headlights, engine bay, footwells and trunk. Combined with the pitch black exterior is a Big Worm Motorsports headlight, taillight and marker light tint.

The trunk features a highlight of the car which is a custom sub enclosure by Mobile Car Audio with two 12-inch Rockford Fosgate P1s with matching amps.

The engine has been given some extra growl with an Arrington Performance carbon fiber cold air intake as well as a Flowmaster Super 10 exhaust. A ported throttle body from Modern Muscle improves response and adds a bit of extra horsepower. The engine bay looks incredible with a literally glowing engine that pulses with a molten volcanic light show.

Although heavily modified in the looks and sounds department, his eventual goal is a 900HP fire-breathing monster which will require both supercharging and nitrous. He already has the company picked out and once he returns to the mainland, the serious build will begin.

Even though Mike calls his ride “The Reaper,” the project is truly a source of inspiration and honor.

“This car brings me immense joy. When I miss my father, I step into it, light the tires up, and never have a bad day driving,” he says. “Whatever makes you happy, just do it.”