SP Rides: Up to the Lightning ‘Challenge’


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Year, make, model: 2016 Dodge Challenger
Owner: Chad Magers
Age: 45
Occupation: Glass company superintendent
Hobbies: NASCAR, taking care of his son
Color: Lightning McQueen wrap by AutoTrim
Engine: RIPP supercharger kit with intercooler, Borla exhaust
Interior: Cars “eye’ sunscreen
Exterior: Full custom wrap, rear NASCAR style-spoiler with struts
Wheels/tires: Custom color-matched OEM wheels with Lightyear tire stickers

This is probably one of the most photographed rides on Oahu right now. How could you even miss it? For Cars fans, this is the ultimate mod as it’s quite literally Lightning McQueen in physical form — straight out of a Pixar film. It just so happens to have a 2016 Dodge Challenger underneath it all.

Chad Magers is the owner of this fantastic rendition of the famous Disney character. It just so happened to be a gift for his son, Eli, who was 3 years old at the time. His son was into Cars, so Daddy went out and purchased this car with the intent to make it a father-son memento to be. After looking at Chargers, Camaros and whatnot, he felt that the Challenger was the best suited for the purpose thanks to the overall slope of the ride.

This actually took quite a bit of thought between Magers and Sean at Auto Trim Hawaii, who was responsible for wrapping the car. After picking up the car, discussion began about what it would take to wrap the vehicle. After an intense back and forth sharing of photos and designs as well as taking a look at Lightning McQueen model, they were all satisfied with the final concept. Within two weeks, this Challenger was fully wrapped in this quality replica livery of the true Lightning McQueen character.

The livery is stunning. Every bit of the original is in fine form here, from the grinning bumper to the flamed-out 95 on the sides. Even the roof has been wrapped and treated with the character’s unmistakable look. A cute window visor Magers picked up provided the eyes, to give it the Cars peepers they’re known for.

To complete the look, it was necessary to add and modify several components. First off, the wheels and tires needed to match, so the wheels were color-matched in red with yellow trim. Lightyear decals in white were then added to the tires. After this, a NASCAR style spoiler was added with the proper strut attachments. The signature Ruste-eze logo as well as the hilarious Medicated Bumper Ointment slogan are on display and nail it perfectly.

Of course, Lightning needs a little speed to match, so focus was put on adding a RIPP supercharger kit featuring a custom air filter and intercooler to pump out an additional 160 horsepower to the wheels, bringing the car up to just over 400 horsepower. A Borla exhaust helps give it a little sizzle.

Magers has gone all out on this gift for his son. In fact, he took it a step further and turned his backyard parking into a miniature oval so that Eli can race in his own Lightning McQueen Power Wheels, complete with pits and cones! It’s awesome!

Overall, the car has turned heads everywhere it goes. The bonus for Magers is that other people are free to enjoy it.

“It was originally built for my son, but people seem to like it. When you see it, feel free to take pictures,” Magers said. It certainly is worth a look — talk about some ka-chow!