The SEMA (Speciality Equipment Market Association) show in Las Vegas is full of some of the world’s best custom cars, but one of the big attractions this year is a wreck.
The Dodge Challenger was built by Vermont’s Quintin Brothers Auto and Performance to demonstrate the shop’s skills.
Cole Quintin told Fox News Autos that it features a 700 hp Procharger supercharged V8, high-end audio system and carbon fiber bodywork. It took about 1,000 hours to build at a cost of over $200,000, he said.
But the car has an unusual story. Before it made it to the show floor, it was reported stolen from its trailer while parked in a casino lot last week. Police spotted the unique grey coupe a few hours later in the parking deck of the Rio hotel, but the suspected thief, later identified as Joseph Grano, managed to escape while ramming into one of the police cruisers and damaging the Dodge as it tore through a fence.
It was eventually abandoned and recovered by police, who returned it to the Quintins in rough shape and with 150 miles on the odometer, which was 110 more than when they last saw it. Grano was arrested on Monday in conjunction with an unrelated shooting.
Instead of trying to pull a heroic quick fix, however, they decided to display it at the show as-found, complete with the damage and litter inside the car, which included junk food containers and a child seat.
Quintin said the car has been drawing more attention than the build they brought last year and plenty of local and national media coverage thanks to its extraordinary story — which isn’t over yet. After touring a few other events, Quintin plans to finish the expected three to four-month rebuild in time to bring the finished product back to SEMA next year.
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