Here’s something we don’t see every day. Not a Dodge Challenger obviously – the current generation has been in production for over a decade, so in America at least, we do see these every day. We suspect the muscle car isn’t as common in Arthur Tussik’s neck of the woods, but that’s not what we mean when we say don’t see every day. We’ll explain this more in a bit.
As far as what happened to this 2018 Challenger, we have no idea. It certainly wasn’t a gentle collision, as the video kicks off by showing extensive damage to all sides of the car, with the passenger side front and rear seeing the worst carnage. The bumper and fenders are already removed when the clip begins, revealing bent sections of upper and lower rails. Further back, minor damage is found on both doors, and the passenger rear quarter panel is a crumpled mess.
That’s when Tussik gets to work. The upper frame rail requires replacement, but first everything is pulled back in line to help ensure all the replacement parts fit. After significant cutting, hammering, measuring, hammering, welding, and more hammering, the bent parts are back in shape and attention goes to the doors.
Here’s where the something we don’t see every day comes into play. Plastic-based body filler has been around for decades, but before that, old-school repair shops used lead and tin to patch holes and fill imperfections on metal body panels. That’s exactly what Tussik does here, using tin and a torch to basically fill metal with more metal. It’s something of a lost art these days, so it’s very interesting to watch Tussik use it on this Challenger.
Gallery: Dodge Challenger Body Repair
More “leading” is done at the crumpled quarter-panel, which makes an amazing transformation. Using several pins inserted along the Challenger’s body line, the panel is stretched back out. Templates help him hammer the metal back into shape, and when the fill work is complete, it’s hard to believe the quarter panel wasn’t simply replaced with a non-damaged part. With additional hammering and repair work completed on the hood, the car went to the paint shop. All total, Tussik spent 70 hours hammering, welding, and shaping the metal to get the Challenger repaired. 10 days at the paint booth followed, and we must admit – the final product looks fantastic.
We aren’t collision pros, so we don’t know how the repairs affect the Challenger’s structural integrity on the passenger front and rear areas. However, there’s certainly no denying the skill involved in giving this busted Dodge a new lease on life.