This Challenger flathead V8 was custom built by Ron Bement, of Colorado, in 2006. Ron’s Challenger includes several innovations and modifications not found in conventional Challenger engines; he eliminated most of the castings and replaced them with his custom machined parts. This one includes a custom made 6-blade fan with airfoil blades that he produced on his EDM machine. The new gear case in front not only supports the distributor drive, but also the fuel and oil pumps and a robust water pump bracket. His high-capacity water pump delivers an even flow to both cylinder banks and through his custom aluminum radiator; and the finishing touch was the addition of his signature trademark “MOON” accelerator pedal. The engine has a bore of 1″ and a stroke of 1″ for a total displacement of 5 cubic inches. He finished the engine in 2006 and demonstrated it at many model engineering shows and hot rod events.

In 2011, Ron disassembled the engine, added two main bearings for a total of five, and fabricated a 90-degree crankshaft to replace the standard 180-degree crankshaft. It is a strong runner and produces a notable cadence much different from other Challenger engines.

Ron Bement has an extensive background in hot rods. Here are some old photos of a young Ron with a dragster and a street rod he built. The photos are by Pete Garramone, an old friend of Ron’s who chronicled the early hot rod scene.

Ron Bement with a few engines on display.
Ron Bement with a few engines on display.
A unique Challenger flathead V8 engine.
Ron’s Challenger flathead V8 engine.
Ron behind the wheel of a full-size dragster.
Ron behind the wheel of a full-size dragster. (Photo courtesy of Pete Garramone.)
Ron posing behind a hot rod.
Ron posing behind a hot rod. (Photo courtesy of Pete Garramone.)

Exhibit added: November 1, 2016 - Last modified: February 3, 2023

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship