Finding a Hellcat Engine Without Breaking the Bank

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Muscle cars are expensive, especially if you want something as supercharged as the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. Even if you try to buy the individual pieces to put it together yourself (which arguably should be cheaper), the cost is already more than $16,800 for just the engine alone. Is there a way to get that sweet Hellcat engine without liquidating all your assets? Let’s find out!

We’re launching a full financial investigation to find the cheapest (but still reliable) way to get your hands on a Hellcat engine. Grab your sleuthing gear, because we’re ready to get to the bottom of this.

Direct from the Manufacturer

First let’s start with the obvious—the manufactures. There are essentially two ways to get a Hellcat engine directly through the manufacturers:

  • Buy a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat (around $67,496).
  • Or buy a Hellcrate engine for $16,800 (or $16,950 if you don’t have a dock/forklift at home).
    • That doesn’t include a hefty $235 shipping price either.

These options, while expensive, will give you a pristine engine that’s never been used before. You’ll get all the warranties and official bells and whistles, but then again, you’re paying for it. For those of us looking for a cheaper option, let’s shop the used section.

Used” Actually Does Mean Cheaper

We browsed a certain unnamed online auction website (it rhymes with Fee Pay) to price a few used Hellcats and for the most part, it really is much cheaper to buy them used than new. At the time of our search, the average cost for a Hellcrate was about $15,500. But while these prices are slightly lower than the manufacturer’s price, you’ll have to pay attention to the listing to make sure you’re getting what you need.

Still, let’s take a look at some other options.

Salvage Yards

The thing about muscle cars is that they’re so expensive, it doesn’t take much to total them. That’s why we weren’t surprised to find a few Copart Hellcats waiting around in our salvage yards with various degrees of damage. Depending on the condition of the vehicle, the starting bids ranged from $0 to $8,000. That’s significantly less than the other methods we’ve explored, but it wouldn’t be a true investigation without an analysis of the risk involved.

We know what you’re thinking “a salvage car comes with no guarantees—it might not even work.” That’s true. In fact, most salvage cars don’t operate like everyday cars (that’s why they’re called salvage vehicles). But Copart is upfront about that fact and encourages their bidders to access vehicle reports and get the car inspected so they know what they’re bidding on. Once you understand the condition of the vehicle you can see if it works for you.

For instance, if you only want a Hellcat engine and you can get a 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat with body damage but a working engine, then it might be worth bidding on the car. If instead you’re looking for a Dodge Challenger SRT that you can fix up to look like new, you might need to consider another listing. (Please note, this is a hypothetical analysis and not a commentary on the listing’s condition.)

So, there you have it, depending on what you’re looking for, a salvage yard or car auction might be the best choice for you to find your Hellcat engine. Just be sure to take some time to understand the listing and consider all your options.

To see more Copart Hellcats, check out our vehicle listings.

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