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SANDY — It's very loud, very shiny, definitely one of a kind — and yes, it has a Hemi!
Randy Weaver found the 1970 custom Dodge Challenger in Logan a couple of years ago, after a tree had fallen on top of it.
"It was in a field; just a 1970 Challenger laying in the dirt," Weaver said.
Weaver has been designing and building cars for years. At his shop in Sandy, he has several vehicles in various stages of repair. But it was the Challenger that grabbed his imagination.
"I could visualize it," Weaver said. "You know, it's like an artist. They can ‘see' it."
It took him six months to transform the Challenger into what it is now. In early March, he entered it in the Utah Autorama, and the car won "Best of Class" in its category.
It was then Weaver shifted gears.
Friends and fellow car buffs convinced Weaver to enter the huge "MoPar at the Strip" auto show in Las Vegas. There were 2,500 entries from all over the world, and competition was fierce. The Challenger was entered in the "Modified Class" — meaning anything goes, as far as the design.
Judges examined every minute detail. "There are seven judges," Weaver explained, and there's one judge for every category: paint, engine, interior, presentation, overall appearance."
Longtime KSL meteorologist Len Randolph owns the Challenger; Weaver is his son-in-law. Randolph says the judges were deadlocked, having three cars with identical scores. So, the head judge came up with an idea.
"He told all the judges, ‘If you could drive one car home right now, which one would it be?'" Randolph explained. "You know what they all said — it was unanimous. We were bawling. We were hysterical!"
The Challenger won in its category and won "Best of Show." But Weaver's team isn't done yet. The phones are ringing, with auto shows from around the country calling. It's going to be a busy summer.
Shortly after the Challenger won the awards at the Las Vegas show, Weaver and Randolph posed for photos that will appear on the covers of at least two national car magazines. Next, they are taking the car to Moab this weekend for the April Action Car Show.