Elana Scherr is an automotive PR professional who resides in Los Angles. Her daily responsibilities include developing and initiating strategic communication programs at Kahn Media for host of clients including major players in the high-performance aftermarket business. However, this attractive 33 year doesnt sit behind a desk all day working on power point presentations and crafting press releases. On the contrary, Elana can be found mixing it up with the boys at the drag strips and autocross tracks throughout the southwest in her big-block powered 1970 Dodge Challenger.
She had been driving her Challenger for about three years when she applied for a position at Kahn Media. The folks there were quite impressed with her hands-on knowledge and passion for cars. The funny thing is, the interview went from the office to the parking lot where she showed Mr. Kahn her Challenge. To this day Elana joking claims Mr. Kahn hired the car instead of me!
As Elana puts it, working at Kahn Media is a blast. I get to write about cars, hang out with car people and attend lots of racing and automotive events. Along with drag racing, I’ve been learning autocross. It’s really a good feeling to see people’s mouths drop open when a big muscle car takes a turn at speed.
Elanas Challenger is no show poodle or full blown racer car that has to be strapped down on a trailer to get to events. Instead, this is her daily driver that has been updated to deal with commuting in the 21st century. It also makes frequent visits to all kinds of racing venues and therefore she added new technology to improve the car’s street and race behavior. Elana updated the cooling system, brakes and suspension. Things like a Firm Feel Stage II steering box makes the 3800 lb. E-Body easier to maneuver and the Hotchkis Sport Suspension TVS kit makes the Challenger handle more nimble on the street and on autocross tracks. Whats nice about these modifications is they dont detract from the Challengers already gorgeous lines and appearance. Thats another reason why Elana runs the era correct factory 15X7 Rallye wheels with BF Goodrich rubber on all four corners. She also wanted the car to look low key and therefore kept the factory flat hood and refrained from cloning into some high-impact colored, shaker hood wearing, bumble bee striped R/T poser.
Under the hood, a very mild 440 Magnum resides in place of the original 318. It received subtle upgrades such an Edelbrock dual-plane intake, Holley 750 CFM carburetor, MSD ignition and TTI headers. Not only do these enhancements improve the horsepower and torque, but also help make it tolerate the 92 octane unleaded pump gas. The venerable Wedge is hooked up to a 727 Torqueflite automatic transmission and the factory 8 ¾ axle spins a 3.91 ratio. This combination has propelled Elanas Challenger to a 12.42 ET at almost 109 mph in the quarter mile
Both the car and the engine have fairly detailed histories. Elana purchased the Challenger from the original owner, who had bought it for his wife and used it to tow their boat. The engine in the car is a re-ring originally out of a Chrysler New Yorker. When putting the 440 back together, she met her future boyfriend Tom Yeager and he agreed to help reassemble the engine on a stand in her living room. I guess that made him think I was somewhat appealing laughs Elana! The 440 has served her well as it has been in two different Challengers and still retains the stock cam with over 100, 000 miles on it.
With numerous road trips to Las Vegas and San Francisco along with the daily grind of the LA freeway systems, the paint on Challenger is not perfect and the body has a few nasty parking lot bruises but the pleasure of driving the car far outweighs the negatives. After all, she built it once and can do it again and thats why Dodge Girls have more fun!