Kowalski’s Challenger Rides Again


Ask any die hard Dodge enthusiast what their favorite car movie is of all time and most will acknowledge the 1971 cult classic Vanishing Point ranks at the top of their list. The plot was very simple and pure as the main character who is only known as “Kowalski” works for a car delivery service. There’s a bet he accepts from one of his “hook-ups’ that he can’t drive from Denver to San Francisco in less than 15 hours. He gladly accepts the wager and begins his power shifting odyssey with a white 1970 Challenger R/T. Along the way he has a few run-ins with the highway patrol, a Jaguar XKE and numerous dubious and somewhat “interesting” folks.


We all know the end of the movie does not bode well for both Kowalski and his big-block E-Body as they both meet their demise in a roadblock outside a small cattle town. Here the hero and his white steed impact a pair of bulldozers and erupt in a cataclysmic fireball explosion thus sealing their fate.


This movie had a profound effect on the minds young car junkies everywhere in the early 1970s and for one in particular, it would have a lasting impression. That young man was Bob Frederick whose love of all things Mopar  started at an early age as his father owned a Dodge dealership in Canfield, Ohio.


Bob was seven years old when he first saw Vanishing Point and he was hooked. He was glued to his TV set watching the Challenger and its high-speed romp through the desert while Kowalski rowed the Hurst Pistol Grip shifter. Eventually Bob would follow in his father’s footsteps as he got into the car business and began selling performance-minded customers Challenger and Charger R/Ts along with SRT8 models. However, it was Bob’s ambition and goal to recreate that iconic white Challenger R/T from the big screen. “When Dodge finally released the new Challenger in 2008, I immediately thought about how cool it would be to do a “Vanishing Point” version of the car. As the 2009 models rolled out, the R/T was available in White, but the SRT8 model was not. I ordered in a few White 6-speed R/T models in honor of Kowalski, but felt that the higher powered SRT8 would really be the one to do it on” said Bob. However, the opportunity did present itself this year when we launched the 2011 392 Inaugural Edition Challenger SRT8. Knowing it was available in white Bob began making phone calls to our Challenger team in Auburn Hills to see if there would be a possibility to build 10 unique units without the stripes and with different options. Bob really wanted to make this package special and true to the original concept.  “I met with the team and told them what I wanted: 2011 Challenger SRT8 392, 6-speed manual, bright white, stripe delete, Dark Slate SRT seats, WP3 Alcoa SRT aluminum 20” wheels, 730 Nav and SRT Option Group II. They all liked the idea and said he would try to get it done. I reminded them that the paint was already in the plant and that the unique SRT8 parts were already there in white as well, so it seemed logical that it could be done”


However that’s easier said than done as plants are highly automated and systems are hard to override to create low volume special vehicle builds. Never one to give up, Bob and our team huddled again and came up with a game plan. By entering the orders manually, they could override the system and get 10 2011 Challengers built to specifications Bob wanted. “After the meeting, I was really excited, but knew that it wouldn’t be definite until the first one rolled off the line successfully. The next week I gave the team the exact specs that I wanted, including a request for sequential VINs and unique sequential VONs. These are the only White, Slate interior, stripe delete cars made. I also requested special dash badges that read: “Frederick Scat Pack Kowalski Edition __of 10.”


By late-February, the orders were in the system and had sequential VIN’s and unique vehicle order numbers. Bob even found a unique code in the system to track the cars, “All ten Kowalski Edition Challengers made through the build process with no glitches with the help of tracking code 57X, which means ‘Scat Pack Tracking’, how cool is that!”.


The vehicles then were shipped to New Wilmington Motors in Pennsylvania where they receive some unique items to further commemorate Kowalski’s Challenger. Cool parts such as 1970’s Pistol Grip Shifter with woodgrain inserts, Mopar Chrome Quad Exhaust Tips, Rear Quarter Glass Scat Pack Bees, Unique Fender Tag and Broadcast Sheet, ‘Kowalski Edition’ Rear Spoiler and underhood decal, ‘Frederick Scat Pack Kowalski Edition’ numbered dash plaque and finally a reproduction 1970 Colorado License Plate with OA 5599 (this is really cool as this was the plate number from Challenger in the movie!).


We had an opportunity to see the first ‘Kowalski Edition’ Challenger at last weekend’s LX Spring Fest in Irvine, California. Its new owner is Mike Haislet and he’s a diehard Challenger enthusiast (he’s also one of our many Dodge Facebook Fans). Mike and his wife recreated their version of Vanishing Point by driving all the way from Holland, Michigan to the west coast. Mike met up with the Challenger team and had them sign the engine compartment. Even our own Ralph Gilles got in on the fun.


The response to the ‘Kowalski Edition’ has been phenomenal as it’s all been by word of mouth. Bob told us all that ten have been sold and he’s not sure is another run will ever be planned. It’s good to know that there are people like Bob in our tightly knit Dodge community that have the drive and ambition to work with our team and build some really cool and unique cars that may become collector items one day. We all know it would be awesome to take the 2011 Challenger SRT8 Kowalski Edition and make the run from Denver to San Francisco in less than 15 hours. Bet you one thing, we’re sure we can find Leslie West and Mountain cranking “Mississippi Queen” on the Sirius Satellite Radio!


  • Hurrikain

    Way to Go Bob! One awesome ride for sure!

  • GeoffTN

    That is a KILLER package.

  • 70TA-09RT

    This is one awesome car I had the pleasure to ride out with Mike and his wife with my wife and another Challenger the 3 of us had a great time with many fun days behind the wheel of our Challengers. We endured many conditions on the road from down pours in MO, to Snow in Flagstaff AZ, to Dust Storms in Albuquerque NM, the cars performed flawlessly and are made to drive with wife approval. You guys hit this one out of the park.
    While out at Spring Fest the opportunity came for me to purchase my second Challenger from Bob one of the Kowalski Editions, I am looking forward to adding this car to go along with my 09RT 6speed aka “HOWFAST”
    Thank you for all that you do for us the enthusiasts.
    Jeff Jazbec
    Cleveland, Ohio


    Dodge and Bob hit one out of the park on this one for sure. There is no person other than Mike that should have car #1 of 10 so my congrads to him. You have  history in your hands my friend.

  • Steve

    So it is just a White 392 Hemi with some stickers?  No performance gains like the custom built Mr. Norms, Hurst or SMC cars?  What’s the big deal then?  So it is about as rare as the custom dealership decal packages of the 70′s and 80′s.
    Is it cool, yes.  But any dealership can get 10 of the same color cars and put their custom touches on it and it would be the exact same thing.

  • 70TA-09RT

    @ Steve, let’s see you find a dealer that is able to do the same thing and get them to run 10 in a row at the same time I don’t see this happening again as this was the first time that Dodge has done this the cars paper work is from corporate. There was a lot of thought put into this entire package.
    Yes it has some very different parts and codes listed from corporate on the build sheet which is also part of the difference. Down the road it could be a desirable vehicle.

  • Steve

    @ 70TA-09RT
    This isn’t the first time?  They have run special vehicles before many times.  As far back as the 60′s that I can remember.  Mr. Norm used to get runs of vehicles he would turn into any number of “Mr/ Norms”cars, all specially ordered by him.  I know of atleast 3 dealerships in the mid-west that could get special Dodge order vehicles, and have done it in the past.
    There was alot of thought put into the package?  Some stickers and a aftermarket pistol grip?  I read on Challengertalk the build sheet, and it is all stock stuff, nothing special.
    This will be in the same vein as the current build of Modern Mopars.  Will they be worth more then a standard Challenger, sure.  Is it something above all else, no.  If anything, it is below the custom Mr. Norms or Hurst cars because atleast they actually upgrade the entire car, and don’t just throw stickers on it.

  • l.thayer

    steve, I think your wrong, if it wasn’t such a unique package, how come there are only 10 of tem out there outfitted like that. give credit where its due – bob frederick  put a lot of time and effort to order and procure these vehicles, and its a great package !!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/HitmanChallenger Hitman_

    Let’s support the efforts here everyone. Dodge is doing fun things for US, the enthusiasts.
    I know I have my special Challenger SRT in my driveway as well and love every bit of it.

  • Notsure

    Wow,Im speechless thats my ride.

    That I had in my hands for maybe 5 days then I turned it over to Vortech,and drove a rental home.
    Believe me that wasn’t easy to do at all…I felt like I was living a scene from Ole Yeller.
    I fell in love with this new 392 and by the time I gave her up I was able to see and feel a considerable difference in power and torque after break in..I did one hole shot,and a nice one at that,then turned her over to more capable hands.

    I met so many great people and wicked rides my head is still spinning from all the events that encompassed SF6 this year.
    The days spent at SF6 where by far the best Ive had in years.Thankyou to all who had a part in this unique vehicle,and all who signed it at SF6.

    I drove that car from my driveway with only 50 miles on it when we left heading for So Cal,and SF6.
    I arrived in So Cal with 2400 approx miles on the ODO,and not issue the whole trip!
    The car was delievered to my driveway via an enclosed carrier one day before I was to leave almost like Kowalski sent it to me,and yes I am Kowalski to the core !

    That Number 1 Kowalski Edition couldnt have gone to a better owner I hope to see you all at Woodward and Sema this year lets keep in touch.

    TY Dodge in a big way!
    TY Bob Frederick as well 

    See you all next year at SF7 as Kowlaksi #1 will be the first 392 super charged via Vortech.
    Where do we go from here?

  • Steve

    If ANY dealership said to Dodge they want a run of 10 cars, Dodge would build them.  How come there is only 10?  Perhaps he only ordered 10?  If you ordered more it would be less “desirable”.
    Time and Effort?  What did he do?  Special ordered 10 White 392 Challenger and added some decals.  They didn’t tweak the engine, transmission or anything.

  • Notsure

    Quite the troll there Steve!
    You popped that reply in mins of me posting,lol.

    Steve, sorry,but there is more to the story than we will share with you!
    There are build codes on this car that make it special to many..Keep on hating on!LOl…
    They dont make a 2011 white srt8 till these 10.
    We will live the life style as you watch and wonder thats sad,try to get involved in a positive vein. 
    I suggest maybe enfuse a more positive attitude in life.
    Live in the here ,and now a bit more,as did Dodge when building these cars for Bob.
    This all came down because of one thing good Car-ma,and once you understand that maybe you’ll get it!
    Maybe not …Thats why theres a mustang or a Camaro out there with your name on it Hoss.

    TY Ddoge for all you have done for Bob and us providing this rare oppertunity,and showing the public you are listening to what we have to say.Ill buy this brand for life and it all started with my 2005 Magnum RT AWD…

    David,and RLD I will see you all in MN Ill confirm with you soon on that event!
    Keep on keepin on!

  • Dave

    Well Done NOTSURE, Fredrick’s and Dodge! NOTSURE, don’t give the trolls the time of day that don’t understand the weight of your car/Fredrick’s Kowalski Edition. I have been following the progress over at Challengertalk.com as well as here. I hope to one day be at the level that Bob Fredrick’s is at with Dodge… its tough up here in Canada but I think I can make it work. There won’t be a vehicle like this again. There won’t be a package like this ever again and there will only be one #1!!! Car looks great. Shifter looks great. Keep up the good work and keep sharing YOUR Challenger with the world!

  • Steve

    Actually you posted just before I did, we must have been typing at the same time.
    Oh I have the whole story, that’s no problem whatsoever.
    And I don’t hate your car, I have enough Challengers, Chargers and Cudas I really feel indifferent about it.  I’m more involved then you will ever be, or hope to be.
    I am just disappointed when a car that is nothing really special is sensationalized to make it more then it really is.  A basic white 392 Challenger with stickers on it.
    You know trying to insult and speak down to someone really just shows the lack of an intelligent response.  Or just a lack of intelligence.
    Kid, perhaps when you grow up, you will learn the difference between rare and desirable.  Your car is cool and rare, is it desirable or anything special.  No.  Just like any other dealership custom ordered car.
    I’m going to go drive my new custom ordered (I have one too) Challenger home, park it among my other stable of Mopars and have a nice dinner.


    Some people get it and some don’t I feel bad for those who just don’t understand how big something like this is.

  • StevoHemi

    Driving a rental home? That takes GUTS man! I would have a hard time leaving my ride at Vortech! Now you have all this anticipation building up inside waiting to get your ride back! Nerves man, nerves.

    BTW… I get it! The car is SPECIAL and not just a bunch of decals. You have a 1 of 10. How many guys/gals can say that eh?


  • Hemiwoman

    Mike and Jeff,  congrats to both of you for getting a Vanishing Point Challenger.  I can’t wait to personally see the cars.  Mike, I am still in awe of you leaving the car in CA for all the mods and you only had it for a week.  Enjoy those cars.  They are something special.

  • Mel Benz

    I Have #10 of the 10 Kowalski’s. I am awaiting delivery of it, hopefully this week. I collect cars and feel this is more then a decal “dealer” package. I wish there had been a performance enhancement but I feel that since Dodge did issue sequential VIN’s and let some other non standard items go through that this is more than a dealer special. As far as values, whether rare or desireable, all of these cars are only worth what someone in front of you is willing to pay. The good thing is that these cars are not a huge premium so it’s worth a couple of extra bucks to have something different amongst an unusual group (Challenger’s) of cars already. I want it and I got it, that’s all that matters!

  • ADH

    I don’t care what Steve says, having a car that’s unique compared to all the stock versions of the same vehicles out there makes it special and as for ‘desirability’ that’s a matter of opinion and availability. Anyone can ‘Mod’ a car but when it’s done Officially that makes it a collectible. Like the 392, a limited number guarantees ‘special’ status.
    One day when cars like these have ceased production for several years having a ‘special version’ will increase the perceived value, bet on it!

  • Rod Harvey

    What an amazing car.  Im so proud to see American Muscle come to life again.  Vanishing Point was my greatest movie and always will be.  Thank You for bringing this Hotrod back.  You guys are awesom!

  • Rod Harvey

    You know as I have read some of this from all who have wrote in, Im ammazed.  Thank you for the positive feedback.  I am not affiliated with Dodge but do drive a Dodge Dynasty-210000 miles on it at that. You know all of you that makes negative thought are pitiful.  I make 25,000 a year and live well at least I feel I do and You put a wonderfull dream down.  And yes it would be a dream.  Try live in a Illinois farm town, that Im most proud of.  Keep up the good work my friends at Dodge.  And thanks for giving us good products and beauty


    I can see both sides to this story, however, knowing that you have a Dodge approved limited production run Kowalski Challenger is something special and something I think all of us would want.  I believe Bob Frederick could have easily sold 100 of these.  Keep the good stuff coming Bob!

  • jono

    All I can say is….true Mopar guys get this car (having a garage full of Mopars doesn’t make you a true Mopar guy either).  There are haters out there, but this is not a ‘dealer sticker car’.  Bob Frederick is the man and they made something unique happen.  That’s why Dodge took the time to even do an article on Redletterdodge.  Tell me the last time in the past 3 years you saw Dodge write an article about a dealer that they built 10 ‘special’ cars for.
    I am the proud owner of Kowalski #6 and let me say, it is unique.  I was at a local car show tonight and I had the owner of a 2010 Challenger SRT8 approach me and say, “what the heck is this thing?  Did you take the stripes off a new Inaugural Edition? Wait, it’s got different wheels, and black interior, and oh, that pistol grip.”  
    I got the optional flowmast exhaust on mine as well and all I can say is, wow.  They make a huge difference.  I am lucky enough to own an ’08 SRT8 as well and I love that car, but it doesn’t compare to Kowalski!!  It is the closest late-model car that comes close to being a ‘muscle car.’ (in my humble opinion)

    Eitherway, I found value in buying a Kowalski.  Bob is definitely the most genuine, honest guy in the car business if you ask me and I like the fact that only 9 other guys own a car like mine.  Whether it is worth more money later or not, I’m happy with the decision to buy it!
    Thanks Bob and congrats to the other Kowalski owners out there!


  • Notsure

    Nice to see all the Kowalski editions Pool here at RLD!

     Lets all meet up At Bob Fredericks dealership in New wilmington PA this summer sometime please as I heard rumbles of a get together for the Scat Pack in July!

    Guys how cool a ride its been hasnt it??

    Congrats to you all for getting one of the rarest and iconic Challengers built by Dodge for Bob to pass to us..Im honored to know each one of you as family cant wait to meet you soon as well.

  • http://www.spokentorque.com Michelle Wingard

    Back in may 2008, my husband and I met up with Erich Heuschele and Ralph Gilles (Kowalski and Super Soul, respectively) during an Ohio stop of the “One Lap of America” tour. Having seen the press photos of this car, I have been secretly wishing Dodge would make a “Vanishing Point Edition”, and it has finally happened. Perhaps once they see how much interested the public really is, they’ll make a few thousand more. I love the idea of ten vehicles, but I think it would be wonderful to make something similar with higher production numbers so more folks would have the opportunity to own one.

  • ChuckG

    Congrats to all the new Kowalski owners!  You truly have unique vehicles that I’m sure you’ll treasure for years to come.
    I know two of the owners of these cars, and I know that these cars are in good hands.  Dodge should be proud to have these very special people owning their very special car.  These guys live and breathe Challengers.
    Again congrats guys!!

  • RLD

    With the great interest in this model, we would like to feature those that own this exclusive Kowalski edition here on RedLetterDodge.com

    Please contact us directly http://www.redlinedodge.com/contact-us/ by providing your name, e-mail address, # of the edition, photographs, details and your permission to publish,  so we can share your excitement with others.




  • DodgeFanatic

    Is there a Kowalski Edition Registry page somewhere highlighting these 10 rare models?

  • Dave

    Can I have first right to buy any one of the ten Kowalski edition’s from you guys and gals here? I don’t think you’ll ever sell yours just as I will never sell my B5 Blue SRT8, but in the event that you might at some point (2,3,5,10,15,20 years down the road) I give RLD my permission to give you my e-mail address.

  • Peter J.

    Not to take anything away from those who bought one of these because it’s an awesome 392 Challenger above all else, but any die hard Vanishing Point fan knows that (1) the car in the movie was an R/T, (2) it was 440 CI engine which produced 375 horsepower, same as the modern day 5.7L R/T, and (3) the car in the movie had no rear spoiler.

    Basically, this new “self procliamed” version is nothing more than someone attempting to stick their name on it. The car bears no similarities to the original Vanishing Point ride except in color.

  • jono

    RLD – I am attempting to contact you via your link above, but the security question causes an error every time I attempt to submit.  You may want to check out your contact us page.

  • ADH

    @ Peter J. wasn’t the Vanishing Point car Stone White not Bright White?
    Just nitpickin’ I know….I’d buy any 392 in a heartbeat if I didn’t already own a fantastic Chally.

  • Simon

    Vanishing Point came out the year I was born. I first saw it when I was 12 and I was hooked – a white Challenger with a Hemi was the only car I ever wanted. But life kinda got in the way and so this year, with my 40th birthday coming up, I’m finally going to make it happen. This car is pretty much what I’ve been planning – so it’s amazing to actually see what I’ve been dreaming about. I’m betting there’s a ton of people who buy Challengers because of Vanishing Point so PLEEEEEASE don’t limit this to 10 cars – go large and we will buy them!

    I can’t believe the people bitching in these comments – loosen up and enjoy the spirit of it – this is a cool car!

  • Camel Joe

    Nice looking Challenger great write up. Thanks to Dodge for making this car and bringing back some memories. Mike sending that car car to Vortech was not a smart move you have now destroyed the original build. If Dodge wanted to installed a aftermarket performance supercharger they would have picked a better supplier than Vortech. I hope you can save your car before it gets butchered good luck and kudos to all the lucky 10! Maybe they can all meet up one day for a photo shoot in the coming years!

  • reddog

    Joe when Bob Frederick and Dodge were putting this pakage together a supercharger was talked about as an option that only few knew about. So the original build is not  destroyed.

  • Rob

    would love to see some bigger pics of it.  Would make some real nice wallpaper!

  • Notsure

    The car was to be supercharged same as Kowalskis in the original VP things changed,and then changed for the better.
    Life too short not to roll with the punches sort a like Kowalski and his crazy lucky streak he was on.
    I dont sweat the small things like precieved value,the Dodge designers liked the idea thats blessing enough for me why wait 40 years for a return when your dead I want the fun now…Return maybe someday but a car to me should be driven and used.
    I cant wait to run down a few red clay roads with the car Kowalski it up a bit!

    Davo/Reddog you are correct and I have a build sheet stating that as well,,Id like to actaully see Dodge offer Sc’ed Cars thru the Frederick Scat Pack exclusively…Someone had to get the ball started it may as well had been me not many guys will give up a 7 day old car for all their buddies to all benifit from things are what they are.
    Hell Ill buy another one GWE soon if they run that in a convertible..Its a car to me, one that a few friends that know me represents alot more than just a Kowalski Edition.

     I loved the look in Ralphs Face when he signed the car I could see it in his eyes he wanted to see the car driven …”That day meeting Ralph I was awe struck I cant wait to meet him again when I can speak something other than Klingon. 
    Talk about a cool signature!
    They are the rock stars IMO we are just the roadies!

    Yah know,I look at it like this I owe it to Mopar to showcase thier masterpiece they built for Bob,myslef,and The Frederick name that was not always the plan but it became obvious and events at SF6 unfolded before me in a very surreal way.I asked Bob 4 y ears ago about a Vanishing Point car due to a project I was working on ,and had to wait all this time so hell yeah Im making it just like what Kowalskis car would have been by todays standards….I found it funny most the cars where built right around Polaski Days which is Celebrated nation-wide for the Polish Community. Go Kowalski!
    BTW Robby I know your reading this we will see you next time we are in Chicago!
    Life is just a ride ,and if that is so I’d wanna do it in my Mopar.

  • Notsure

    These 10 Kowalski Editions for Bob Frederick where copo built cars thats huge guys!!

    Thats why I bought the car that is what meant the world to me,and it meant alot for Ddoge to do as well for Bob Frederick too date there has never been such a thing with Dodge.

    The 10 cars have the mark of the COPO Beast.
    It feels like 1968 all over again Ty Ralph and his team of Mopar Madmen!

  • Brian Mosel

    Notsure wrote:
    Nice to see all the Kowalski editions Pool here at RLD!
    Lets all meet up At Bob Fredericks dealership in New wilmington PA this summer sometime please as I heard rumbles of a get together for the Scat Pack in July!
    YES!! Keep me posted as well Mike, as I may be there picking up my GWE 392 from Bob at about that time!! Would kill to see all 10 KE’s in the same location!!

  • Notsure

    Mopar or no Car count on it Brian. Hit me up on CT or FB as well please..Woodward this year??Im there for sure try to make that event as well.I gotta see a GWE up close if they build it in a convertible the wife want one asap…Congrats brother Bob is the Mopar go to guy welcome to the family .

  • frank aiello

    bob fredrick did a good job with this car,but as much shhht on he got from dodge,I would tell dodge ,go kiss f.I,ll keep the old challenger.The new ones are way to big.

  • http://www.zypwoplawfgd.net/ Earnestine True

    I cannot aggree more this is a really thoughtfully written article, thank you for writing this!

  • http://www.hondaforum.com/forum/member.php?u=13268 Vegas Car Rental

    Thats an interesting point of view, I am not certain I concur.

  • 70TA-09RT

    After picking up car #7 on Saturday all I can say is WOW Dodge and the engineers got it right there are so many subtle changes and improvements to the overall car it rides like a dream and handles fantastic and it doesn’t have a large thirst for fuel. 500 mile after yesterday and 21.8mpg :)

    I took the car down to a meet-n-greet in Columbus yesterday the first one of the year 34+ Mopars showed up we had a great time being with friends and giving the guys and gals a chance to get up close and personal with the 2011 SRT8 Challenger I left the car open for people to sit in it and take in the whole essence of the car.
    The car is just meant to be driven and I’ll be hitting up as many of the Mopar Events as I can this Spring and Summer!!! I look forward to meeting many more like minded individuals as I like to share with you all.


  • http://www.redlinedodge.com/2011/04/04/kowalski%e2%80%99s-challenger-rides-again/#more-8715 Black Ice

    In the spirit of the movie, let’s get 2 bull dozers toigether and ramp em all up!

  • Notsure

    Now thats a photo op!

  • RLD

    We’ve heard from Kowalski owners of car #1,#6,#7 and #10. We’re still interested in hearing from everyone else that have bought one.

    Please send us your story and a good photo of you and your Kowalski to us here http://www.redlinedodge.com/contact-us/

  • Notsure

    I hear the number 7 car may be forsale. The new owner has to sell it asap via personal issues………

    Contact Bob Frederick New Wilmington Dodge,New Wilmington Pa 330-550-5432

  • Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al-thani

    Hi Guys I bought KOWALSKI #02/10 and I took it to Hennessey Performance and upgrade it to HPE650 you can see it on Hennessey Performance FB