Urban Legend: Derek Ekins’ Chrysler 300 SRT10

Amidst the Vipers circling Miller Motorsports Park at the 11th Annual Viper Owner’s Invitational last week were a few animals that clearly did not belong in the reptile exhibit. Most notable among them was Derek Ekins’ custom fabricated 2006 Chrysler 300 Touring, which harbors a sinister secret under the hood – 525 of them, to be exact. In place of the factory-installed 3.5-liter V6 that originally powered the vehicle sits Dodge’s gen III 8.3L Viper V10 engine, which Derek claims cranks out 25 more horsepower than the original. Even more inspiring than the performance, though, is how all of this came to be.


When you view Derek’s masterpiece for the first time, your only thought after regaining the ability to process abstract information is “Where’d you get it?” He answers with the amused laugh of a man who has fielded this question before, saying simply “I got it from a wrecking yard back east.” Disheartening images of a brand new Viper languishing gutless and forgotten immediately vanish from your mind, replaced by the next logical question “Who did it?” The answer is “Derek,” which unleashes another engulfing wave of respect. Though he farmed out the work that was admittedly above his available tool and skill set, everything save for the wiring harness (Hotwire Auto) and the computer reflash (DC Performance) was done solo. “It took me about a year because I had to figure everything out,” he explained, but he was bound and determined to finish. In a modest 2-car garage with little more than a jackstand, a welder, and an engine hoist, Derek worked tirelessly to preserve the authenticity of the Viper’s renowned capability. All outward indicators would suggest he was extremely successful.


Power from the 300’s V10 is channeled by a T56 Tremec 6-speed manual transmission and supported by Eibach adjustable coilovers on all four corners and a matching swaybar kit, all of which Derek claims can support horsepower far in excess of the engine’s rating. To feed the V10’s voracious appetite, the rear trunk space was fitted with a custom Aeromotive fuel tank while the cooling system was beefed up with a 3-inch thick C&R racing radiator and a custom Sprinter oil filter. Derek spared no expenses to accommodate the powertrain, which he acknowledges was a necessity, “I built it knowing about the power and trying to keep it reliable.” Despite the heavy upgrades, however, this was never intended to be a track car. “I didn’t really build it to race it,” he says, “I just wanted something different. I really liked the Viper, but I couldn’t fit my whole family in it.”


All told the craftsmanship is above reproach, as evidenced by the deafening exhaust note and enveloping sense of incredulousness felt when peering into the exposed engine bay. The level of care and dedication poured into this project is striking to say the least, and we proudly remove our hats in admiration.



  • Alvin B.

    Cars like this are why we need something akin to the Nurburgring in the US. It is a shame there’s not really any place an owner of such a beast can truly enjoy it without just going loopdy-loop on a 1 mile oval, or having to book time at an exclusive track that costs thousands of dollars or has one public track day per year.

    Just, roll up in your daily driver, pay your fee, and spend the next 7 minutes chewing up asphalt for your first lap of the day.

  • http://livnloud.com SEocalaFL

    whoa!! I what about a charger?

  • dodgefan67

    i agree with alvin

    and why in the world was this article done with no pictures of the engine bay????

  • dodgefan67

    oops, silly me, scrolled too fast, i see the engine pics now!! nice!!

  • 440

    Nice !!

  • http://www.challengernut.com/ 2011 Challenger

    Awesome, just awesome. This is a great find RLD, now lets see someone do that to their challenger!

  • Joe

    I thought of doing this with my 97 sebring back in the day then said to myself cost to much lol same with this set up i can twin turbo my 06 300c 5.7 and have more power i guess if you want the status of having a 300 viper.Its still pretty bad ass

  • joe is a retard

    well joe lets think about this… you obviously don’t know that u cant simply just throw a set of twins on a NA engine and expect it to run. you need an entire up graded fuel kit. new exhaust. way to get oil to the turbos (usually takes a bigger oil pump), and IC with all the plumbing…. sure it can be done but thats just like this guy taking this viper powered one to hennessey and then by just having them put a set of twins on it he can have 1200hp at the wheels… so joe you my friend need to think before u speak ill about a srt-10.

  • Joe

    To the douch above yes i understand you need to do a few other things but for less then 5 grand you can hava a basic stock block killing this v6 upgraded paper weight so if you would like to talk shit and call me a retart stick your cock in your ass you punk and look at the facts a twin turbo basic set up with 5psi would tear this v10 a new one like i said i think the guy has a nice set up differnt and all just not my cup of tea and slow for the money a viper motor alone without the trans would go for an easy 8-12 grand a basic twin turbo set up from http://www.ststurbo.com/ with install your looking at around $ 5500 so suck a nut homo

  • Darkstar

    Gee Joe,

    You may have been dissed, guy… but you’re the only one who can’t seem to make a reasonable argument, oe even be civil.

    No one but tuners & boy-racers would PREFER a turbo or two, over a displacement powered upgrade. Turbos increase power by increasing strain on the engine, and decreasing reliability & longevity.

    Nicely done, Derek!

  • RLD

    Hey Guys,

    Lets take it down a notch. We love the free flow of conversation here, but we do not allow insults. Let’s work on sharing your viewpoint without the insults or name calling.

    Thanks
    -RLD Staff

  • CE

    DO IT TO A CHARGER!

  • Jae Jae

    I’ve always wanted to see an SRT8 Charger being converted with a SRT10 viper motor. This guy almost added the viper engine to his Charger super bee, but failed because of a divorce, got my hopes up for nothing. here’s the website if anyone wants to see the forums. (http://www.chargerforumz.com/showthread.php?t=86663) I wish I had a fourth generation 8.4l srt10 Viper engine, and a 2010 Charger SRT8. I would love to build something like that. I’m surprised no one did these types of conversions on the Charger’s, 300′s, or magnums. I was hoping at least some manual transmission conversions but, this is the first I’ve heard that someone did this beautiful project.

  • moparman

    Joe’s post has gotten me all tingly…

    Joe, do you like gladiator movies, too?

  • fox

    i have a 300c and i want to know wa i need to do to get a viper engin in my car how much money were are talking bout

  • fox

    please help me out on this

  • http://glows,org/ Glows

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