Paint by numbers never looked this good … or this powerful. The numbers in this case being 2017 for the Mopar® ’17 Challenger, 392 for the HEMI® engine displacement, and 80 for the individually numbered badge on the inside of the hood. All the Mopar ’17 Challengers come with a custom paint job that requires exacting standards and a dedication to the process and every detail along the way. This includes prepping, painting and buffing, all with a laser focus on precision and organization.

How does such a complex, week-long undertaking come together with such efficiency? Here’s a look inside the custom paint job on the Mopar ’17 Challengers.


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It all begins at Southwest Customs in Windsor, Ontario, where the Mopar ’17 Challengers are disassembled in preparation for the taping and sanding process. This is no small feat; it includes the front hood, door jams, fender wells, moldings, taillights, trunk hood and more. Each part is then organized in a cart that corresponds to the vehicle’s VIN.


For sanding the vehicle, every surface has to be perfect, with no bumps or particles of dust that will show up under the paint. While in the paint booth, dust or dirt can latch onto the paint, so the process requires an almost surgical precision to maintain an ideal environment. The sander is used to make sure every coat is perfect.


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Then taping begins, including everything from the door jams to the fender wells, as well as individual taping for the hood and deck lid, which are painted separately. Rope is used around the windows to makes sure they’re completely sealed off from paint. This process can take a full day of work, and can grow increasingly complex for vehicles with sunroofs.

Painting and Buffing

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In the paint booth, the Mopar ’17 Challenger is given its new coat. The hood scoop for the Shaker and the Trim Ring are painted separately. To follow, the buffing process requires extra care. Buffers work carefully overnight to get the vehicle ready for details and assembly in the morning. The last thing to go on is the trim.

Reassembly and Final Touches

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Southwest Customs delivers 6 to 10 vehicles per week to Ground Effects Old Plant 2. There the installation begins on the cold air intake system, Shaker hood scoop and strut tower braces. The chrome exhaust pipes are swapped out for black pipes, and the Rumble Bee seat logo is replaced with the “M” Mopar logo and seat cover.

Finally, the vehicle is delivered to Ground Effects Walker Rd. where the finishing touch is added: the individually numbered (1-80) Mopar badge on the inside of the hood.
A special serialized Mopar ‘17 80th Anniversary badge is inclu

Want to make your vehicle stand out from the pack with your own accessories? Learn about all our parts and customization options at