Posted by Billy Tackett on

In 1986, Charlie Sheen and Randy Quaid starred in the independently made film The Wraith. The Wraith tells the story of an Arizona teen who mysteriously returns from the dead as a supernatural, or possibly alien-created, street-racer driving an invulnerable supercar in order to take revenge on the gang who murdered him.

The Dodge M4S Turbo Interceptor used in the film was originally a pace car built by Chrysler Corporation and PPG Industries. Six copies were made for use in the film: two stunt cars made from molds of the original car and four non-drivable "dummies" that were destroyed during filming. During production, the real Dodge Turbo Interceptor was used in close-ups. That original was located at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills, MI until 2016, when the museum closed permanently.

The Dodge M4S is an American high performance prototype sports coupe originally engineered, designed, and built by Dodge in 1981 as a technology demonstrator vehicle. It was designed by then chief designer of Dodge, Bob Ackerman. The designation M4S denotes "Midengine, 4 cylinder, Sport“. From its conception, the car was intended to be built as a fully engineered running prototype rather than as a display piece. Because it was intended to be used as a pace car, it was designed to reach a top speed of 200 mph (322 km/h).

Chrysler designed the body and conducted extensive wind tunnel testing to achieve a drag coefficient of .236. Although the car was designed by Chrysler, actual construction of the vehicle was handled by subcontractors. The semi monocoque race car chassis was ordered from Huffaker of California. 3-D Industries of Madison Heights, Michigan modeled the body and created molds. Special Projects, Inc. of Plymouth, Michigan cast the body panels, assembled the body and interior, and gave the car its signature “root beer brown” paint color by painting layers of pearl over a black base coat. Specialized Vehicles, Inc., of Troy, Michigan handled fabrication, final assembly, and maintenance of the completed car.

The mid-engined car had a tested and confirmed top speed of 194.8 mph (313.5 km/h) and could go from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.1 seconds, with more than 440 hp (328 kW) under the hood coming from its relatively small displacement of 2.2L 4 cylinder forced induction engine.

My painting is 16"x20” oil on board and was a commission for a private collector. Prints are available through the link at the top of this article.

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