By: Scott Vandekerckhove – Lead Contributor
It was just this past August when we met up with John Fortuno at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills, MI. His customized 2011 Chrysler 300C, nicknamed “Fatchance 2.0” (or “FC 2.0” for short), had just undergone its second of three build stages. Under the hood, the Bright White sedan received a monstrous 426 HEMI which, according to Fortuno, mounts up just like a 5.7L HEMI.
Fast forward several months and you can see the complete car now with all the fixings (shown below here with the Hollywood sign in the back drop).
Subtle pieces like the door handles and grille surround have been clad in black chrome from Lanzini Body Works, and the Imported From Detroit logo has been etched into the rear window which is a really nice touch.
From afar, however, the most notable changes include a urethane body kit by Xenon and new forged wheels from USW – both of which will be available to the public soon. The additions undoubtedly take this 300 to more of an extreme edge in terms of appearance.
Wheel sizes are 22 X 9.5 up front, with 22 X 10.5 out back, wearing 255 30/22 and 295 25/22 tires respectively. While the size is certainly impressive, it’s more in the detail of the wheels that sets them apart from all others.
The twisted 6-spoke design is set between an inner white barrel and black chrome outer barrel that provide excellent contrast. In photos, the wheels almost look like they’re sunken behind a tire that’s too wide; when in reality, the outer black chrome is playing tricks on your vision. In person, they look really sharp as you peer down to see your own reflection.
Behind the wheels lie a new set of massive Brembo brakes. 15-inch drilled rotors are coupled with 6-piston calipers to supply the stopping power – a necessary change considering the power under the hood now. (We’d love to see Fatchance 2.0 compete in a “brake-off” with a 300 SRT8 that wears smaller Brembos – could be interesting).
But it really is underneath the 300’s hood where the car does all its talking.
The engine compartment has been dressed up considerably and would be the envy of every Star Wars Stormtrooper in or around our galaxy. Bright white paint adorns the valve covers and intake manifold, while the coil packs, fuse box cover, and fluid caps (all custom-made by Billet) are covered in gloss black. A set of Mopar blue fuel rails offset the entire package nicely.
Attention to detail was of utmost importance to the Fatchance program. “We painted and reglossed the entire engine bay,” says Fortuno. “We also created a custom firewall cover that was kept black in order to maintain focus on the engine, and we even changed out all visible bolts underneath the hood so that everything was uniform. […] The details and just how clean everything looks is frightening,” he added.
When it comes to the 426 HEMI sitting inside, Fortuno says that the tune is about 80-85% complete. “The engine starts real easy, but the cam takes some time to warm up and smooth out. […] The calibration is getting closer by trial and error. It needs to run a bit smoother to blend with the motto of the 300, but we’ll get it eventually.”
Additionally, Fortuno stated that Fatchance 2.0 averages about 14 mpg. “If you keep your foot out of it, the 426 can be relatively efficient. I hit 22.3 mpg out on the highway.” Not too bad.
There is no doubt that Fortuno’s car has already made an impact. At this year’s LA Auto Show (where I met up with Fortuno), Chrysler was showcasing a new 300 “426S” concept model with a custom see-through hood revealing the 426 HEMI within. It’s what one Chrysler Executive referred to as a “brute in a suit”. We’ll have to see if something of this nature makes its way to production. (Don’t hold your breath)
Fortuno said that he’s “really pleased” with the overall look of his car. It’s what he refers to as a “banker’s hotrod”. “I think this is one of the best collaborations you’ll see between a corporation and the street. It’s been fun,” he said.
What’s next for Fortuno, you ask? That’s an easy answer – Spring Fest 7.
The world’s largest gathering of LX vehicles will be rockin’ all over again come March 24, 2012.
In 2011, the event had roughly 830 cars in attendance representing 28 states and all parts of Canada as well. In 2012, Fortuno (the event’s main organizer) says, “We’re shooting for a thousand cars, no doubt! We’ll have also have a strong corporate presence once again.”
For more info on Spring Fest 7, visit www.socallx.com. It’s one event that no one in the Modern Mopar community should miss. Check it out!