Tom Bailey is Building the World’s Most Badass Durango SRT® Hellcat

One of the most unique vehicles on display at 2022 Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge was a modern Durango with a gigantic supercharger hovering high in front of the windshield, a custom tube chassis, massive rear tires and the red-white-and-blue Direct Connection livery. This vehicle was displayed as a project-in-progress, having been pushed to and from its display spot at the M1 Concourse, but some people who attended the event mistakenly figured that it was nothing more than a hacked-up display vehicle that was built for Roadkill Nights.

However, anyone who knows of Tom Bailey knows that this unique Durango SRT® Hellcat on display at Roadkill Nights will soon be one of the most badass examples of the three-row Dodge SUV in the world. Once finished, this Dodge SUV will pack a couple thousand horsepower, likely making it the quickest and fastest Durango in the world, all while maintaining the ability to be driven across the country. To some, that might sound crazy, but for those racing fans who have followed the work of Tom Bailey, the biggest surprise is that he is building a monster Mopar® – not that he plans to run a 4-second 8th mile with a full-sized, street-legal SUV.

We had a chance to visit Bailey’s shop in Waterford, Michigan, where he gave us a look at the current progress of the Durango, along with a rundown of what he has planned for this incredible build.

Sick Seconds

Tom Bailey is known in the racing world for his first-generation Chevrolet Camaro racecars, which are appropriately named Sick Seconds 1.0 and Sick Seconds 2.0. Both cars have been driven across the country as part of Hot Rod Drag Week, running low-6-second elapsed times in the quarter-mile while also pulling a trailer from event to event. Sick Seconds 2.0 is visible in front of the images here of Bailey’s Durango, while Sick Seconds 1.0 is shown below at Roadkill Nights.

Bailey has won Drag Week five times, including the 2022 event, where his black-and-orange Sick Seconds 2.0 Camaro made several 6.0X runs, but his metallic bronze Sick Seconds 1.0 has also won the event a few times in the past. That bronze Camaro has also been one of the top competitors at Roadkill Nights each of the past few years, but the bottom line is that Bailey has two Chevy Camaros that are driven across the country with a trailer in tow each year, running low-6-second ETs along the way. In the past, the Sick Seconds 2.0 Camaro has run in the 5.70s with speeds topping 250 miles per hour – all from a street-driven car.

He campaigns the quickest legitimate street cars in the country and his current project is the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat shown here. He had previously spoken about the build on social media, but 2022 Roadkill Nights was the first public appearance for his supercharged Dodge SUV. It was not ready to race in August, but the team is continuing to work on it with the hopes of displaying it at PRI in December – followed by hitting the track for Sick Week in February.

Sick Week is relatively similar to Drag Week, with 350 of the top street-legal cars in the country spending 6 days driving through Florida and Georgia, making 5 stops at drag strips along the way to see who is truly the quickest at each stop.

The Durango Build

Tom Bailey spent some time daily driving the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, at which point he came to appreciate the design and performance of the 710-horsepower SUV. While speaking with some folks from Dodge, the idea came up of him building an ultra-high-performance Durango SRT Hellcat with a monstrous screw-style supercharger. The company offered up the Redeye-powered Durango SRT Hellcat that was featured in the One Lap of America event a few years back and Bailey’s plan was to remove some weight from the interior, add a monster blower to a HEMI® engine and hit the track with what would likely be the quickest modern Durango to go down the track.

However, after spending more time talking to the folks from Dodge, Bailey was encouraged to go a bit more extreme, at which point his team decided to pull out all of the stops – creating a Durango SRT Hellcat that was every bit as incredible as his Sick Seconds Camaros. The result is a Durango with a fully custom tube chassis, a custom cabin with seating for four and a 370-cubic-inch engine topped by a 10-liter supercharger.

Rather than building the harder-to-get SRT Hellcat engine, Bailey’s HEMI engines are based on a 5.7-liter block, worked to 370 cubic inches and assembled with the best parts available. This includes Ross pistons, a Bryant Racing crankshaft, Isky valvetrain components, ARP fasteners, Darren Mayer supercharger components and a Holley engine management system. The supercharger is so big that it will not seat down normally between the cylinder heads, so Bailey is having a custom high-rise intake manifold made to accommodate the 10-liter blower, while remote coils with plug wires will create an old-school engine bay appearance.

The power from that engine – which will surely be well into the four-figure range – will be sent to the in-house-built rear differential by means of a Turbo 400 transmission with a Gear Vendor overdrive unit. A set of 4.11 gears and custom Billet Specialties wrapped in 33×16.5 ET Drag tires put the power to the ground, with more Billet Specialties wheels and MT rubber up front working to keep the vehicle straight. The entire custom chassis was made in-house by Bob Miller while TBM braking components and Afco adjustable dampers help make the vehicle safe on the street and the track. All said and done, Bailey expects this Durango to weigh around 3,400 pounds.

Some interesting aspects of the build start with the engine location. The supercharged engine is moved by about 12 inches compared to stock, but the engine-to-differential length is about 6 inches longer than his other big-power machines. This length preserves leg room, allowing the team to keep the basic seating layout of the first two rows. Due to the engine being moved back so far, they will have to use a notched composite windshield, but Bailey plans to use a stock-style hood with a very large hole cut for the engine to poke through.

The next interesting aspect of Bailey’s Durango is the location of the rear door latches. The team is installing massive rear wheel tubs to make room for the huge tires. These wheel tubs are so big that they enter into the opening for the rear doors, right where the factory door latches are located. They wanted to keep the functional door handles and latch assemblies, so Miller relocated the portion of the latch assembly on the body and the portion in the door while presenting factory function. The latch assembly was moved up quite a bit, requiring more metal work on the body and on the inner door. This will barely be noticeable once the Durango is painted and complete, but this shows the level of detail in this project.

Another interesting aspect of this Durango build is that Tom Bailey had huge sheets of custom carbon fiber made for the interior layout. The Durango SRT Hellcat features this unique crushed carbon fiber trim across the dashboard and door panels rather than the traditional woven carbon fiber. Bailey will use the sheets of crushed carbon fiber from Tim McCandless to make custom door panels and other interior bits, bringing a bit of factory flavor to this heavily modified Durango.

Once this Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat build is complete, Tom Bailey expects for it to run in the 4-second 8th mile range with the 370-cubic-inch HEMI engine. On the other hand, if he were to swap to the 4,000-horsepower, twin turbocharged, Steve Morris-built 615-cubic-inch engine from the Sick Seconds 2.0 Camaro, he believes that this Durango would cover the quarter-mile in the 6-second range.

Either of those numbers would make this the quickest Dodge Durango in the world, while speed numbers up around 200 miles per hour will also make it the fastest. Regardless of what it runs on the drag strip, there is no question that Tom Bailey will have the most badass Dodge Durango to ever hit the street. Those folks who attend SEMA this year will be able to check out Bailey’s Durango in person, where it will be displayed in the sprawling Dodge area.

You can follow along with this Durango build and all of Bailey’s high-performance activities at and on his official Facebook page (