Twin-turbo Jeep Is an Insanely Fast Land Missle

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A Grand Cherokee is the last thing you’d expect to see at a half-mile race, but this build is a massive sleeper.

When you think of half-mile and one-mile high speed racing, it usually conjures up images of things like muscle and exotic cars. And for good reason. Accelerating and achieving the higher speeds these races require brings things like aerodynamics into play much more than regular drag racing. Thus, you would never expect to see, say, a Jeep Grand Cherokee at your local half-mile event. But if you’re a regular at these types of races down in Australia, that’s exactly what you’d see.

We’re talking about this bonkers twin-turbo Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, which is completely stripped and outfitted for high-speed blasts. Owned by a chap named Manny Dalakakis, this bad boy covers the half-mile in just 14.55 seconds. It wasn’t too long ago when that would be considered a respectable quarter-mile e.t. But a Jeep? In the half-mile? Simply mind blowing.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Obviously, it takes a monster motor to push this brick through the air at such velocity. And that comes in the form of a 6.9-liter Hemi fitted with a pair of Borg Warner turbos. Shifts come quickly thanks to a 4L80 automatic transmission, and beefier transfer cases handles the massive amount of torque. Even more impressively, Dalakakis built the whole rig himself with the help of a couple friends.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

“[I’m a] basic driver, no shop, no nothing,” Dalakakis said. “I have had a lot of help from shop owners, like my friend Chris. The boys at West Side gave me the shop for like a year to do whatever I wanted. I didn’t want to ruin a perfectly good car, so we got a junker and just started cutting and just welding and welding.”

Jeep Grand Cherokee

It only took a month of thrashing to put this homemade build together. And the aero isn’t even what you might call “professionally” done. But that just makes this Jeep build even more impressive than it already is.

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Brett Foote has been covering the auto industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ popular Auto Group websites, including Corvette Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among others.

Foote has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles and every other type of automobile, Foote had spent several years running parts for local dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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