When Nokturnal Car Club needed a standout entry for the full-size domestic car show category, Francisco Alecio knew he needed to step up to the plate for his car club brethren. “As soon as the topic of how we were lacking in that class came up, deep inside, I knew I wanted to stand out with the club and help bring that trophy to us,” Alecio explains. “So without saying a word, the next day my Charger was taken to the shop began its transformation.”
Alecio didn’t hold anything back with his project, explaining that he wanted what no other car in the category featured or anything that other car club members feared to add to their show-worthy rides. “I wanted to do more than just stand out; I wanted something difficult to duplicate and didn’t want anything off the shelves – everything had to be one-off.” At the time, Alecio’s Dodge Charger wasn’t much of a trophy vehicle - just slammed to the ground and sitting on 22s. But after joining Nokturnal, Alecio was schooled in all things custom and knew exactly what he needed to transform his Charger into the “Phantom King” – a nickname that was given because of its Phantom front-end conversion and the fact that everyone was calling it “the king” of car shows.
Originally, Alecio thought his Charger’s transformation would only take a few months, but as the completion date grew closer, Alecio kept calling up the latest shop where his car was being worked on to request another addition for them to complete. “Every shop that had the car kept it for a minimum of two months because of the stuff I kept thinking of.” Due to the attention to detail and all the intricate changes and modifications, the build took a little over two years to complete.
Although the shops considered Alecio a “pain in the ass” for all his additions, the end result was something they all could be proud of. “It came out like nothing I had planned,” he confirms. “It’s 10 times better, and I thank the shops every time I can. What helped me sleep at night was that no matter what I was getting done, I knew I had the best shops in the game doing it. Whether it was audio, suspension or paint, I knew I had nothing to really worry about in the end.”
When the car was revealed at the 2014 Monster Energy DUB Show in Los Angeles back in March, the response from show-goers was “unreal,” he mentions. “The detail of work was just blowing people away, myself included.” The positive reactions at the show were due to its eye-catching paint and extreme modifications, while still retaining the luxurious style Alecio sought out to accomplish – the most challenging aspect of the build. “I knew I wanted to do a lot on the Charger, but didn’t want it to look too busy or tacky.” That was accomplished by the vehicle’s color scheme and selection of staggered 30x8.5 front and 30x11.5 rear custom-built Forgiato wheels that were recommended to Alecio by Forgiato’s owner. “When I saw them, I fell in love with the design and the finish was amazing.” But going with such a big wheel wasn’t an easy fitment, which made Alecio want to do it even more. “I kept hearing, ’30s staggered on a car? Impossible…’ so I was like, ‘Watch me do it.’” He was able to tuck them in after widening the rear by 5” and the front 2.5”, which provided the extra room it needed to accommodate wheels that usually belong on a truck.
As for the car’s color scheme, Alecio spent a lot of time pondering the perfect color combination, as well as an overall theme for his Charger and ended up going with a Day of the Dead theme mixed with Lowrider-style patterns that were airbrushed by DSG Graphics. But before the murals were airbrushed, HPM Customs dressed it with Grabber Blue paint with Candy Blue Pearl accents.
But of all the modifications, it’s the interior that Alecio favors most. Since Alecio wanted to do what no other has done before, he decided to have the entire interior laced in fiberglass, including the seats – which had many wondering just how comfortable that was. “I usually tell them, ‘I don’t really know because I’m too happy smiling and looking at people’s reactions to the car that I don’t have time to feel if they are comfortable or not. I love the car and everything with it. If I had to sit on spikes, I’d still drive this car.”
Luckily for Alecio, his Charger-turned-“Phantom King” is a show-only ride. “Yes, it’s on a trailer most of the time,” he admits. “I hate when they use the word ‘trailer queen,’ but I know the people who use it haven’t built what I have. When you spend that much money and put in that much time and effort into a car, you don’t want anything to mess it up.” So far, the ride has been too many cruise nights, car meets and numerous car shows in Southern California, as well as various car-related events in Texas. It’s also taken home countless first place trophies at car shows, a few being “Best Paint,” “Best Interior,” “Best Theme,” and, of course, “Best of Show.”
Alecio plans to continue trekking to events to show off his “Phantom King” Charger before he starts to plan his next project car, which will for sure be even more radical than his game-changing Charger.
2006 DODGE CHARGER
PAINT: HPM CUSTOMS
COLOR : GRABBER BLUE, WITH CANDY BLUE PEARL
AIRBRUSHING HAS 7 TYPES OF CANDY BLUES AND SILVERS.
WIDEBODY & CONVERSION: MA AUTO BODY , 5” REAR AND 2.5” IN FRONT
ENGRAVING & CHROME: ENGRAVE IT
STEERING WHEEL: FORGIATO
WHEEL AND TIRES INSTALLED: COMP TIRES
WHEELS : FORGIATO custom-built 30X8.5 FRONT 30X11.5 REAR
TIRES: LIONHART 255/25R30 FRONT 275/35R30 REAR
AIR SUSPENSION: AUDIOFACTORY
AUDIO VIDEO AND FIBERGLASS: AUDIO FACTORY & SSK AUDIO
AUDIO: (26) HIGHS (SONY) (2) 12'S JL AUDIO W6 (4) JL AUDIO AMPS
VIDEO: (12) JVC TVS
BATTERY: (2) OPTIMA YELLOW TOPS.
LIGHTING : SSK AUDIO