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This is where the Dodge M4S from the movie Wraith is today

Many years ago, when Charlie Sheen wasn’t the Quasimodo he considers today, an independent supernatural film arrived. Spectrum, with him, Randy Quaid and Sherilynn Fenn. In it, a mysterious character dressed in black drives an equally mysterious car, the To dodge M4S Turbo Interceptor, which was a prototype turned into a concept car for real and became popular thanks to the movie.


The car looked out of this world, that’s why it was perfect for a supernatural movie where a girl’s boyfriend is murdered, she’s kidnapped and kept by the bad guy, then he comes back in another form, showing up in a car that kills bad guys in a crash of fire. And then the car miraculously comes back to life. Far away, right?

But then, it was the 80s, the time when the DeLorean DMC was a time machine. So why couldn’t the Dodge M4S Turbo Interceptor be a killer supercaravenging his driver who was dead, but alive, both at the same time.

The car has become the pin-up of the fantastic poster for all teenagers. So here is where the Dodge M4S Turbo Interceptor is, the car of Spectrum it’s today. And why do we always fall for it…

UPDATED NOVEMBER 2022: We’re taking another look at the almost forgotten ’80s Dodge special that inspired a classic movie and still looks futuristic and dangerous for all the right reasons today; also how it foreshadows the kind of performance we might eventually achieve with small turbocharged engines after the turn of the century.

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The American concept car Dodge M4S / Turbo Interceptor PPG

Jay Leno and Charlie Sheen with the Dodge M4S Turbo Interceptor
By: Facebook via Jay Lenos Garage

The M4S stood for “Mid-engine, 4-cylinder, Sport” and the nomenclature revealed all the secrets of the car, probably why they also called it the Turbo Interceptor PPG. It had “PPG” in its name because its future was to be the PPG IndyCar World Series race car.

It was featured in Jay Leno’s Garagestarring Charlie Sheen though this one, was an unusable movie prop.

It was designed by Bob Ackerman (and, admittedly, inspired by the Porsche 962 IMSA GTP class) and was built in 1981, but it was never meant to be a production car, just one that could show Dodge’s technological prowess as a demonstration vehicle. It was also vastly different, almost drastically, from any other Dodge, or indeed any car of that era. The idea behind the vehicle was to show that the era of badass was over and automobiles were ready to usher in a whole new world of cool.

The motor was forced induction, 2.2-liter turbocharged Cosworth inline-four which came with twin Garrett turbochargers and could offer 440 hp, allowing this highly aerodynamic wind tunnel sculpted beauty to fly from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds. Top speed was around 195 mph. For 1981, it was the fastest four-cylinder car around, although it was not built by Chrysler per se.

The submarine-type body had a drag coefficient of just 0.23 and was created by 3-D Industries of Madison Heights, while Special Projects Inc of Michigan assembled the body and interior. The chassis for the semi-monocoque race car came from Californian Huffaker. Finally, assembly of the four prototypes was led by Specialized Vehicles Inc. of Michigan.

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The Dodge M4S cast in Spectrum Film

The Wraith Dodge M4S Turbo Interceptor / Charlie Sheen
By: Facebook via Jay Lenos Garage

The M4S was originally intended for use as a pace carand years later, when the 1986 film Spectrum came out, the car created even more waves because suddenly it was much more visible.

In the movie, it’s the hero’s car, driven by a dead teenager who came back to life, in a different body of course, and literally merges with the car to avenge his murder and the kidnapping and abuse of his girlfriend by the villain. The car is pitch black and eventually destroys the villain and his gang in fiery crashes, then regenerates without batting an eyelid or turning on a headlamp.

It’s an indestructible supercar in the movie, and it looks the part, so much so that once the movie came out, the car won a sort of worship. To be honest, it deserves a lot more attention than it got, being quite ahead in technology and looks, even if the movie somehow failed.

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Where are the Dodge M4S Turbo Interceptors now

Dodge M4S (
By: Facebook via Jay Lenos Garage

First, the car nearly killed the stuntman who had no idea how fast it was capable and what kind of crazy acceleration it had.

The original concept car is in the Walter P. Chrysler Museum. But speaking of the toned down cars in the movie, both movie props worthy of a reader was sold after production ended, one of which disappeared and has not been heard from since. The second went to its creator, Gene Winfield, who then sold it to Bob Butts at the Fantasy Car Ranch. Butts later sold it to John Watson, a kit car builder, who decided to make a kit car out of it, called the Wraith II.

The dream remained a pipe dream, and eventually the car reached McPherson College in Kansas. A fan of the movie and the car, Lyle Suhr managed to buy and restore it with a supercharged Pontiac V6, and that same car ended up for sale on Craigslist, for $150,000, in 2015. been sold, but since then also went unreported. So for now, two very lucky people in the world have the coolest four-cylinder supercar ever made.

Since inclusion a few years ago in Jay Leno’s the The Dodge M4S is now only visible on its Facebook pagewhere enthusiasts can relive the 80s thrill of its design and fascinating history.

Interestingly, aside from its connection to the futuristic rear end of the Dodge Laser and Jaguar XJ220, the car’s small-displacement turbocharged format was a sign of things to come in today’s downsized world. In fact, the Mercedes A45 AMG of the 21st century would bring the kind of power the Dodge M4S boasted to an even smaller engine – just 2 liters, and matching the star Wraith’s 0-60mph time.

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