Of the muscle cars back in the 1960s-70s, I always find myself drawn to Mopars the most. Something about their cartoonish, yet badass nature. A bright green Challenger, a purple Plymouth Barracuda, and the roar of a 426 Hemi V8, that just defines the flavor of the era for me.
Back in 2008, Chrysler blessed the world with the reincarnation of the legendary Dodge Challenger. With its retro look, it seemed poised to reignite the muscle car wars with the Ford Mustang, and the soon-to-be-released Chevrolet Camaro. However, we are not in the 1960s anymore, and there are far more contenders than just the good old American boys these days.
My real question going into this drive was, where does the Challenger fit in today? Is it still a Muscle Car in the traditional sense, or has it adapted, like the Camaro SS has, to meet modern expectations of handling performance?
After day two, I am convinced that 2013 has to be the best New Hope Auto Show I have ever attended. The first day had many fantastic American cars, and the second day had a barrage of phenomenal foreign cars. The field ranged from modern exotics to classics, and I was thrilled with the sheer variety of cars; not just a bunch of the same types of Ferraris lined up.
Highlights included some truly breathtaking pre-war Rolls Royces, a variety of special Porsches, and one of the prettiest Mercedes 300 SLs I have ever laid eyes on. There is much more, including a few cars not often seen in the US, so check out the gallery (below) to see. Enjoy the photos.
The late 1970s were a bleak time for America. The country was stuck with a bad case of stagflation, there was rife conflict in the Middle East as the shah of Iran was losing his grip on his country, and if you wanted anything fast and American, you were either wrenching on an older car, or looking longingly at the used car lots for a Hemi Challenger that wasn’t beat to within an inch of its life. This, however, didn’t stop Dodge from trying to bring the magic back. Continue reading Obscure Auto: 1978-1979 Dodge Lil’ Red Express Truck→
This an interesting, albeit love/hate sort of car. I have to admit that when I first saw this thing roll past, a few days before I shot these photos, I thought to myself, “Are you kidding me?”. However, up close the car is really well done and it kind of grew on me after I was able to look at it for a while. I can certainly appreciate where this car is coming from, and I give the owner credit for doing a great job on it. I still find it a little forced, and a little too short compared to the real Plymouth Superbird, which I saw in traffic at the same time as this car. This new Superbird certainly turns heads though, it will get you noticed for better or worse. I can’t fault someone for making their idea happen though, so I’m glad this exists. Continue reading Woodward Dream Cruise: Dodge Challenger “Superbird”→
Back when I was a kid my first real “Dream Car” was the Viper GTS. There was something that was just so cool and awesome about it, and thats what matters when you’re a kid. Now as I’ve grown older, and have learned more about cars and driving, I realize how insane the Viper is as a car. I still love Vipers though, and they will always have a special place as my first automotive love, however my tastes have since gravitated to the more refined offerings from Europe. That said, seeing this new car brings me back to when I first saw the GTS. It’s shape is much more that of the original Viper than of the previous generation, and for me that is a major step in the right direction (not that I disliked the previous gen at all). The Magic seems to be returning, and this new Viper looks very promising in many ways. Continue reading Thoughts on the SRT Viper→
Chrysler’s Superbowl ad with Clint Eastwood was a nice way to incite faith that the American auto industry will recover. Chrysler has shown much improvement in the last few years, and as soon as I saw the new Dodge Dart I knew they were on the right track. It is based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, meaning its European roots should make it much more attractive than the Civic or the Corolla, which are both shamelessly boring at this point. There is however another market segment that exists with cars in that segment, one where engines are turbocharged, suspensions are stiffened, and priority is given to high MPH over high MPG. Dodge has competed here before with their SRT-4 Neon and Caliber, and everyone is eagerly awaiting the Dart SRT-4 in the next few years. Prior SRT-4s were relics of first half America though, the one that had to be bailed out, so the question is now, what should the SRT-4 of the second half be like? Continue reading Dodge Dart SRT-4, part of “Second Half America”→