We’ve featured a few of the famous “M-Code” Plymouth Road Runners here at MoM in the past, but it never gets old for me. Plymouth was usually rather subtle when it came to putting big block V8s in their muscle cars for some time. They would put a small “426 Hemi” badge on the fender, keep the color schemes subtle, and let the engine do the talking. However, the new Road Runner attracted younger buyers, so Chrysler decided to up the visual ante by about a million notches. Enter the M-Code 440+6 Road Runner. Continue reading 1969 M-Code Plymouth Road Runner at Lime Rock
$15,000 is an interesting price point if you’re looking for a solid muscle car. You can have most of the early-mid 2000’s contenders with reasonable miles on them, or you can have one of the newer 400+hp options with higher miles.
I’m more on the high performance side of things, rather than wanting a muscle car for the style just to cruise in. I do intend to do burnouts, I do intend to explore the car’s high speed capabilities, and I do expect it to handle corners competently. Also, there is no such thing as a muscle car with 4 or 6 cylinders, so 8 cylinders is a given here. Lastly, a manual transmission is a must for me. This is a car to be driven, not an outfit to wear.
I should also state up front that I am pretty much non-partisan when it comes to American Muscle cars or American car brands. I know there are those who live and die by Ford, GM, or Mopar, and for them the $15k choice is a lot simpler.
My top 3 options for a $15,000 muscle car are as follows…
The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon has now officially dropped. I must say it’s mighty impressive, and I feel similar to how I felt about the Bugatti Veyron when it came out. The Bugatti marked the real jump from supercar to hypercar in our modern era, and I think the Demon could do the same relative thing in the muscle car sector.
Yes, Chevy made the COPO Camaro a few years ago, but you can’t put a license plate on that one so it doesn’t count. The Dodge Demon is set to be the new King of the Streets, in the most-classic muscle car sense.
The Challenger SRT Demon is a street legal drag-prepped hyper muscle car, and it runs an NHRA-verified 9.65 sec 1/4 Mile @ 140 mph, bone freaking stock. That’s at least 2/10ths of a second faster than any of the hypercar hybrids from Porsche, Ferrari, or McLaren. Sure, the Demon isn’t made to conquer such cars on a road course, or even top end, but at the drag strip, it will rule.
Having said all that, the NHRA has also banned the SRT Demon from any official street car competition. Dodge says “because it’s too fast,” but that can be fixed with the proper license and some extra safety bits.
Also, the Demon will only come with a drag-optimized automatic, but I’m okay with that so long as we can still have a Hellcat with three pedals.
Other impressive features for the Demon include a max output of 840hp and 770ft/lbs, 0-60 in 2.3 sec (or 2.1sec on prepped tarmac), 0-100 in 5.1 sec, a charge cooler that runs off the air conditioning, and a supercharger with more displacement than the engines in all three of my own cars, and a factory switchable tune for race gas. The price will also, supposedly, be reasonable, like south of six-figures (until you actually go to buy one at a dealer). That said, with only 3,300 being built values may go up long term, or at least not fall too much.
Lastly, can we just take a sec to appreciate how badass those wide fenders look?
So with the Demon dropped on the world, we can now anxiously await the response from Ford and GM. This should be a horsepower war that is too good to pass up.
The new-gen Chevrolet Camaro has been pretty damn impressive thus far. How does the most powerful ZL1 model improve it? And could the manual version be faster than the fancy new 10 speed automatic around a racetrack?
This is the 200mph 1970 Plymouth Superbird raced by Richard Petty Racing, back from when NASCAR was cool. I managed to capture it, just as the sun was peeking through the trees. That’s no Photoshop flare there, people, that’s the star we orbit gently bathing this Dinoco Blue racecar in the full spectrum of light. Enjoy!
Putting a big engine in a smaller car is the basic recipe for “hot rodding.” Back in the 1960’s, GM corporate was just as much of a hard-headed pain in the ass as they are today. As a company policy, they didn’t allow their biggest engines to be put into their smaller cars. Thankfully, John DeLorean and his team took it upon themselves to write that wrong.
This is Part 1 of an occasional series.
On April 16, as most of you dear readers know, I purchased this big gray Lincoln Mark VII LSC to replace my Miata, which I’d sold to Nick. What most of you don’t know, is the rest of the story. Through this occasional series, I will work to chronicle the past six months of what I’ve done with this gigantic piece of American history, and how it has fit into the other parts of my life in that time. Continue reading The Lincoln Mark VII LSC Chronicles, Part 1: April and May – Continuing The Story.
Bright yellow works on a good many cars. But eye-scorching, retina-searing yellow works even better on the Shelby GT500KR. This is one of the most over-the-top garish colors I’ve ever seen, and in the sunlight it pops like nothing I’ve seen in some time. Packing a 428 cubic inch big-block Ford V8 coupled to a four-speed heavy-duty manual transmission, the GT500KR was an expensive thrill ride for the fortunate and knowing few who could get their hands on one. I imagine whoever first ordered this car had zero shame and feared no one. Enjoy the photos of this gorgeous old-school rock star car. Continue reading 1968 Shelby GT500KR at Lime Rock
On our way home from Lime Rock (where Nick saw yesterday’s featured Purple People Eater Hellcat), Shane and I were right behind him and saw this mean triple-black 1971 model, featuring massive tires and an exhaust note that could drown out a jungle cat. I may like the Hellcat, but I prefer the classic E-body to the newer designs.
Spotted by: Shane and Al
There’s a reason Toyota doesn’t offer the Camry in “Bright F*cking Purple.” That’s because it takes a certain kind of person to pull it off, and most of them aren’t interested in a forgettable family sedan. They are, however, interested speed, style, and badassary in general.
As it turns out, the 707hp Dodge Challenger Hellcat is quite appealing to purple-car-driving people. The audacity of the color suits the personality of this apex muscle car so well. I’d even say it’s my favorite color on the Hellcat, bar none.
Red cars are for people who think their hot-shit. Black cars are for people who think their a badass. Purple cars are for people who just want to start shit with the world. I mean, it’s a “girly color,” right? Go ahead and tell the guy driving this that, and you’ll probably be staring at a set of taillights before you even know what happened.
This purple Hellcat reminds me of Johnny Cash’s song, “A Boy Named Sue,” because it seems to inherently provoke the world. Its a 200mph muscle car in a world where the highest posted speed limit is 85. It’s entirely unacceptable, if you go by the rules of society. Luckily, we still live in a world with a decent bit of social wiggle room. Cars like the Hellcat can still be driven on public roads, you can exploit its massive performance freely in between speed traps.
Oh, and on top of its insane color, this Hellcat also had a manual gearbox. No excuses needed. It always breaks my heart when I see one of these beasts with only two pedals.
This is pretty much how I’d spec-out my own Hellcat. It’s always awesome to see one of my exact dream cars in person, in the parking lot at the Lime Rock Historics. I hope you enjoy seeing this car as much as I did.