The New Challengers
So in 2014 I sold my brown GTX as it was just sitting around not being driven... my daily driver Neon was getting a wee bit long in the tooth.. so I decided to kill 2 birds with one stone and sold off the GTX and Neon and purchased a new 2014 3.6 V6 Challenger for daily transportation. Two vehicles replaced by one and under warranty so I don't have to work on it!
In 2016 I got the bug for a Hemi stick car and spent several months looking. My best chance for getting one was to do a trade in so I paid taxes just on the vehicle price difference. In July I made a deal with Steve White Motors in N.C. and made a 1500 mile road trip to trade in and pick up a 2012 R/T. The car had been for sale for several months and I had seen it on Ebay for some time. The fact it was a stripper R/T with no stripes or other fluff appealed to me but seemed to turn off the general Challenger crowd. Most Challengers I have noticed are stuffed with sunroof, GPS, navigation, leather seats, 20" wheels, etc, etc and I was looking for none of that.
Hemi. Stick. Period.
After a week of haggling over the phone my friend Tony and I made the trip, had breakfast at waffle house, traded in the car and a small amount of cash and headed home. The R/T was in immaculate condition with 39,000 on the clock and well satisfied with the exchange.
The V6 car was ok for a daily driver but there were several touches that made the R/T better- The steering & tracking are much better, the V6 likes to wander around on the road and you had to constantly mind the steering wheel. The R/T brakes are awe inspiring, the stereo better which Tony and I noticed right off on the way home.. and the Hemi... punching the start button unleashes a grumbling, burbling noises that just causes you to break out in smiles. The former owner opted for "muffler delete" out back and when you lay into it the car lets you know its time to go... a very cheerful burble when you are just lightly cruising or going through the gears though.
The 2014 in the dealer wash bay
Home, rather plain looking I thought.
After striping, a wing, painting the calipers red and some other touches.
At Lebanon Valley dragway July 2014 with a green engine where it ran 15.1 at 95 mph
Racing my buddy Andy at the track and getting spanked by his 11 second Duster.
If I had some drag radials the car would have been solid in the 14's but I wanted to run it as shipped. As the day progressed the tires just got worse and worse. The short times started at 2.269 and by the final pass were in the 2.5 second range..
My old stomping grounds in Groton CT.
Drove it all year round..
On the way to North Carolina, picture taken in West Virginia at a rest stop.
The old meeting the new
Rather plain looking which I think hurt the cars curb appeal.
Yup, we are going to do something about that!
When I picked up the car it had these garish chrome rim covers.. they would come in handy later.
Pretty much the same as the V6 car aside from the extra pedal of course.
Yup, a Hemi.
Which gets surprisingly good MPG if one can behave. Average is around 25 so its in the ballpark of the old car. Highway it shines but around town causes the numbers to tumble in a hurry!
After striping, caliper painting, bumble bee decals, sill plates and coating the hubcaps with matte black paint.
The stripes are actually a 2016 R/T+ set I spotted on Ebay, so far I have only seen one other car with these stripes.
Looks much more appealing. The rim covers actually just pop one and off in a few seconds so I can change the look of the car in moments.
visiting Donovan's Dodge Garage