As stated previously, SMS Supercars was the last stop on the HEMI Highway Tour. And even though torrential rain had dashed much of our hopes for a huge finish in SoCal, we were astounded by the undying support of those who still showed up in defiance of Mother Nature. These Mopar Folk are absolute die hards, to say the very least.
Let me introduce you to three diehards from the newly formed West Coast Challenger crew: Greg Miller, Larry Corbett, and Terrence Wenner (pictured below left to right).
Not only did they brave the rain at all four of our SoCal stops, but they selflessly exposed their Challengers to the elements just to be with us. The weather was just miserable. Greg said, Because of this HEMI Highway Tour, I brought the car out in the rain for the very first time. The wipers had never even been used prior to this day. Hows that for sacrifice?
Tucked inside the garage at SMS, I asked the three Challenger owners their thoughts on both their cars and the new ones we had brought. Greg started the conversation.
Back when the original Challenger was around between 70 and 74, I always loved them, but I was too young to own one. Then, fast forward to the concept car that came out in 2006, and I said to myself, Dodge has given me a second chance!
Greg (pictured above with his Bright Silver 2009 SRT8) bought his Challenger from none other than, Bob Frederick. The best part about the car is the exterior design, Greg said. Ive added a Predator Tune, Zoomers Exhaust, an AFE Intake, and an oil catch can. But, truth be told, I do not race my car ever. I preserve it.
Even though Greg chooses not to race his own car doesnt mean he did not beat the snot out of Chryslers cars at the SRT Track Experience. Much like others who describe their time out on the track, Greg went on and on about how awesome it is. It is the single most fun Ive ever had on one day in my entire life. It is an experience that I will never forget for as long as I live.
Terrence (pictured below with his 2010 R/T) is 46 years old and still proudly serves in the U.S. Navy. Probably a good thing he has Naval experience because it was more like swimming than driving in SoCal that day. I took the day off to come be here with Dodge. Wouldnt have missed it for anything, he said.
Larry (pictured below with his 2009 R/T), much like Greg, was originally sucked in by the concept car and had a historical fascination with the Challenger. The fastest cars at my high school were a Valiant and Cuda, but they got no respect. Nowadays, Mopar gets the respect with the most current Challenger.
So far, Larry has not experienced a single problem with his R/T, simply saying, Id do it all over again. He continued, This new car looks better than the original if you ask for my opinion. No one has done a retro car justice like Dodge has done the Challenger.
With his eyes gazing over the new 392, Larry was very impressed by the changes Dodge made by listening to its customers. The new trunk release, seat adjustments, interior lights, and relocation of the cruise control buttons are all awesome. Going even further, Larry blurted out, There will be a 392 in the West Coast Challenger fleet very soon.
Stationed on the second floor at his place of work, Larry even admits to sneaking over to the window to snap pictures of his Challenger in the parking lot. I love to look down and see my baby sittin there! Im still blown away by the reaction I get from this car.
As the last tour stop came to a close, we shook hands with the triumvirate of Challenger owners just before their departure. Greg, the Clubs President, raised his hands and said, We didnt buy these cars to become rock stars. It just comes that way.
Indeed it does, Greg. Indeed it does.