A Pocket Full of Dodge Technology

I was watching my youngest play the other day, and something he did sparked a memory.

 

He had grabbed a handful of his toy cars, and placed a number of them in his pockets. Now, this may not sound like any grand event… but the spark that went off in my mind may have burnt a few floating thoughts to the inside of my skull. I was instantly transported through time, back to when I’d do the same thing. In fact, I’d always have a car or two in my pocket, wherever we went. It just seemed like the thing to do. After all, those little cars were my treasures, and whether I knew it then or not, were a symbol of things to come for me. Furthermore, think of how great a toy a die cast car is: Easily portable, powered by imagination, and tons of replay value. They always seemed to serve a bit more than their intended purpose. They were, in a way, that gateway to freedom.

 

pocket change

 

 

Fast-forward many years, and those of us who had been transporting little cars in our pockets were then placing the keys to a car in our pockets. The object may have changed, but for a car-obsessed kid, the things an ignition key can symbolize are just as great as those first die cast replicas. It was the key to the kind of stuff dreams are made of. The treasure it unlocked still had that magical quality about it.

 

Oddly enough, the key fob I carry for my Challenger is a lot like those first treasures, and it, too, serves purposes greater than the first ignition key I placed on my key ring… and replaces it, as well! This is not only the first new vehicle I have owned, but the first that, by design and not age or wear or other anomaly, requires no ignition key at all! While this may not seem like some giant leap forward for some of you, for a guy who obsessed over the location of his keys for so many years, this is as close to peace of mind as one can be! Beyond the thrill of holding passage to a car I had dreamed of as a kid, having Keyless Enter-N-Go only adds to the magic. (on a side note: How brilliant would having this feature have been in some old heist movie? None of this “I dropped the keys!!” nonsense. Assuming I ever get past the wiping-off-every-speck-of-dust phase, I’ll perfect the across-the-hood slide, jump-in-through-the-window action film maneuver, and gently press that Start/Stop button. Brilliant it shall be.) It’s one of those features that you don’t give much thought to prior to having it, but soon becomes something you’re not sure you’d do without. I used to be of the mindset that push-button start, keyless entry and the like were only aiding to separate me from the car. Yet, it’s done quite the opposite, and brought me just a bit closer to the wide-eyed kid I once was, carrying these cars around.

 

I suppose that brings us to the one difference between my days as a toddler, toting those cars around in my trouser pockets: Those cars would be brought out at every possible moment, while that fob suffers from my neglect, spending time with lint and other objects in my pockets (as a Dad of three, there’s no fear of coins or other nonsense scratching it). Yet, it’s always there, ready to do the job. And to keep that spark of imagination burning bright well after I’ve parked the car. Funny how a key fob can do that.

 

With that in mind, what technology in your Dodge has become a part of you? Is there one feature on your car that you’d be hard pressed to do without?

 

 


  • Del Swanson

    I learned how to drift with my Hot Wheels. In fact, I was drifting with my Hot Wheels cars WAY before drifting was cool! Now if can just get the track officials to let me on the track with my Grand Caravan……….

    • http://www.problemchildkustoms.com/ Brian S.

      I was drifting with mine when I wrote this…

      • Clinton H Davis

        I think we called it power sliding back then…. :-)

        • http://www.problemchildkustoms.com/ Brian S.

          (we did too… but ‘drifting’ makes me fell all hip and whatnot!)

  • DeBest

    I don’t think that with the way today’s cars are designed, with the high rear window and hardly any rear sheet metal, that I could feel safe backing up without my rear camera. It’s not that my depth perception has waned over the years, but it’s a little tougher today without the aforementioned sheet metal. Bring back the fins!! :). Great article, I felt like I was right there with you as a kid.

    • http://www.problemchildkustoms.com/ Brian S.

      It’s those convenience features that make it so enjoyable! …and I too love some fins. Interesting… Fins and the whole ‘Forward Look’ styling of Virgil Exner, and rear-view cameras in one shot. This post has it all! Thanks for popping in, and for enjoying it!

  • Angellinda Landowski

    I Love my Mopar hot wheels Cars!! I also do a full All Mopar Christmas Tree!! I’m a full blown Dodge Girl and have been since I was Young!! My Love affair/passion For The New Dodge Challenger may be why I’m still alive! When I got Triple Negative Breast Cancer in 2010. One year after my husband lost his job & insurance. My Treat after each Day at the Cancer hospital was being driven past The New Dodge Challengers! I Dream I’d own if I live! I figured how could Chemo or Radiation harm this Dodge girl, with gasoline & oil in my veins! I’m still alive. Living on love and a prayer still holding onto hope to regain any quality of life and be able to get That New Dodge Challenger or restore my old one! But I shared my passion with all that listen. It was fun to share this with my children and now my grand children. I’m so glad Dodges are still being made! Go Dodge!!

    • http://www.problemchildkustoms.com/ Brian S.

      Thank you for sharing… and my sincere best wishes as you continue the fight. Having that dream no doubt gives you the strength, and I truly hope that one day you’ll see it happen! Dodge folks are a tough breed, and you are proof of that! I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts.

      • Angellinda Landowski

        Hello Brian S., Thank You for your kind words. Thank You for keeping me in your thoughts. I do hold onto Hope!! Knowing others like you reply and care touch my heart!!

    • Jeff Ingraham

      That is awesome! I wish you complete remission and that you will soon have the Challenger you deserve!

      • Angellinda Landowski

        Thank You for caring Jeff!! I do keep up the Dream & Hope for healing/wellness/Quality of Life! And that Dodge I need!! Thank You for being a Great Dodge Fan too!! Best wishes to you!! With my heartfelt Thank you!!

  • IcyRT

    My love for Hot Wheels never ended…in fact, it only increased! I finally own a real Viper (the manual transmission is the one thing I dont like to do without) but also have over 4K die-cast in my collection because I can now afford them! I have never lost the thrill of opening a new toy (scale or real) and get the biggest smile when kids are at the house asking if they can have one. I always have extras around to make sure I help instill that little bit of fantasy/excitement in their eyes/minds :-)

    • http://www.problemchildkustoms.com/ Brian S.

      That, my friend, is awesome. It’s a small gesture like that which inspires the next generation of gearheads, and keeps that torch passing. (and there is truly something wonderful about a manual transmission, I might add!)

      • IcyRT

        Mopar or No Car!! And Save the Manuals!!! Forever 12 years old with Hot Wheels on every flat surface in the house :-)

  • Clinton H Davis

    Well, I’ll never take the Dixie horn off of my ’69 charger. As for my new challenger, I’ve become smitten with that satellite radio…’70′s, ’80′s, hit 5 twice for NASCAR…there’s only one local station that still plays music I like (92.3 KGON) so that radio is a nice thing to have when cruising in my ’11 Challenger R/T (super track pack and mopar appearance package)…

    • http://www.problemchildkustoms.com/ Brian S.

      Clinton, that’s precisely what I’m talking about! It’s that one little thing that takes it from being ‘cool’ to being ‘better than cool’!

      • Clinton H Davis

        Hey Brian, You seem like a good guy, and fairly perfect fit for this blogging gig. Just wanted to warn you that the majority of my feedback on here and on facebook concerning a certain other car dodge sells these days is most definitely negative. Please don’t take any of that feedback personally. It’s directed squarely at the decision makers at Dodge.
        For me (and quite a few other people) the last “dodge charger” rolled off the line in 1974, and there is only one thing that will fix that. (if you happen to hear any good rumors of a certain sedan getting a new, less truck looking, front end and a two door option, please let me know….) I would love to have a “true” modern version to park next to my ’69. Anyway, keep up the good work. So far so good.

        • http://www.problemchildkustoms.com/ Brian S.

          Thanks for the kind words, Clinton, and I certainly won’t take that personally. My goal here is to keep things fun, and focus on the passion that drives us all to appreciate the Dodge brand, the history and so-on. I truly appreciate you being along for the ride, and for sharing your thoughts here. Hope to keep things enjoyable for you, and make the ride as smooth and fun-filled as possible.

  • Sara Morrow Robinson

    There is no way I could give up my Uconnect! Love it! Music, phone calls and texting. Of course I really enjoy the Sport mode too!

    • http://www.problemchildkustoms.com/ Brian S.

      Never did I imagine (as a kid in the 1970′s and ’80′s) that virtually anything could be a tap or voice command away! I mean sure, you could TRY that with a passenger…

  • Justin

    Brian, i am an avid dodge fan constantly fighting our honor to fords or Chevy fans and proving them wrong! I was completely taken back about 13 years! i was always playing with my hot wheels and any other die-cast toy cars i could find. i am truly honored to have a real enthusiastic dodge guy in the new blog. PS i own a 95 Ram 1500 with 314,000 and it has never had the engine or transmission worked on! and bot ill tell you it’s still running like it was 18 yrs ago! to all the fords and Chevys out there let just say I’ve left a lot of your fellow fans some smoke for you to smell!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • http://www.problemchildkustoms.com/ Brian S.

      Thanks, Justin! Man, I’m just stoked to be here, and even more knowing you’re enjoying the ride so far. I’m a BIG fan of the performance and reliability, and you, sir, just nailed that feeling! Glad I could take you back a few years, and HUGE thanks for the support!

  • Prakash

    Nice article Brian ! I have over 100 of “hand-picked” Hot Wheels collection and yes a 1969 Charger R/T , 70 Challenger R/T, an AAR Cuda, 90′s Viper RT/10, viper GTS, 2011 Charger and Challenger R/T are all among them. I don’t play with them, but like to line them up and take pictures :-) And I do collect 1/18′s too which are cool.

    Talking about real cars, I like MOPAR and appreciate Chrysler for the fact that they keep RWD motoring with 4 door practicality alive through the Charger/300 line up in this evergrowing world of “wrong wheel” drives. I leased my 12′ Charger R/T because I could get power and practicality in one package.But when I got the car, I realized there was much more to it. The uConnect is a nice interface, the interior is really roomy and material quality is very good for a car in this class. The best part is if you put in an cold air intake, exhaust and a tune, you can give the 2 door Mustangs and Camaros a run for their money …. while picking up groceries or your kids from the school

    • http://www.problemchildkustoms.com/ Brian S.

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. I agree that there is a LOT more than what a first glance reveals to Dodge, and it’s been incredible, as a car guy, to watch the brand bring back the excitement of the original muscle cars, and then elevate that so many steps more! And it’s no longer a question of reliability and drivability versus performance. You can finally have both, as well as the creature comforts and convenience that was never even dreamed of in the first muscle car era. Thanks so much for the great comment and insight!

  • TK Mount

    Hey, Brian…When are you going to get a REAL job?….LOL…JK…Congrats on the new position…Hope my vote helped. Are you runnin’ a Hemi in that beast?
    Take care.

    • http://www.problemchildkustoms.com/ Brian S.

      LOL… they’ll let anyone in here! Glad to see you stop in, sir, and huge thanks! I’m betting that it was your vote which made it happen! …and we’ll be talking about mine shortly…

  • Diane Prince

    Brian- I love the blog! You are such a talented person and I love your stories. I cannot wait for the next blog to come out! Being a girl I can relate too! I had my favorite hot wheel with me also, so I could race my car on the hot wheel track against my childhood friend Terry Hanson. I have been around cars all my life and there is something about hot rods and speed! Keep up the great stories Brian!!!

    • http://www.problemchildkustoms.com/ Brian S.

      Hi Diane! Thanks so much for sharing your memories, and for the very kind words on the blog! I’m truly enjoying the opportunity, and hope you will continue to stop by and be a part of it all!

  • Journeylover55

    Personally I love the Journey I have the R/T AWD model and I can’t ask for anything else.