by Ray Alexander
I drive an 2006 SRT8 and some of these would not happen if I were in an R/T or other Charger. I bought the car new in May of 2006 and had observed people going out of their way to look at the car. Just after getting the car I am on a freeway off ramp and a couple of lanes over I see a couple of teenage boys looking my way. The driver begins to lower his window and with less than the best hearing I think I will not be able to hear him.
As it turns out I didn’t need to hear him. He extends his entire upper torso out the window and does the “Wayne’s World We are not worthy” bow.
I am merging from one freeway to another. I have a very large opening to move one lane to the left. I can’t move forward but this lane is moving faster than the one I was in. Quite some distance behind is a new Mustang with a young driver coming very fast. He climbs on my rear bumper in order to fully register his displeasure. I would like to tell him that I am not one who is impeding your progress.
He works through traffic to my right while the freeway does a self-cleansing process. Then he comes back and positions himself directly in front of me. I feel sure that he wants to demonstrate the power of his automobile. Sure enough he accelerates briskly and since I want to be close enough to observe this awesome power, I also accelerate. At some speed slightly exceeding the speed limit I was required to brake because he was not leaving sufficient room between us. He moves into a subservient traffic lane, lowers his window and gives me a sign that I believe means he thinks my car is hot.
I now fully believe that SRT stands for Short Rocket Trip.
I am coming out of the local auto park where all the new car dealers are located. I am making a left turn while a new BMW that is scant inches shorter than a stretched limo is coming into the auto park. He is making a right turn on red giving him an unobstructed view of my car. During his entire turn his eyes are glued to my car.
My thoughts went something like this; you poor deprived soul. You really want one of these, but your wife forced you to buy that overpriced vehicle now manufactured in South Carolina with labor content provided by Larry the Cable Guy and his sister Holy Moly [editorial note: the American BMWs seem to have the same quality as the German ones].
I am on the way to my writing class and as I approach the I-15 I am stopped at a traffic signal and I see a classmate, Claudia. She is brushing her shoulder-length red hair, adjusting the radio, and making a grilled cheese sandwich on the engine cowl of the SUV. I try to no avail to get her attention. After we get on the freeway I get beside her and still can’t get her attention. I have an aftermarket exhaust system on the car so I downshift two gears and give her a blast of hemi exhaust. Nothing. As this vehicle passes the Poway off ramp I begin to fear that this is not Claudia. How small can I make myself?
I am on a four lane surface street and a young good looking chick is hanging out of a black Cadillac Escalade waving. I say yeah, yeah you like the car. Did you know that those things have Corvette engines? They can surprise you for a short distance before the billboard aerodynamics comes into play.
A couple of months later I find out it was the lady that cuts my hair hanging out of the Cadillac.
There have been many more observations and incidents. The first six months that I had the car Mustangs swarmed over it. I gave each one their very own personal demonstration. Now any Mustang that gets close has no interest in my car. Then there was the sneaky driver of the BMW M5, the Corvette driver that couldn’t shift, ... and the list goes on.
Richard Petty owns an SRT8 and he says “it is a whole lot more car for not much more money.” He also says “I have driven race cars that didn’t handle this good.” Given the way a human memory functions and the technology advances since he has raced I suspect that he drove many racecars that did not handle as well as the SRT8 does as it comes off the assembly line.
More Articles by Ray Alexander
Cirrus, Stratus, Breeze: 1995-2000
All Mopar Car and Truck News
Chrysler 300 Letter Cars
The Engine Cleanup Committee