Hellcat Challenger quarter mile world record drops to 7.66

The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat known as 007, campaigned by the Epling Garage family race team, continues to raise the bar for the rest of the Hellcat drag racing community. The Epling Challenger was the first Hellcat-powered car in the 8s and 7s, setting and resetting the quarter mile world record many times over the past few years.

Last month, Leon, Jason and Logan Epling headed to Kentuxky Dragway in Clay City,

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Four-speed “UltraDrive” to finally leave

A604 Ultradrive 41TE

Back in 1989, Chrysler launched its first four-speed automatic—which, unlike any competitors, was a revolution in transmission design. It dropped the old bands and hydraulic controls; instead, while still using hydraulics, the “UltraDrive” was controlled by a computer which activated solenoids.  

It was an unmitigated disaster. The transmission was at least a year of testing and refinement away from being ready. Reportedly, at a meeting of executives,

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Chrysler historian Gary Bridger

Hey Charger! cover

Gary Bridger, co-author of the definitive history of Chrysler Australia (Hey Charger) and owner of a vintage Valiant Charger Hemi Six-Pack seen at many events, died on Wednesday; police are reportedly investigating.

Gary was a pilot for Air New Zealand, most recently flying the Airbus A320 but with experience in numerous other planes (including the 737). He helped to keep legend of the Chrysler Valiant Charger alive.

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Surprisingly small 2019 Ram 1500 recall

Ram will be recalling fewer than 200 of its 2019 1500 pickups, because the electric power steering gear may short-circuit and intermittently drop power assistance. Dealers will replace the assembly at no cost starting in early January under FCA Recall VB8 (NHTSA 19V812).

Trucks which might have the problematic part were made starting August 26 and ending September 28; plant records showed Ram which specific trucks to recall.

Read the full story: Surprisingly small 2019 Ram 1500 recall  »


Dakota to be dropped in favor of ChangAn?

When Fiat Chrysler needed a midsize pickup, they went back into the old Chrysler playbook and rebadged the Mitsubishi L200—otherwise known as the Ram 50. Nissan’s control of Mitsubishi, though, may have derailed that deal, though Fiat Fullbacks and Ram 1200s are still being sold for the time being. (In any case, the Mitsubishi diesel won’t meet new European pollution standards.)

FCA knew they needed a metric-ton pickup for global sale and reportedly got down to the business of creating one. 

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See what’s in the new UAW-FCA contract

mt-elliott-tool-die

The Detroit News has released its exclusive summary of the contents of the proposed new contract between the FCA and the UAW, which will be seen by local union leaders today. If the leaders do not object, it will be turned over to the rank and file.

In brief, the two-tier system (where more senior employees have much higher pay) will continue, but those who have less pay (the junior tier) will see lower health care costs and an easier path to the senior tier.

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Challenger 1320 quarter mile record reset for a good cause

1320

Tommy Barron’s Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 recently reset the world record for the quickest stock-power 1320 car, but for Tommy and his wife Carly, It is about more than just drag racing. The family uses their Indigo Blue Challenger 1320 to help raise money for their nonprofit, Slicks for Hope. Slicks for Hope is a charity group that helps raise money to support the fight against pediatric cancer in honor of Peyton,

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Interview: Tavares likely to rule FCA-PSA OK

Automotive News interviewed the future leader of FCA-PSA (whose actual name has yet to be determined) about the future of the merged companies (full story/requires subscription).

The industry magazine pointed out that Tavares had turned Opel around, from losses to 5% operating margins, in under two years. He said he already has a relationship with FCA CEO Mike Manley, and that there should not be immediate,

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