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The First Demon Arrives in Hawaii

by Patrick Rall on

Dodge will only be building 3,000 examples of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon so they will be a rare sight everywhere in the US, but Hawaii will likely be one of the states with the fewest 840-horsepower Mopar muscle cars. Aside from Alaska, Hawaii might be the state with the fewest Demons based strictly on its size, but we know that at least one 9-second Challenger has reached the Hawaiian islands.

Gil Diaz is the owner of the first 2018 Demon in Hawaii and since receiving the car, he has been posting some incredible shots of the demonic Dodge in paradise. After seeing his pictures, I reached out to Diaz for more information on his Challenger and I found that his list of Mopars owned is just as impressive as his newest muscle car.

Below is my discussion with Gil Diaz about his TorRed 2018 Dodge Demon.

Allpar: When did you order the car and how long did you wait?
Gil Diaz: I ordered on the first order day of 6/21/17 @ 11am. I waited 8 months to the day I took delivery which was 2/21/18

A: Do you know how many others are headed for Hawaii?
GD: My dealer on the island of Oahu, Windward Dodge Chrysler Jeep Dodge, is a smaller dealer and got one allocation which I took. The other Oahu larger dealer, Cutter Dodge, sales manager told me they received three allocations of which I know, by a salesman there, one was immediately purchased on the first day by a father & son in F8 green. They have not received theirs to date.  A dealer on the island of Maui advised they had allocation for one after I just had ordered mine.If the other two dealers are accurate, that would mean a total of 5 for the state of Hawaii. I checked with all other dealers and they did not receive allocation.

A: What options did you get?
GD: TorRed exterior, Comfort Audio Group -Leather seats & Harmon Kardon sound, Vehicle Storage package, Red seat belts and the Trunk Carpet kit

A: What was your Inspiration for buying the Demon?
GD: I was born into Mopars. I was born in 1974. During the ’70’s my dad owned a ’70 Challenger 340 4spd in B7 and later owned a ’71 Road Runner 383 3 speed manual in GY8 which I have fond memories of. Weekly supermarket runs to Pathmark supermarket in the backseat, I could not see over the door but I could hear the roar as he rowed through the gears and the street lamps I could see passing faster and faster. My dad and I restored our first Mopar in ’87 when I was 12. It was a TB3 ’72 Road Runner with GTX package 440 auto. Later he gave it to me for my High School graduation present. Of course, girls and life got in the way, then I moved to Hawaii and decided to sell it to start a new future. Only to land in Hawaii and purchase a plethora of Mopars which I’ll list on the next question.

So what really inspired me to buy a Demon? The fact I could not buy a Super Stock ’68 Hemi Dart or Barracuda since I was not around then. 50 years later, Tim presents us the opportunity to buy basically the same car in my era! How could I not?! Lifelong dream for a Mopar guy like myself. It’s history in the making just before the lights go out with all the emission regulations.

A: Have you owned other Mopar muscle cars?
GD: Yes

A: What were they?
GD: (List below)
-Original 1970 Cuda 340 4 spd N96 shaker car (Citron Mist Gold)
-Original 1970 Cuda 340 4 spd N96 shaker car (Plum Crazy) sequentially numbered after the above gold Cuda!
-Original 1972 Satellite Sebring Plus 400 auto -36k miles from  original owner
-1970 Barracuda convertible 383 N-code auto project (sold during resto due to issues with body shop)
-1970 Cuda 340 4spd B5 with 34k original miles
-Original 1-owner 1967 Barracuda notchback 273-2v auto in PRISTINE condition
-1971 Barracuda 318 parts car (due to heavy rust)
-Original 1970 Charger R/T Go Mango 440 auto with graphite leather bucket interior
-1971 Cuda 340 (currently wife’s car with 6.1 SRT engine done back in 2007)
-1972 Cuda FY1 318 auto (sold as a rolling shell)
-1970 Barracuda Gran Coupe EW1 318 auto
-1970 Cuda 340 3spd manual EV2 Go-wing car
-1966 Belvedere II convertible 318 poly auto
-1970 Charger 500 383 auto Dana 60
-Original 1969-1/2 A12 Road Runner 440 6BBL auto. Found with 15,807 original miles. Raced locally during the ’70’s and parked fro the early ’80’s)
-Restored 1971 Barracuda convertible cloned into a Hemicuda with 472 Hemi, Stage V intake, Tremec TKO600, Strange Dana60 4:10 TruTrac- plum crazy/white gut
-1969 Charger 383-4v auto
-Original 1973 Road Runner 400-4spd red with black bench seat interior
-Rotisserie restored 1970 Challenger 440 Six Pack 4spd 4:10 Dana plum crazy, black bucket, no console, vinyl top
-Original 1966 Hemi Coronet 440 w/ original 426 Hemi auto. Possibly first 426 Hemi car sold in Hawaii. Sold new 7/7/1966
-Original 1970 Challenger R/T 440-4v auto, Super Track pak Dana 60 4.10- Rallye Red
-Original 1-owner 1971 Barracuda Gran Coupe 383-2v auto

A: What did you drive before the demon?
GD: Still Mopar, shortly before the Demon I owned a 2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8 with a Kenne Bell supercharger. Awesome sleeper car. Also owned a 2009 Challenger SRT8 6spd manual with ProCharger supercharger.

A: Do you plan to race it?
GD: I have intentions to ship to an outer island with racetrack and make a few passes, once properly broken in.

A: I’m not sure what kind of racing scene you have there, but I think that there is a drag strip?
GD: Up until 12 years ago, we had a famous track called Hawaii Raceway Park. Because there has been tremendous industrial development in the area the track was located and because Disney would refuse to open a resort within earshot, the track was closed and has not re-opened since. This leaves us with tracks on three other islands only… Maui, Kauai and Big Island (specifically Hilo County)

A: Are you an active racer?
GD: I was until the track was closed 12 years ago. I had a 10 second ’98 WS6 Trans Am at the time plus my old Mopars. There are talk of opening a new track. If they do, I most certainly will be part of it. I am originally from NYC and used to race at Englishtown Raceway Park in New Jersey which I understand no longer is open for racing.

A: Do you plan to build it up at all or keep it stock?
GD: I purchased the Mopar extended 7 year/84k mile warranty. My intentions are to keep it stock. 9 seconds in my book is DAMN fast for a street car!

A: Are you installing the crate parts?
GD: Yes, however I am awaiting for confirmation the Demon head logo at start-up glitch in the display is corrected before doing so.

A: You have driven it a bit, what do you think?
GD: Thus far, I have driven about 100 easy miles to break-in properly. A few mild blasts to 110. The car is a beast. It has an awesome deep exhaust note which comes right into the interior compartment just right. Car feels raw and you know you are in a special car. Electric steering is surprisingly great. You can feel the extra width of the tires/fenders. The 8spd trans shifts like no other and I am manual trans guy.

 

A: Anything that you don’t like?
GD: I wish the window auto “UP” function worked. My 2016 Corvette daily driver has the same windows and auto up and down which is a really nice feature. Wish the blind spot detection came with the car. I am good with passing then changing, but the detection is nice insurance. Wish the reverse back-up sensors were available as an option. Camera is good, sensors serve as a nice back-up as well. A heads up display with shift light would have been awesome.

A: What do you love about the car?
GD: The presence it has. Just take a few steps back and between the wide stanced fenders and fat squared tires that look like Mickey Thompson Indy Profile SS N50’s all around…. it looks bad ass. Love the hood. Perfect nod back to the ’68 Hemi Dart/Barracuda. The car still keeps true to a muscle car look, unlike a Camaro or Mustang that looks too modernized. The exhaust sound and most importantly, how hard it puts you back into the seat while it blitzes through the gears! Mopar at its best!

A big thanks to Gil Diaz for sharing his story and his pictures of the first 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon to arrive in Hawaii.

Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.

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