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A closer look at Dodge’s Muscleville

by Patrick Rall on

Dodge has introduced a new marketing campaign to promote the brand’s Performance Days sales event, transforming a small town in Southern California into Muscleville. The streets of Muscleville are lined with Dodge muscle cars and the powerful Durango SUV, the local laws ignore things like speed limits, Main Street is used as a drag strip and Bill Goldberg is the mayor.

Sadly, the gearhead’s utopian paradise that is Muscleville only existed for a day, but it resulted in a quarter of great television commercials, two of which are already available on the Dodge YouTube channel. Those two commercials are available below, but in talking to some folks in the online Mopar community, we met two of the people who were technically residents of Muscleville for a day.

Again, for those who aren’t sure, Muscleville does not still exist today, so if you drive there, you will just be enjoying Taft, California, but you can still enjoy the commercials.

How Muscleville Came to Be

Earlier this year, a post was made on the Facebook group page for the LX Spring Festival in California looking for owners of 2013-and-newer Challengers and Chargers who were willing to travel to Taft, California for the filming of a Dodge commercial. Jon Ryan Kerrigan saw that post, but since his 2006 Charger not fitting into the requirement, he let one of his friends know about it.

That friend is Zakkre Tardiff, who owns a 2015 Dodge Charger SE that is finished in a slick color-changing vinyl wrap and supercharged. His mother, Michelle, has a bright yellow 2017 Charger R/T Scat Pack, so Zakkre filled out an application for both cars, even though he didn’t have high hopes of hearing back. However, a short time later, he got a call that both of the family Chargers were approved to be included in the commercial.

The two drove 500 miles to Taft, where they played residents of Muscleville on February 17th for the filming of four new Dodge commercials.

Their cars were two of the vehicle parked along Main Street (known as Center Street in Taft) during the drag racing scene in the first commercial below. The local police had shut down the streets being used for the filming, with professional stunt drivers and Bill Goldberg having some high performance fun in the heart of the small town.

In addition to having their cars included in the commercial, the 10-15 owners playing residents of Muscleville got to meet Bill Goldberg. According to Michelle, Goldberg was “very nice and polite. Seemed to genuinely care about everyone there.” Anyone who has spent time around celebrities knows that they are always as friendly as we would hope, but having met Bill Goldberg on several occasions, there is no question that he is a genuine car guy who enjoys being around other enthusiasts.

Muscleville Campaign

The first two Muscleville commercials were posted to the Dodge YouTube channel earlier this week and they will both begin airing on television this week.

Both of those commercials are available for viewing below. There will also be two more commercials featuring Muscleville and with this campaign promoting a sales special for the month of March, we should see the third and fourth spots within the next few weeks.

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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