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AAM March 2014 Mopar of the Month: John's 2011 Green with Envy Dodge Challenger SRT8 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lance   
Tuesday, 18 March 2014 06:28

Our March 2014 Mopar of the Month should have everyone “green with envy,” and not just because of the paint dressing the body panels.  John’s entire experience with his Challenger has been a story book from beginning to end.  I suppose we should get started with the beginning…

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Click "Read More" to continue learning about John's modified GWE SRT8...

 

John has always been a Mopar guy, but like many who were teased with the concept of Dodge bringing back the Challenger, the fantasy never died; it took hold and became a reality.  John said, “As soon as the Modern Mopar version of the Dodge Challenger came out, I knew somehow, some way, I wanted one.”

The old adage that patience is a virtue rings true here…John had to wait 4 agonizing years.  He had watched since 2008 as the first crop of SRTs hit the streets and then the subsequent SE and R/T models filled the streets and broke the monopoly ford had held with 2 door, rear wheel drive performance cars.

During this time, John followed the typical path…dreams, desire, and research.  Not everyone ties that last element in with their quest to own a Challenger, but the ones who do are almost always certain to take their cars to the next level…

John signed up on forums and monitored threads looking for the good, the bad, and the ugly.  One trend that caught his eye was the seemingly flawless praise dealt to Lee Brown up at Baxter Performance in Nebraska.  It is oh so rare to find a good dealer.  Even for those of us die hard Mopar fans, a good dealer is like finding a one-owner HEMI car that was parked in the barn in the summer of 68…it just doesn’t happen often. As 2011 approached, the stars aligned and John felt he could finally swing picking up his long awaited Challenger.  Despite Baxter Performance being 9 hours away, John decided to give Lee a shot to earn his business.  Immediately after that first call he could tell Lee was a different sort of a salesman and wanted to  let him in on his purchasing quest.

John and his wife flew into Omaha around 11:30 PM and were picked up by Lee.  He drove them to their hotel, conveniently right across from the dealership and teased them about going to check the car out earlier.  Trying to be polite John and his wife resisted initially, but the second invite proved too much to overcome.  John’s wife was understandably tired from the day and late flight which subsequently led to what was likely a nice, disapproving stare.

Fortunately for John, as Lee turned into the dealership’s lot and inched closer to the showroom, things changed.  Just ahead, perched atop the showroom floor, light cascading down and reflecting brilliantly off the Challenger’s Green with Envy war paint, John’s grin was likely about to tear a hole in the headliner, but it was his wife’s reaction that said it best.   To this day, John’s wife has never had a complaint about their Challenger.  Just like John, she was hit with a case of Dodge Fever and things have yet to subside.  It was truly love at first sight for both of them!

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The next morning (cough, later that day) John and his wife headed over to the dealership, met Lee, finalized the papers and started the voyage back home in their new SRT8.  John said, “I would like to say it was the best trip I’ve ever made..”  Wait, you are waiting for a suspenseful event here?  Why was it not his best trip ever?  Well, shortly after leaving the dealership John came down with a nasty flu bug…he could barely hold his head up and subsequently had to turn the keys over to his wife.  This time, there was no disapproving look like the night before.  Although John couldn’t see it given his state, I would imagine his wife wore every bit of that same grin he had last night.  Driving home with a sick husband probably isn’t the most fun she has ever had, but if you must persevere such a trek, why not do it in a brand new SRT8 Challenger?!  The drive home pretty much sealed her case of Dodge Fever and  the case was severe enough to keep her immune to John’s flu.

So, husband and wife find a dream car and ride off into the sunset…Not quite.  The sun has yet to set on this experience for John or his wife.

Given his 4 years of research John knew pretty much exactly what he wanted.  The excessive time available to frequent the forums prior to ownership likely didn’t help him develop the desire to keep things stock.  As such, John was tweaking the Challenger before he laid eyes on it.

 

First up, John’s 2011 row-your-own (see also 6 Speed) SRT8 came fully loaded, minus the stripe  This worked well for John as he had dreamt of a 71 style R/T stripe adorning the GWE exterior.  This addition complimented him having Lee pull the factory color matched rear spoiler for a black ducktail and applying tint to the SRTs cabin glass.  This lent John’s SRT the old-school look he craved.

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Aesthetics are nice, but every true gear head knows it’s what on the inside that really counts.  As soon as he got home John was ready to start modifying and upgrading the SRT’s already potent powertrain.  He treated his Chally to a Speedlogix Cold Air Intake and Zoomer’s Catback.  In John’s exact words, “boy did that HEMI sound good!”

Not quite content with the key bolt-ons, John went on to do a few other basics.  He treated  the tranny to a skip-shift eliminator and popped for a Hurst shifter to tighten things up the shifts.  The Challenger served him well and brought he and his wife to many shows and events over that first year.

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However, one fateful trip altered the course of things quite significantly for John and his SRT.  He opted to make the drive over to Bowling Green, KY for Challengerfest.  John credits this event for completing his vision.  He took part in the track day and ran a 13.07 in the quarter mile which made his SRT the fastest car he had ever owned.  However, as with any completion, only the strong survive.   John was surrounded by Challengers putting down more power, getting it to the pavement, and turning in lower ETs.  John was not happy about that state of things…

Whoever said money can’t buy happiness has likely never bought car parts.  Car parts ooze happiness, it is fact amongst gearheads.  John also knew that certain car parts would get him where he wanted the Challenger to be…His goal was to return to Challengerfest the next year with a faster car.  That speed would come by way of a Magnuson Supercharger set to deliver 8 lbs. of boost.  The kit was sourced from ShopHemi.

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Already aware that the factory 392 was putting out too much power for good, consistent launches John approached G-Force1320 in Wichita, KS about a 9-in kit for his car.  His son was working there at the time and the company agreed.  John’s SRT sports the first G-Force 9 Inch kit for SRT Challengers.  With these additions John rounded out the package with skinnies up front and fat, sticky tires out back rolling on Weld Wheels.

John was ready to play at the next Challengerfest and left very happy.  He ran a new best of 11.90 at 119 MPH.  Anyone that has been down the track knows that is scooting!

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With that accolade under his belt, John could write things off, count his car show trophies and bench race his ETs, but that is not the case.  John is a very humble man and surmises that he had always wanted to go fast with his Challenger, but found along the way that the blessing in disguise has been the relationships and friendships he has developed with Mopar folks across the country…

As with any great project, the car is never complete.   John is currently planning to equip the HEMI with a Meth Injection kit, turn up the boost, and get some dyno tuning dune to ensure longevity from the factory mill.  His tentative goal is projecting the 600 RWHP to be a “good start.”

I would caution to say that is more than just a good start…

John has attended several Chryslers in the Canyon events, drives all over the Plains to support various Mopar functions, and is an all-around class act.  The only way I know to pen a better story about a guy living out his dream with his car, is to reiterate this is reality.  John put it best, “Let’s just say this boy has been living a lifelong dream thanks to Dodge bringing back this awesome, Modern Mopar!”

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Congratulations to John and his 2011 Green with Envy Dodge Challenger SRT8 our March 2014 Mopar of the Month!

Article by Lance

Pictures courtesy John

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 March 2014 06:28
 
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