10 Years' of Ownership
Incredibly, today marks the 10-year anniversary of the delivery of my 2009 Hemi-orange SRT.
Time has really flown but I can honestly say that I enjoy driving it just as much as I did on day one!
You guys who can go down to the dealer and buy a Challenger off the lot, at a big discount, are very fortunate. Things weren’t always so easy back in the early years (2008-2009).
Here’s the story behind my 7-month journey.
In 1980, my wife convinced me to sell my beloved 1971 340 'Cuda because we needed a practical car for my newborn daughter (i.e., a car with A/C and a big trunk). Over the years, I regretted selling the car and, when I discovered that Dodge was building a Challenger concept car, I started reading everything about it, both on line and in car magazines. I even joined our sister site, Chargerforums.com, to learn about the 6.1 Hemi engine. Because it was next to impossible to order a 2008 Challenger, I decided to order a 2009 model after seeing it at the Philadelphia Auto Show. I put my order in, on May 16, 2008, with Champion Dodge, in Barrington, IL. At the time, they were only one offering a modest discount-others were charging MSRP or MSRP plus a “market adjustment.” I patiently waited several months and eagerly watched the status of my order change from BX to BG to D! Was I ever excited!!
However, in late October, Brampton Builder, one of our members, alerted me that my order was cancelled. I couldn’t believe it! Who cancelled it? It had to be a mistake!! I quickly called my dealer and received the following telephone voice message, “We regret to inform you that Champion Dodge has filed for bankruptcy and is no longer in business. If you have a car in our garage, please call the following number to make arrangements to have it removed. Thank you for your past patronage.” Is this a bad dream? This can’t be happening, not after 5 long months! I also thought that I lost my $500 deposit. Luckily, I had charged it and disputed the payment with VISA and they agreed to credit my account. With this problem solved, I was now back to square one. (P.S. My wife was the only one happy because she was not on board with buying such “an expensive toy”).
However, one of our former members, Notsure, came to my rescue. He advised me that Frederick Dodge had two Hemi-Orange SRTs on order. I called Bob Frederick and bought one for MSRP. Since he is a car guy, he actually cancelled one of his dealership orders and re-ordered it so that my name would appear on the window invoice (i.e., “This vehicle was built especially for…”). How cool! After this was done, Bob had to call in some favors because my car, after being built, was sitting in a holding yard in Detroit, for almost two weeks, awaiting shipment to his dealership in Ohio. What torture! When my car finally arrived, Bob took photos of it being off-loaded onto his lot. After a quick prep, my car was loaded on his enclosed trailer and delivered to my home, in NJ, on December 13, 2008 ($600 charge)- 6 days after my birthday and 12 days before Christmas. What a present! The long wait was worth it!!
Since then, I have thoroughly enjoyed driving, modding and showing the car.
It has been a blast to own and I am looking forward to the next 10 years!
Attached, are the following photos:
• 2009 Challenger at the Philadelphia Auto Show
• Delivery to Frederick Dodge
• Trailer delivery to my home
• Engine Bay
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