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My first car at 16 was an 84 Camaro Z28. The car was gorgeous. It was only 3 years old, low miles, had t tops. My parents bought it for me. I worked some part time but not enough to buy a car like that. On a side note, some people think that a kid should be made to work for and earn everything or they will grow up to be some self entitled deadbeat. Not true. I went on to earn a Masters degree and I work every week except the 3 weeks I get off for vacation every year. Some of my greatest teenage memories revolve around that Z28. I wish I still had it for that reason alone. To the OP, I say if you get one just be careful. I know it is hard at 16 to practice that R word "restraint," but you will have to in a car with nearly 400 HP or you will get either hurt or in trouble. If you get it, enjoy it and post some pics of it. Good Luck.
 

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Great memories. Some people have to act like one size fits all for parenting and every kid is the same. When we helped my son out with his Camaro you wouldn't believe the vitriol aimed at me by keyboard fugazi tough guys. Some people literally wishing something bad happens (same as happened here) I feel very fortunate that I was in a position to do something like that for my son.

My first car at 16 was an 84 Camaro Z28. The car was gorgeous. It was only 3 years old, low miles, had t tops. My parents bought it for me. I worked some part time but not enough to buy a car like that. On a side note, some people think that a kid should be made to work for and earn everything or they will grow up to be some self entitled deadbeat. Not true. I went on to earn a Masters degree and I work every week except the 3 weeks I get off for vacation every year. Some of my greatest teenage memories revolve around that Z28. I wish I still had it for that reason alone. To the OP, I say if you get one just be careful. I know it is hard at 16 to practice that R word "restraint," but you will have to in a car with nearly 400 HP or you will get either hurt or in trouble. If you get it, enjoy it and post some pics of it. Good Luck.
 

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I know you are 16 years old and anxious. You posted to a forum with a bunch of old guys (comparatively). Every one of us was 16 once and every one of us had a first car. None of us will hold you back, but you did ask us for input. Believe it or not us old farts have a lot of life experience. The question is whether you are old enough to have the wisdom to listen.

Chllngrswpr's advice is spot on. Break it. Fix it. Learn about cars. There will be plenty of Challengers available when you are ready. I know it seems like 18, 21, 25, etc are a long ways away. Trust us, they will come much quicker than you think. Be patient.
This ^

Take it from this 23 year old who bought his Challenger 6 years after he also started pining for one at 16 years old.. I had two beater SUV's in high school and college. While I wish they hadn't cost me so much time and money to keep fixing, I learned quite a lot about cars and even had some fun working on them. Fuel and insurance cost less than it would have with the Challenger. And trust me, you do NOT want to take on car loan debt while you're in college, ESPECIALLY if you have to take out student loans. I had a hard enough time just making rent every month because I was stupid and didn't live with my grandfather who lived in the same city as my school.

Situate yourself financially first with a good career (I personally went officer in the Air Force) via college or tech school for a trade (a very overlooked option), build your credit with a small limit credit card, save up as much as you can through high school and college to put towards your future Challenger. Don't fret, they're going to be making them for a long time to come and there will be plenty of lightly used ones available, likely better than the ones we currently have!

I know delaying gratification sucks, but it's one of the most important skills you can EVER learn, especially while young. This is a habit I've fallen out of as of late and it takes a long time to build the discipline back up. Learn from me and the much older folks here on the forum, don't repeat our mistakes.
 

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At 16, My first vehicle was a 1988 Ramcharger, a heavy lug with an underpowered 318 V8 that made 170 hp. It was great because it was RWD, it allowed me to learn how to handle it in snow, but was too slow to get in to serious trouble with. Find some cheap old tank that's still fun. It will also likely require you to learn some mechanical skills (if you don't already have them), as it will probably break sometimes. Something like that is what I recommend for a first vehicle.

I got my first Challenger (2010 R/T) when I was 19. By then I had a full time job and I proved to my parents that I was willing to take on the responsibility myself. Obviously, it was significantly faster than anything I owned before it. I'm glad that I worked my way up, I respected and understood the machine more by then.

You will mature a lot in the next few years. You might find your taste may change as well. But if you are intent on jumping into it right now, I would actually recommend attending a high performance driving school event of some sort. As crazy as that sounds. Obviously, start out slow and follow the instructors. But learning the car and how it handles at it's limits is the best thing you can do to be a safe driver.
Hey, my first car 6 years ago was a 1986 Ramcharger! Same engine and also RWD, with a 904 automatic. The motor was Jasper built so not sure if it was an LA or Magnum series 318, but it was definitely not fast, especially with the oversized Edelbrock carburetor. Had an awesome aftermarket exhaust and headers on it though, so it made lots of cool noises. And I could break the rear end loose in the rain.

I definitely learned some mechanic skills with that thing, which was cool. But some idiot installed the electronic distributor in the wrong way, which is why it kept burning out rotors and ignition fireboxes. Didn't figure that out til I sold the thing though.
 

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Dirt bikes, restoring cars, drag racing, my son grew up around that kind of activity going on and ended up being interested in muscle cars. He was responsible and a senior in high school, working and I thought he would handle such a car in a adult way considering all the the instruction that came along with it.
Picked up a pristine 73 Charger 440 and installed a built 440 that we had put together and that was really enjoyable working on such a project with him.
Well, it wasn't but a few months later that Mario-Not-Ready was driving through this steep winding pass and crashed into the side of a cliff totaling the car. The good news was that he didn't lose it on a left hand corner or he wouldn't have survived the long way down.
He finished learning how to drive in a really clean orange six cylinder Camaro...




HOT ROD ON
 

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Everyone one matures at a different rate, some sooner than others. I hope I made that point in part of my post. Just because someone is 16 doesn’t mean they couldn’t handle a V8. As someone else mentioned, the parents are the ones that are best suited to make that call.


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My first car was a 1951 Chevrolet Belair convertible, which I bought from the local junkyard for $90.00 with money I earned working at the local Texco. It was not a beater, as it didn't have a single dent in it and ran good. After I washed and waxed it and replaced the roof with one from JC Whitney, it looked great. My mother hooked me up with her insurance agent as soon as I got it, so I could insure it as soon as I got it. I was seventeen.
 
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I meant me ;)

A Guy
After I posted I had a feeling that’s what you meant. LOL


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Not to be a downer - But to the parents - Please read the story about 5 young men killed in a BMW M-5 in Ocala, FL on a private airstrip - I think 2008. That M5 was a superior handling machine in the hands of I think an 18 yr.

I also sent my daughter and son to Mid-America Teen course to learn how to handle a car along with myself teaching them donuts in the snow to learn how to handle.

To the young man looking for a car - If you have the funds to buy your first car - its your money go for it. The deal I had with my son was the first ticket - accident - you are on your own. He had to have a Firebird. He did OK until he got the Trans AM........... Caught him at the drag strip and then screaming home following his buddy in a WS6. Tough love - he was off in 30 days & then he felt the pain. By that time my old Dodge V6 P/U looked pretty good.
 

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One more side note to that accident - The driver who had full access to that car was on the M5 site (similar to this) earlier that day asking how to bump up the HP on a already 500+ vehicle. Almost unanimously a bunch of "Old Farts," (Younger then - I guess I was a Younger Old Fart) replying back that car did not need to go any faster for a $80,000+ BMW. Considering 700+ HP today is not uncommon, 500+ then was a big deal. Bottom Line - we were all 16 at one time and many of us were driving muscle cars even W/O seat belts or Air Bags. Different time then - Law suits - and even some police departments were more lenient. Just saying Be Smart.
 

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I'm 34 and I've had 2 Chargers and a Challenger.

2014 Charger RT AWD, 2019 Charger Scat Pack, and 2017 Challenger GT in-between.

I would never let a 16 year old have any of those cars. I was a careful driver and had a 1995 Lebaron GTC for my first car. A 141 HP FWD car is a good car for a 16 year old.

I've taken professional racing lessons and know how to handle a RWD car. Twice in one year, not in snow driving my 2014 RT AWD, I almost had accidents due to other people's stupid driving.

In one incident the car slid sideways a good 50 feet and once I got it to go forward again, I had to dodge a high strength steel safety fence, which I did. Had I been 16 and driving as fast as I would have driven it then, I would have been killed in a fiery reck with a semi.

Buy something else and then get a Challenger after you've had 2 cars.
 

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Thank you. Why I’m on the site lol. Contemplating letting Goat go for a 1320, or Cat.
I saw the garage picture, move the GTO over and put the Challenger next to it, see it that simple. Then it’ll be twice as fun.
 
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I'm 34 and I've had 2 Chargers and a Challenger.

2014 Charger RT AWD, 2019 Charger Scat Pack, and 2017 Challenger GT in-between.

I would never let a 16 year old have any of those cars. I was a careful driver and had a 1995 Lebaron GTC for my first car. A 141 HP FWD car is a good car for a 16 year old.

I've taken professional racing lessons and know how to handle a RWD car. Twice in one year, not in snow driving my 2014 RT AWD, I almost had accidents due to other people's stupid driving.

In one incident the car slid sideways a good 50 feet and once I got it to go forward again, I had to dodge a high strength steel safety fence, which I did. Had I been 16 and driving as fast as I would have driven it then, I would have been killed in a fiery reck with a semi.

Buy something else and then get a Challenger after you've had 2 cars.
We're looking at replacing the RT+ for the ScatPack 392 and also looking to take a drivers course. At 60+ (O sh.. I'm that old) we need to fine tune our skills.
 

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Discussion Starter #77
@hemi1031 So your son is all set to drive your SRT and take it to the track? That's great at 16.

To be 16 and have a Challenger of any condition would be amazing.

If you have the money you should buy what you want (what your parents are going to pay for). Good Luck convincing your parents.

What kinda car does your Dad and Mom drive?
Moms got a ‘17 Lexus rx350 and dads got a ‘12 ford raptor
 

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As I said at the beginning of this thread, if it's on the kid's dime, he can do what he wants with his parent's permission. However, if the parents are paying for any of it, especially adding him to their insurance policy, then it's entirely up to them what he gets. Buying a used car doesn't mean it has to be a beater, and it's the best way to learn all about owning, maintaining and driving one.
Agreed. I have 2 teenage boys, pay and arm and a leg for insurance. They drive newer used KIA and Hyundai vehicles with good safety, reliability and gas mileage. When they're paying their own bills, they can drive what they want.
 

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My first 2 cars were a 1988 Nissan Frontier and a 1988 Ford Escort station wagon (actually loved that car!). This brings back memories… On the topic, I'd advise OP to get a V6 Challenger. Less cost all around, great looking car and over 300 hp! Nothing to sneeze at. I think it's normal for a teenager to want a nice car, but saving money for the future is way more important in my opinion. I know we mostly don't think like this at that age but I think it's worth mentioning.
 

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i was in the same boat as you 6 years ago. Wanted the challenger r/t but my parents didn’t like the idea at all. At the time, I was pretty bummed, but looking back at it, I’m glad it worked out that way. Got a decent truck at 16, an sxt challenger at 18, then when I got my first good paying job and graduated college, I bought the scat pack with my own money. The wait was well worth it, and it was much more fulfilling overall. Plus my first 2 vehicles got dinged up / crashed into by a bunch of morons from highschool. I know how highschool is, it’s easy to look at what other people have and compare it to your own situation. kids from my highschool would pull up in badass muscle cars, $50k trucks, one kid even got a brand new Ferrari for his 16th birthday (parents were filthy rich). But just focus on yourself, invest your money, and stay humble. Be patient, I know it’s annoying to hear, but it will be very much worth it, I promise.
 
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