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Today, December 13, marks the 9th anniversary of the delivery of my 2009 Challenger 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 so easy back in the early "rock star" years (2008-2009).

Here’s my story:

When I discovered that Dodge was building a Challenger concept car, in 2006 (see Photo #1), I started reading everything about it, both on line and in car magazines. I even joined Chargerforums.com to learn about the 6.1 Hemi engine. This car was to replace my beloved 1971 ‘Cuda that I sold for family reasons. Things, however, didn’t work out for a 2008 Challenger. So after drooling over a 2009 SRT at the Philadelphia Auto Show (see Photo #2), I ordered one from Champion Dodge, in Barrington, IL., on May 16. At that 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. 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 the dealer and received the following 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? No, 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. 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”). 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 the orders and re-ordered it so that my name would appear on the window invoice (i.e., “This car was built for…”).

Incredibly, after my car was built, Bob had to call in some favors because it was stuck 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 (see Photo #3). After a quick prep, my car was loaded on Bob’s enclosed trailer ($600 charge) and delivered to my home, in NJ, on December 13, 2008- 6 days after my birthday and 12 days before Christmas (see Photos #4 and #5). What a present!!

(Note- Being a car guy, Bob saved every scrap of paper that came with my SRT for me- even an orange warning card for transporters about low clearance).
 

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Nice car, love the Hemi Orange. I too find the Challenger such an enjoyable car to drive.
 

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Thanks for sharing the enjoyable story. In those days you felt like a rock star with a new Challenger.






Your car looks like a twin of my first Challenger- you can see it in my avatar picture with my 2012 next to it.
 

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Great story, thanks for sharing!

I also fell in love with the concept and even bought the 1:18 scale model of the concept, in Hemi Orange of course, and kept it on my desk at work for inspiration. Read everything I could and joined this forum from the start. Wound up finding an orange R/T during the whole bankruptcy ordeal with employee pricing, 0% for 4 years, and $1,000 cash back. I'd still have that one if it were an SRT!

I remember how bummed I was when I found out the back windows didn't roll down like the concept.....not a true hardtop!
 

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Thanks for the story. My first Challenger was a 2009 RT in Hemi Orange. There weren’t very many on the road back then so it was a real eye catcher.

Thanks for all your contributions to this forum. You have been active for as long as I can remember and are a reliable source of accurate information. And I apppreciate your loyalty to your 2009 SRT as well. Here’s to another 9 years!
 

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Happy belated Birthday, Cuda340.

And the nine-year anniversary of your '09 SRT as well...

This November would have been the 9 year anniversary of my '09 R/T - Hemi Orange...just had the two year anniversary of my '16 SPS - Torred.

Many memories and experiences. Cumulatively have 56k of miles between my two Challengers.
 

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Awesome story!

I remember all of the excitement about the concept car and finally getting to see it in person at the Washington DC Auto Show. Congratulations on your awesome car and the great pictures you have from when you got it. It took me a long time to finally get my Challenger, but it was worth the wait. Plus it cool to come back here and see how much the forum has grown from back in the days when we were all just hoping they'd actually build the car in the first place.

Many happy miles to you!
 

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Great story and nice to hear how Bob made what was looking like a nightmare turn into a great outcome.
 

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Great story - It's amazing how almost everyone has there own story - these cars aren't just transportation they actually stir something in your soul. I am a little older and grew up in the muscle car years. Owned a 68 383 Roadrunner and 74 440 Charger. Always loved the Challenger just a little pricey for me at the time. When the concept came out I printed a photo and stuck it on the door of my garage - one day I would have one. Bought a Mustang convertible in 2004 and again in 2011 - had to compromise with the wife and no Challenger convertible. That photo stayed on my garage door for almost 10 years until I took delivery of my 2018 T/A 392 last week. Car is parked in that same garage waiting for spring - finally took the photo down - don't need it as I finally got the real thing.

Not to many other cars have that kind of magic.
 

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Happy Anniversary (you and your Challenger ;) ). Great story :thumbsup:

A Guy
 

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Great story.

I too had a little bit of difficulty finding my 2009 Dodge Challenger Hemi Orange. Similar to your story, in 2006 I saw the Hemi orange challenger presented in the auto show. It was love at first sight. I told myself I would work hard and save money to own it.

Everything was going well, I was saving some money and hopped to get it one day, I was planning for mid 2010 to finally be able to purchase the beast. Unfortunately in late April 2009, Chrysler file for Chapter 11. At first I figured it was nothing and all would be great, but then I got word that production of the Challengers stopped altogether.. Mid May Saturday morning I decided to go to my local Dodge dealer in Santa Maria, California. The dealer said, "sorry you will not find any more new Challengers.. Good Luck!"

I started calling around, I finally found a blue RT in Long Beach California, about a 3-4 hour drive from where I was. It was difficult because A. I wanted an SRT and B. I wanted a Hemi Orange. Long story long, this was the ONLY new Challenger in Los Angeles greater area. Either way, I walked into the dealer and they had marked up the price by $12,000 for the blue RT model. If it was the SRT hemi orange, I would have probably paid but I declined and they wouldn't negotiate anything lower than 12K over MSRP.

I walked out of the dealer and sat outside trying to find any dealers in Northern California, Arizona or Nevada. Each one I called told me the same story, "sorry you are out of luck." One dealer in northern California had a "manager's model" gray SRT 2008 Challenger, a few miles on it but semi new. Then I found my baby.. Modesto California.. I called the dealer, sure enough they had an Orange Hemi SRT, unfortunately it was Automatic but so be it I'll take it I said. I asked for the price, they had a $10K markup on it. I told them I was 6 hours away in southern California but that I would drive up to Modesto, buy the car at MSRP if they were willing to sell at MSRP. After a little back and forth they agreed.

I drove as fast as I could, made it to Modesto. My baby was still sitting in the show room with 9 miles in the odometer. I asked to go for a test drive as the paper work situation was getting handled. Funny thing is that several years later I landed a good job in Modesto and still work here locally.

7 Years later I still have and enjoy my beautiful car. For a very long time I maintained my car as original as possible. Recently, two months ago, I blew my engine, now I am working on doing a complete transformation. I am dropping a 426 motor on it and giving it a complete restoration.
 

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Great story.

I too had a little bit of difficulty finding my 2009 Dodge Challenger Hemi Orange. Similar to your story, in 2006 I saw the Hemi orange challenger presented in the auto show. It was love at first sight. I told myself I would work hard and save money to own it.

Everything was going well, I was saving some money and hopped to get it one day, I was planning for mid 2010 to finally be able to purchase the beast. Unfortunately in late April 2009, Chrysler file for Chapter 11. At first I figured it was nothing and all would be great, but then I got word that production of the Challengers stopped altogether.. Mid May Saturday morning I decided to go to my local Dodge dealer in Santa Maria, California. The dealer said, "sorry you will not find any more new Challengers.. Good Luck!"

I started calling around, I finally found a blue RT in Long Beach California, about a 3-4 hour drive from where I was. It was difficult because A. I wanted an SRT and B. I wanted a Hemi Orange. Long story long, this was the ONLY new Challenger in Los Angeles greater area. Either way, I walked into the dealer and they had marked up the price by $12,000 for the blue RT model. If it was the SRT hemi orange, I would have probably paid but I declined and they wouldn't negotiate anything lower than 12K over MSRP.

I walked out of the dealer and sat outside trying to find any dealers in Northern California, Arizona or Nevada. Each one I called told me the same story, "sorry you are out of luck." One dealer in northern California had a "manager's model" gray SRT 2008 Challenger, a few miles on it but semi new. Then I found my baby.. Modesto California.. I called the dealer, sure enough they had an Orange Hemi SRT, unfortunately it was Automatic but so be it I'll take it I said. I asked for the price, they had a $10K markup on it. I told them I was 6 hours away in southern California but that I would drive up to Modesto, buy the car at MSRP if they were willing to sell at MSRP. After a little back and forth they agreed.

I drove as fast as I could, made it to Modesto. My baby was still sitting in the show room with 9 miles in the odometer. I asked to go for a test drive as the paper work situation was getting handled. Funny thing is that several years later I landed a good job in Modesto and still work here locally.

7 Years later I still have and enjoy my beautiful car. For a very long time I maintained my car as original as possible. Recently, two months ago, I blew my engine, now I am working on doing a complete transformation. I am dropping a 426 motor on it and giving it a complete restoration.
I bought my hemi orange RT in the 2nd week of June. Factory shut down. Chrysler in bankruptcy. Most people would think I was nuts for buying a car from a bankrupt manufacturer. But I wanted it badly and paid msrp. Both of my Challengers were and are trouble free. I’ve never regretted buying the car. Opened all kinds of doors for me.
 

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Great stories guys! Keep them coming. If you have a '08-'09 (first year of the R/T was '09) post some pics! I envy the guys that got what they wanted and hung on to them. I've had so many Challengers on my quest to find the right one that I now just wish I had kept my first one: 2013 Billet Silver R/T Plus 6 speed manual. Hindsight is 20/20 and I could have saved some cash and put a supercharger on it by now.

I had a Coyote powered Mustang GT but wanted that old school look with our first kid due in a few months. I justified getting a bigger "family" car because we knew we wanted 3 kids eventually and I could fit 3 seats in the back of a Challenger. Our 3rd is due in June. I was never satisfied with the drop in performance going to a 5.7 from my Mustang so I ended up working through a number of cars to get to my Go Mango Scat Pack Shaker. Still love my car but wish I had been satisfied with what I had. here she is parked outside of Winthrop University where I used to teach:
 

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Like everyone else i also fell in love when the 08s hit the lot. Even though I had a good job as a finance manager for a dealership at the time, it just didn't make sense for me to buy one. Call it guilt or whatever i just felt bad spending that money on myself. For a while, when I would leave work I would stop by the dodge dealer nearby and just check them out.

Fast forward several years and a new career in law enforcement later, I was due for a new car. I was VERY specific in what I wanted and knew I'd find a slightly used one if I were patient enough. Sure enough, in 2013 I found a 2012 RT in white, 6m, super trak pack without a spoiler and only 2k miles. After some back and forth i bought it. 2 months later my second daughter was born and I instantly felt guilty again lol.

Bought a used jeep grand Cherokee from my Sgt for $500 and drove that 90% of the time while the Challenger was relegated to road trip duty.

As Hellcat prices are coming down it's getting hard not to trade in but with all the memories I've made with this car it's pretty hard to part ways. Plus, my oldest daughter would cry for sure lol.
 
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