The most recent news re: the "2004" Charger R/T four door sedan begs a reaction, some of it positive, some of it extremely critical. Remember this is only a show car (so far) first of all and once the joy of a potential V8RWD rocket has abated somewhat, a more rational and cool-headed (!) appraisal is in order. To start off, the supercharger is a bad idea. MoPar has no experience with this or the compressed natural gas fuel, so let's just chalk them up to an engineering "mine's bigger than yours" show car exercise. This car will no more see the light of day the way you see it than the Thunderbolt did. A nice styling exercise, yes, a hot 4.7L V8, yes, but what does that do for me, the cheapo lunchbucket enthusiast? Nothing. Feel-good chest-thumping aside, it's still Ford and GM that rule the drive-in with modern muscle. We have none (the trucks are nice but I don't want a truck). Zilch. Nada. Niente.
Sure we have the oldies, the resto-rockets and cruisers and collectibles, but what do we always get the shi* end of the stick when it comes to modern muscle? Do you think Ford fanatics would allow the blue oval bigs to turn out a four door Mustang? Or the bow tie bozos a four door Corvette, Camaro or Fire Chicken? Jamais, mes ami(e)s, never. And why is that?
Okay, get ready, I'm going to spew the heresy again: MoPar enthusiasts are wimps. Yeah, you read it right. We've let the Mother's last generation of wayward GM and Ford executive rejects steer us soooooooooooo far from the 1968 Roadrunner philosophy we may never see it again. Too many wimps with a "my company right or wrong" attitude. Cheering the likes of the TC3 and Duster Sundance and Shelby Rampage while the Mustang, Vette, Camaro and Firechicken rule the drive-thru. There is no excuse for us not having modern muscle - NONE!!! Who squawked when MoPar dropped NASCAR? Nobody! (They were down to two cars in 1971!) Who squawked as the V8RWD cars petered out and died in the seventies and eighties? No one.
We have nobody to blame but ourselves. Time for radical action. Time to mobilize. Time to shout and be heard. V8RWD. NOW. NASCAR NOW! A competitive Pro Stock team NOW. An affordable, no-nonsense modern V8RWD TWO DOOR muscle/pony car bewteen $20-25,000. NOW! That's not unreasonable. But if you don't want it, don't complain. Don't write. The enemy rules the drive-in and NASCAR and the NHRA. I cannot and will not now or ever accept this. I am a MoPar chauvinist because we should OWN the street, NASCAR and NHRA! We used to. Nothing could touch us. Who let it all slip away? Who let it languish for a generation? Look in the mirror. You and I did. Now let's mobilize. Write to MoPar and let them know what you think. Or forget about a return to greatness and take up something quiet and boring like knitting. (Updated Sept. 22, 1999)
This is an inherently, genuinely good, honourable, wholesome, noble and worthy goal and no one should object to such a positive, healthy, worthwhile and long-awaited development. How soon after would we re-enter NASCAR proper and reappear with modern muscle on the street at cruises, drive-ins and such?
*Resolved*: That Chrysler Corporation should build at least ONE V8RWD motor car to be badged as both a Plymouth and and a Dodge (they could even call them the "Roadrunner" and "Super Bee"). This cannot be wrong. It is a beautiful dream which MUST come to fruition. The company is making a good profit, we have good engineers, the Viper, Prowler, SuperTruck NASCAR program and other efforts demonstrate conclusively just how quickly we can go from 'drawing board' to production. It should be done and it can be done. There IS a market, just look at the streets swarming with our competitors' offerings in this class: Ford, Mercury, Chev, Pontiac, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, Jaguar and many more use this technology. They can't all be wrong.
If you want to help, write or call Chrysler Canada's President M. Yves Landry* (*deceased 1997). OR: Write/call/talk to your local dealer (the owner) and tell them you want a V8RWD MoPar and would buy such a car if it was produced. They'll listen to that. Assert your rights and preferences as a consumer and you will be surprised - we'll get results! Silence or apathy mean defeat and failure. We must act and act now, in great numbers. Speak up for our heritage and for our future.
N.B.: This is not a criticism of MoPar's current or recent offerings, rather the corporate policy that these autos have been made to the exclusion of a V8RWD Plymouth and Dodge. Imagine what a marvellous creation such a vehicle would be, crafted by Mother MoPar's finest techs, designers and engineers! The proof is in the pudding of our other superior offerings. We would shame all others in the field. We have the technology already in place: they could use the 5.2L (318 c.i.d.) or even the 5.9L (360 c.i.d.) motor. "Anything 'they' (our competition) can do, we can do better." We always have.
A V8RWD MoPar: so good, so right. NOW! It's up to you and me.
Tony McLean, B.A. Remove "NOSPAM" for email
President, MoPar Experience
November 1996 Kanata, Ont., CANADA