Wednesday, November 25, 2009

2011 Chrysler 300 D

Friday, January 9, 2009


We like to thank all those who did contribute time and energy to the blog site.

Thanks again.

Chrysler considering car-based 'lifestyle' pickup to replace Dakota

Earlier this week General Motors announced the death of the G8 ST program because it wouldn't make money for them and the 'sport truck' didn't fit the Pontiac brand image. Today news has emerged that Chrysler is now considering building its own car-based pickup truck as a solution to its need for an efficient and profitable alternative to compact pickups.

Compact pickups have been slow-sellers even in good times, but of late they are particularly hard to move. Chrysler's prospective solution to that problem, voiced by Frank Klegon to The Detroit News, emphasizes low pricing and efficiency as the motivating factors. "What is needed is a lighter-duty, multipurpose vehicle from a lighter, more fuel-efficient car platform that allows the vehicle to be priced significantly different from what your full-size trucks are," said Klegon. It is expected to feature unibody construction, FWD as standard and AWD as an option, but beyond that the specification is kept secret.

The pricing factor may be the most attractive aspect of the idea for Chrysler, since cutting prices means opening the vehicle up to a wider market while at the same time allowing for more comfortable profit margins. The situation for small trucks was made all the worse when prices of full-size trucks began plummeting in the face of 2008's nose-diving sales.

Another aspect Chrysler is banking on is the different perceptions buyers would have of the car-truck as opposed to a compact pickup. Rather than seeing the vehicle as a miniature version of a full-size truck that should be able to haul, off-road and tow, it would be perceived as an urban utility vehicle, intended for light loads and paved roads. That difference in perception enables smaller, more efficient engines to be put to the task, making the cars both cheaper and less expensive to operate.

If Chrysler does choose to build the car-based urban utility vehicle, it would likely take the place of the Dakota compact pickup (pictured) in the Dodge lineup. It's not yet clear if it will take the design path of the El Camino-like G8 ST or other similar vehicles, or if it will veer nearer the unibody construction but pickup-like design of Honda's Ridgeline.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

This Day in Auto History:

Thomas E. Rush succeeds Jacob Sulzbach as President of the MackBrothers Motor Car Company
"William K. Vanderbilt Jr., patron of automobile racing and the LongIsland Motor Parkway, dies in New York City at age 65"
"B. Frank Jones, retired Chief Engineer of the White Motor Company,dies at age 68"

All-new HEMI(R) with Fuel-Saving MDS Technology Earns Ward's 2009 '10 Best Engines' Award

All-new HEMI(R) with Fuel-Saving MDS Technology Earns Ward's 2009 '10 Best Engines' Award

Refined 5.7-liter HEMI Delivers Improved Fuel Economy, Even More Power and Torque

- All-new 5.7-liter HEMI engine recognized by Ward's for powertrain excellence

- Sixth "10 Best Engine Award" for 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine

- Expanded utilization of Chrysler's fuel-saving Multi-displacement System (MDS) operation

- More power: as much as 390 horsepower

- More torque: as much as 410 lb.-ft. of torque

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ --

Now in its second generation, the legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine has once again earned a place in Ward's distinguished "2009 10 Best Engines" list again. Relentlessly delivering powertrain excellence, Chrysler LLC has earned Ward's "10 best" award six times in the last seven years with the iconic 5.7-liter HEMI engine.

"The HEMI earns the honor not on pure emotion or brute force but with advanced new technology such as variable valve timing, which allows cruising in four-cylinder mode about 40 percent of the time, which is twice as much as the previous-generation Multi-Displacement System cylinder-deactivation system," said Tom Murphy - Executive Director of Ward's AutoWorld magazine. "A number of Ward's testers managed to top 19 mpg (12.3 L/100 km) with the HEMI, putting it in line with certain premium V-6s tested."

With improved Multi-Displacement System (MDS) technology for increased fuel efficiency, added refinement and more power, the all-new 2009 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine delivers world-class performance and technology in nine Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles. The 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine with MDS technology is available on 2009 Chrysler 300C, Chrysler Aspen, Jeep(R) Grand Cherokee, Jeep Commander, Dodge Charger, Dodge Durango, Dodge Ram Heavy Duty series and the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 and Dodge Challenger.

"We are honored to have our iconic HEMI engine recognized by Ward's for a sixth time," said Bob Lee, Vice President - Powertrain Product Engineering Team, Chrysler LLC. "HEMI is synonymous with performance, and now -- thanks to VVT, expanded four-cylinder mode in our MDS system, and a host of other technologies -- Chrysler's new 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine delivers more fuel efficiency and refinement, along with even more power."

While the new 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine maintains the key architecture that makes "HEMI" synonymous with "performance," Chrysler powertrain engineers improved engine breathing and added new technologies -- including Variable Valve Timing (VVT) -- that substantially improve fuel economy and refinement.

The HEMI's new VVT improves fuel economy in two ways. First, it reduces the engine's pumping work by closing the intake valve later. Second, it increases the expansion process of the combustion event. This allows more work to be transferred to the crankshaft instead of being rejected out of the exhaust port as heat. Essentially, VVT improves engine breathing, which improves engine efficiency and power.

Dodge's fuel-saving MDS system seamlessly alternates between smooth, high-fuel-economy four-cylinder mode when less power is needed, and V-8 mode when more power from the new 5.7-liter HEMI engine is in demand. This optimizes fuel economy when V-8 power is not required, without sacrificing vehicle performance or capability.

An expanded MDS operating range in the new-for-2009 HEMI will allow customers to realize an even-greater fuel economy benefit. Chrysler estimates that since its inception of MDS in 2005, more than 100 million gallons of gasoline have been saved, along with reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of close to one million

When MDS is operating, it is indicated by a "Fuel Saver" readout in the vehicles Electronic Vehicle Information Center.

In addition to VVT and expanded MDS operating range, the HEMI's fuel economy and performance improvements result from an increased compression ratio, an active intake manifold with long runners for low-end torque and short runners for high-rpm power, improved cylinder head port flow efficiency, and reduced restriction exhaust and induction systems.

Numerous other hardware upgrades were implemented to build on the quality, reliability and durability reputation of the HEMI engine. These include crankshaft structural upgrades, a dual-mass crankshaft damper, new piston design, improved valve-spring design and oil pump capacity increase for VVT.

The new 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine is manufactured at the Saltillo Engine Plant in Saltillo, Mexico.

About Chrysler LLC

Chrysler LLC, headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., produces Chrysler, Jeep(R), Dodge and Mopar(R) brand vehicles and products. Total sales worldwide in 2007 were 2.7 million vehicles. Sales outside of North America were the highest ever with an increase of 8 percent over 2006. Its product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300 and Town & Country, Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee and Dodge Challenger and Ram. In the fall of 2008, Chrysler introduced three advanced electric-drive vehicle prototypes -- the Dodge EV, Jeep EV and Chrysler EV. One is targeted to be produced in 2010 for consumers in North American markets, and European markets after 2010.

The Chrysler Foundation, the company's philanthropic arm, annually supports hundreds of charitable organizations in the United States and throughout the world. In 2007, the Foundation gave approximately $21 million in charitable donations.


Don Garlits Back Racing the “Drag Pak” Challenger

January 6, 2009 by pikesan

Story Submitted by John C. Hill or MoparMagic
Don Garlits to compete in 2009!

Don Garlits has planned a comeback to drag racing for 2009, his 60th anniversary competing on the nation’s drag strips. Is he going to run a new Top Fuel car? The answer is no. Neither his doctor nor his wife will ever let him run an NHRA competitive Top Fuel car again. After countless thousands of parachute stops at the end of 300mph runs, the retinas in Don’s eyes had become detached. Further racing of this type could have caused permanent blindness.

So, what is Don going to run this year? Well, as a long time Mopar representative, Mopar stepped up and has allowed Don to purchase the first Dodge Challenger equipped with the Drag Pak. For those of you thinking a factory backed “Drag Pak” was a dream, it ain’t! Based on the 6.1L equipped hot rod SRT8, the drag pak Challenger will be eligible to run in NHRA’s Super Stock, Stock, and Comp Eliminator.

Garlits will run his Drag Pak Challenger in NHRA Division 2, but right now, it is uncertain which class. Don’s excited to challenge some of the nations best sportsman drivers and is looking forward to tuming a car like this to become competitive against other muscle cars and specialty drag race vehicles.

Garlits ran the first promotional vehicle at Bandimere Speedway near Denver and recorded an 11.24 quarter mile which is quick considering Bandimere’s mile high track. At sea level tracks in Division 2, the car could dip into the 10’s right out of the box! Garlits also plans to attend and run at the U.S. Nationals this year to commemorate his 60th year in active drag racing.

I for one will follow this story very closely in the Division 2 race results pages of National Dragster. Can Garlits work his old magic? First, I will admit that I am a big Don Garlits fan. But, there will be a huge difference between running the unlimited class of Top Fuel versus the very restrictive class rules of Super Stock, Stock and Comp Eliminator. In Top Fuel, tuning knowledge is king and the almighty dollar can bring absolute victory. Garlits was fantastic at tuning and driving, but he didn’t always have the almighty dollar. It was his tuning skill and driving that made him stand out, so much so, that his Top Fueler is the ONLY drag race vehicle of any type enshrined at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.

What really interests me is how well Garlits will do against the Southern Divisional racers who have raced their cars day in and day out for decades. Its going to be a tall order and it will be the ultimate test of Garlits as a tuner and driver. I mean, can a man in his mid-70’s still pull off .000 reaction times when needed? Can he win races without “bombing his index” or “breaking out”? After all this is class racing not Top Fuel! I’ll keep you posted as I find results from the races.

This Day in Auto History:

Edsel B. Ford II joins the Ford Motor Company as a product analyst
"International Trucks, the non-agricultural side of the defunctInternational Harvester Company, is reorganized as the NavistarInternational Corporation"

Chrysler expenses stay a secret

Public disclosure not part of $4-billion loan


Chrysler LLC, operating with a $4-billion, taxpayer-funded loan from the U.S. government, isn't required to report financial information to the public and has no plan to do so.

Chrysler, closely held by Cerberus Capital Management LP, won't disclose operating results, a spokeswoman said. The loan agreement requires the Auburn Hills-based automaker to report its finances only to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Treasury spokeswoman Brookly McLaughlin declined to say whether the department would disclose Chrysler's financial information.

Since Cerberus bought the company in August 2007, Chrysler executives have said that the company's private status allowed it to sell assets and close factories without concern for accounting charges that might alarm a public company's shareholders.

"At the very least, Chrysler should have the same level of transparency that General Motors has," said Peter Morici, a University of Maryland economist who testified at congressional hearings in November about the industry. There should be a level of accountability, he said, "that is not present here."

The treasury, trying to avoid a collapse of the companies, pledged as much as $17.4 billion to Chrysler and Detroit-based General Motors Corp. on Dec. 19. Chrysler got $4 billion Jan. 2 and must show by Feb. 17 how it will return to viability. Chrysler also must submit weekly status reports, biweekly cash statements and monthly certifications to the treasury to show that it's complying with policies on expenses.

The agreement doesn't require Chrysler to disclose results to the public.

"We are not in a position to mirror publicly traded companies, as our investors remain private," Chrysler spokeswoman Lori McTavish said in an e-mailed response. "However, the company is obligated to our private investors and lenders, and as such, keeps them apprised."

Cerberus spokesman Peter Duda declined to comment.

Chrysler has revealed select information during the past year. Through the first half of 2008, the company said its losses amounted to about $1.08 billion. During congressional hearings in November, CEO Bob Nardelli said the company had $6.1 billion in cash at the end of September.

Chrysler was partly forced into reporting financial information because Daimler AG, which owns 19.9% of the automaker, has been reporting losses -- with a three-month delay -- for its stake.

Chrysler has been saying that Daimler's accounting for Chrysler's losses -- which equal 3.62 billion euros ($5.52 billion) for the first half of 2008 -- vastly overstates actual losses because of the differences in accounting between U.S. and international accounting methods.

Without a loan from the government, Nardelli said, the company could run below the $3-billion minimum level of cash required to operate sometime this month.

Chrysler finished 2008 with a 53% decline in December U.S. new-car and light-truck sales. U.S. sales fell 30% for the year, the most of any major automaker.

Saleen reveals future plans for SMS Limited brand

Posted Today, 2:42 AM by Viknesh Vijayenthiran

SMS Limited Dodge Challenger 570 Series
The 570 Series Dodge Challenger will be joined later in the year by new 460 Mustang and Camaro packages

At the start of last year American performance workshop Saleen announced plans to establish its new SMS Limited brand. The company then rolled out a stunning supercar concept to coincide with the launch of the brand, but unfortunately financial hard times put an end to plans for production of the mid-engined concept.

Instead, the SMS label will be used for a new range of modified muscle cars, based around the new 2009 Dodge Challenger, 2010 Ford Mustang and upcoming 2010 Chevrolet Camaro. Based in Anaheim, California, SMS is currently building the first of its new hotted-up muscle cars, the Dodge Challenger 570 Series.

Starting at $60,000 for a complete car, the SMS prepped Dodge Challenger 570 delivers more than 500hp (373kW) from a highly modified 5.7L V8 engine. Also on offer is a 700hp (522kW) version, which is priced at $70,000.

Later this year, SMS will reveal plans for a new 460 Mustang package based on the new 2010 Ford Mustang. While the car is still in the design stages, The Detroit News reports that it will come with a patented SMS Red Butterfly Induction hood over a supercharged V8 engine. Towards the end of the year, or possibly in early 2010, SMS will add a modified Chevrolet Camaro to its lineup.

All the cars will eventually be available through Dodge, Ford and Chevrolet dealers.

The story doesn’t end there as the man behind the company and the owner of the Saleen name, Steve Saleen, insists that there are plans still in place to launch a unique supercar model, as well as possible hybrid and electric vehicles.

Gallery: Saleen SMS 570 Dodge Challenger preview

Couple appeals Chrysler lawsuit

Posted on Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Email this story | Printer-friendly version

An Avoca couple is appealing a product liability lawsuit against Chrysler Motors after a Washington County jury exonerated the automaker during a 13-day trial in November.

The appeal filed Monday by Shadrick and Lydia Adams seeks to recover damages for head injuries their two children sustained while riding in the back seats of a 1994 Dodge Caravan during an accident on Sept. 25, 2005.

The Adams blame faulty seat design that allowed the front seats to give way upon rear impact and the parents' heads to smash into the front of their children's heads.

The Adams are also appealing damages totaling almost $342,000 against Linda Childers Knapp, who was talking on her cell phone when her 2004 white Jeep Cherokee rear-ended the Adams' minivan.

Ray Niblock, a Fayetteville attorney representing the Adams, said the appeal focuses on three rulings:

· One allowing four preemptory strikes to each party, which in effect allowed the defense to have twice as many as the plaintiff.

· A second denying the plaintiff's request to eliminate certain jurors for cause and court overruled motions.

· The third over a jury instruction relating to the cause of the injury.

The Niblock firm and the Atlanta-based firm of Butler, Wooten and Fryhoffer were betting on a big award from Chrysler to recover their substantial investment - estimated in the hundreds of thousands - in a case requiring lots of paperwork and six days of hearing on pretrial motions.

Chrysler argued that its vehicle meets all federal safety standards and that the intrusion of Knapp's vehicle prevented the children's seat from giving way backwards as designed and avoiding impact from the front passengers.

One key fact in dispute in this case was how fast Knapp's vehicle was going when it hit the minivan. Knapp testified she was driving about 53 mph, and Chrysler's experts said it was between 65 and 77 mph, based on the damage to the vehicles.

The crash occurred in the left, eastbound lane of the Fulbright Expressway in Fayetteville, south of the Northwest Arkansas Mall. Knapp did not realize that traffic had stalled because of a parade for Fayetteville's Bikes, Blues & BBQ festival, her attorney said.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

U.S. December sales fall; up from November

calendar (1K) Posted Monday, Jan 5, 2009 at 3:08 pm in Company News

Chrysler LLC today reported total December 2008 U.S. sales of 89,813 units, up 5 percent versus November 2008 (85,260 units), and down 53 percent from the same month in 2007.

For the year, Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge U.S. sales decreased 30 percent (1,453,122 units) compared with total 2007 sales (2,076,650 units). Total sales were significantly affected by the industry’s largest reductions in fleet sales, 63 percent for December and 31 percent for the year.

“Last year Chrysler and all of our stakeholders persevered through extraordinarily difficult economic conditions, made the necessary adjustments and always kept our focus on serving our customers,” President and Vice Chairman Jim Press said. “As a result, our company and our dealer network start this year stronger and better positioned to succeed in today’s marketplace.

“From a customer perspective, we see consumers selecting vehicles based on their long-term transportation needs and committing to keeping vehicles for longer periods. As a result, characteristics such as utility, flexibility, efficiency and quality will grow in importance. In terms of product focus, Chrysler will continue to invest in quality and fuel efficiency improvements on its current lineup, while developing all-new vehicles for the next generation.

“From an organizational viewpoint, we will work with all of our stakeholders to continue the restructuring our Company. We have a special bond with the American people now and pledge to continue our efforts to provide the best quality and best value in the marketplace. We are committed to help drive America forward.”

December sales highlights

All Jeep brand vehicles achieved sales growth over November 2008 sales. Jeep Wrangler, the brand’s top-selling model, marked sales growth of 15 percent (7,048 units) from November.

Sales of the Jeep Patriot were up 6 percent in December (2,597 units) compared with November 2008. Year-to-date, Patriot sales grew 38 percent to reach 55,654 units.

Minivan sales gained momentum from November. Chrysler Town & Country sales in December grew 9 percent (8,152 units) and Dodge Grand Caravan sales increased 14 percent (6,927 units).

Dodge Ram light duty pickup sales were up 10 percent (10,601 units) compared with November 2008, fueled by the availability of the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram.

The company finished the month with 397,569 units of inventory, or a 115-day supply. Inventory is down 9 percent compared with December 2007 when it totaled 438,390 units.

January incentives

Chrysler continues to offer customers highly competitive discount and financing programs to kick off 2009. In addition to offering discounts of up to $6,000 on 2008 model year vehicles and up to $3,000 on 2009 model year vehicles to all customers, the company also is working with Chrysler Financial and additional financing companies around the country to create packages that offer customers a wide range of options for lease and purchase financing. On select 2008 models, zero percent financing is available for 72 months, and rates as low as 1.9 percent APR are available on select 2009 models.

For the new year, Chrysler has entered into a partnership with credit unions across the nation to offer an additional $500 to $1,000 discount when any of the 90 million members of credit unions purchase or lease a new Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge vehicle. This program was successfully piloted in December in 12 states.

Ram hauls in Truckin’s ‘Truck of the Year Award’

calendar (1K) Posted Tuesday, Jan 6, 2009 at 10:41 am in Company News

The game-changing all-new 2009 Dodge Ram continues to win praise by consumers and media. The all-new Dodge Ram was named 2009 Truck of the Year in the current issue of Truckin’ magazine.

“It’s an honor to have Truckin’ magazine recognize our all-new 2009 Dodge Ram with this significant award,” Scott Kunselman, Vice President—Jeep®/Truck Product Team, said. “This award speaks loudly about the design and capability of our Dodge Ram along with its benchmark interior and unmatched ride and handling.”

“Overall, the sleek design represented the most dramatic change in Ram design since the ‘94s love-it-or-leave-it big-rig look, and we think it’s a hit,” Bob Ryder, senior tech editor, Truckin’, said. “The Dodge Boys have really done their homework on this one. The quality of materials, including wood trim, chrome accents and leather is miles ahead of the previous generation and really makes the Dodge look luxurious.”

The all-new 2009 Dodge Ram includes the first-in-segment RamBox™ cargo management system that includes versatile, weatherproof, lockable, illuminated, drainable storage bins, pickup bed dividers, a 2-foot bed extender, and a cargo rail system with sliding adjustable cleats. The 2009 Ram also includes the first-in-segment coil-spring, five-link rear suspension fitted to a solid rear axle providing ride and handling not found on any other pickup truck. A new 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engine with fuel-saving MDS technology provides more horsepower (390 hp) and torque (407 lb.-ft.) and its best-in-class aerodynamics—.387 Cd—helps improve fuel economy and performance.

In addition, the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram includes first-in-segment, factory-installed 4-inch dual exhaust styled dramatically into the rear bumper, first-in-segment store-in-the-floor storage bins with nearly twice as many bins (42) than the previous model (26) and 35 safety and security technologies. Standard features include side-curtain air bags and Electronic Stability Program (ESP) which includes all-speed traction control, trailer sway control, hill-start assist and anti-lock brake system (ABS). Significantly upgraded interiors with segment-first surround-sound audio system and live Siriius Backseat TV round out the interior.

Recently, the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab earned five-star ratings for driver- and front-passenger protection in a frontal crash, the highest ratings in the U.S. government’s safety crash test program.

In addition to winning Truckin’s magazine’s top honor, the all-new Dodge Ram has picked up several key awards since its introduction:

Ward’s AutoWorld: Ward’s 10 Best Engines of 2009 (2009 Dodge Ram 5.7 HEMI engine)

Texas Auto Writer’s Association (TAWA): 2009 Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas Inside Line Editors Most Wanted 2009 2009 MyRide/Autobytel Editor’s Choice Awards—Truck of the Year

Maxim: Achievement in Party-Enabling Technology (RamBox)

Automotive Journalist Association of Canada: Best New Pickup

Sobre Ruedas: Sobre Ruedas Best Pickup Truck for ‘08

Report: Chrysler Prepping More Dodge-Like Dodge EV For Detroit

Chrysler may be bringing an updated hopes and dreams Dodge EV to the Detroit Auto Show. What’s new? Styling going further than a badge swap and possibly four seats. So, a Lotus Evora?

Well, we don’t know for sure. First unveiled in September, the Dodge EV was the first of four smoke and mirrors-like electric concept vehicles developed by Chrysler’s ENVI program. Allegedly, the company claims it'll have one electric vehicle on the road in 2010. To cut costs, instead of developing an all-new model it’s looking to drop some batteries into an existing vehicle. In the EV’s case, that vehicle is the Lotus Europa.

Since that time Chrysler chose to unveil its future product line to a selection of media outlets that purposefully excluded Jalopnik readers. We'd been told one of the vehicles included was an electric version of the Jeep Patriot, but we'd also been told to expect a concept vehicle to be unveiled at Detroit. We guess this is it.

Now, according to the real journalists over at Automotive News, Chrysler plans to show off an updated EV in Detroit next week:

The Dodge EV shown in September was a Lotus-derived electric sports car. Look for the show version to have more Dodge styling cues and possibly be a four-passenger coupe.

Since the Dodge EV was basically just a Lotus Europa with batteries, it stands to reason a four-seat coupe version would be based on the four-seat Lotus Evora. “More Dodge styling cues?” We’re guessing that means they’ve grafted on a crosshair grille.

Is it just us, or is everyone sick of Lotus-based smoke and mirrors electric sportscars? Thankfully, Lotus says it’s developing its own EV, possibly in time for the Geneva Motor Show. [source: Automotive News]

This Day in Auto History:

"Glenn Dale Angle, Chief Draftsman of the Welch Motor Car Company1909-1911 and for the Dort Motor Car Company 1916, is born in ImlayCity, MI"
"The first Rayfield Cyclecar is completed amid great optimism, butonly one more car would be built"
"Ralph DePalma drives a stripped down Chrysler Model B-70 touringcar 1,000 miles in 786 minutes at the Culver City, CA track to setnumerous stock car records"
The Hupmobile 1931-1934 ``Stylized H'' mascot is patented bydesigner Raymond Loewy 1.5.1950 The 1950 Chryslers are introduced

This Day in Auto History:

"Mason M. Roberts of General Motors is born in Anderson, IN"
The 1930 Auburns are introduced at the New York Automobile Show
"David W. Rodger, Vice President and Secretary of the Federal-MogulCorporation and an employee of the firm since 1915, dies at age 50"
"The 1955 Packards are introduced, featuring the marque's first V-8engines and the ``cathredral'' taillights designed by Richard A. Teague"
"Yves Boisset, an Argentine Peugeot official, is kidnapped byguerillas"

This Day in Auto History:

"Dante Giacosa, a Fiat stylist 1928-1975, is born in Rome, Italy"
The Studebaker Corporation announces that they have ended farmwagon
The Packard Custom 443 is introduced along with a rumble seatcoupe and
"The experimental Rolls-Royce ``Big Bertha'', a Wraith chassis witha straight-8 engine, is completed"
"Robert Lacey, biographer of the Ford family, is born inGuildford, Surrey, "


This Day in Auto History:

"Albert Fisher, a builder of bodies for motor trucks and an uncle ofthe Fisher brothers of General Motors, is born in Peru, OH"
"A steam-powered London-built Thornycroft truck is sold to the SouthWales Motor Car & Cycle Company of Cardiff, the first sale of a motortruck in Great Britain"
Duesenberg Automobile & Motors Company is forced into receivership
The 1935 Chryslers are introduced
"Production of 1947 Cadillacs officially begins, although the carsare essentially identical to the 1946 models"

Source: Automobile History Day By Day, by Douglas A. Wick

This Day in Auto History:

"Samuel Broers of the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company is born inAmsterdam, Holland"
Pennsylvania's state-issued license plates debut
"The (Societa) Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili is founded inMilan, Italy by Ugo Stella to manufacture the A.L.F.A., with GiuseppeMerosi officially named as Technical Director"
"George W. Killebrew is elected President of the Marathon MotorWorks, the struggling Nashville, TN automobile manufacturer"
Francis E. Stanley married Augusta May Walker

Excessive power is just enough, right? If you abide by that rule of thumb, perhaps you’d be interested in RDP Motorsport’s latest offering, which trumps the Challenger’s SRT8’s 6.1L Hemi and its 425 horsepower with a stroked version displacing a classic 440 cubic inches.


That block is topped with a duo of superchargers that offer an astounding 1,000 horsepower. Oh yeah, it’s also boosted with two nitrous kits. That’s enough grunt to catapult the portly Challenger down the 1/4 mile in the nines, and if that’s not fast enough for you, we suggest therapy.

This outrageous pony car was recently unveiled at the PRI Show in Florida and is definitely a bit overkill for most people’s needs. So, while the Australian company will be happy to replicate this powertrain combination for you for a price, it’s good to know that RDP will work with you to design pretty much whatever you need on a custom basis. source


1,000hp Dodge Challenger SRT8 by RDP Performance

Posted Sun Jan 4 2009 4:35 AM by James Martinez

RDP Performance 1,000hp Dodge ChallengerRDP Performance 1,000hp Dodge Challenger
Ohio tuning firm RDP Performance has cooked up a special version of the new Dodge Challenger SRT8 for last month's Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Show in Florida. Taking a stock SRT8, which comes with an already impressive 425hp when it rolls out of the factory, RDP Performance has extensively modified the car to produce a stunning 1,000hp - all channeled through the car's rear wheels.

RDP Performance's goal with the car was to create a Dodge Challenger capable of completing the quarter-mile sprint in nine seconds. To put that goal in perspective, the $1 million, 1,001 hp Bugatti Veyron takes around 10 seconds to complete the quarter-mile, so the engineers over at RDP Performance knew that they would have their work cut out for them.

To give the Challenger all that power, a slew of modifications were made, with various parts manufactured by RDP themselves and other parts bought from performance parts companies. The massive horsepower increases come largely from two items - a one-of-a-kind Twin Bullet/RDP Harrop Supercharger system and a nitrous boosting system from Nitrous Express.

The other modifications include a new fitted rear end with custom 1/2 shaft and a quaife centre, a 3,800rpm high stall converter to help launch the car with more torque, new step headers from Kooks and a custom exhaust system manufactured on site by RDP Performance at their Ohio headquarters.

Amazingly, despite making the Challenger put out more than double its factory output, RDP Performance is still using the factory transmission, although they have implemented their own transmission control module to control it.
Via: Challenger Blog