The Dodge Spirit R/T Was the Hellcat of the Early ’90s

In 1991 and 1992, the Dodge Spirit R/T was the quickest four-door sold in the U.S. and the fastest mass-produced sedan in the world.

The Dodge Charger Hellcat’s rise to the top of the sport sedan segment shouldn’t come as a surprise. Though many were shocked when Dodge had the audacity to build a 707-horsepower grocery-getter, the American automaker has a long-history of catching the automotive industry off guard.

Though few still remember the legend, the Hellcat isn’t the first time Dodge shockingly overthrew Germany’s finest to become king of the sport sedan segment. BMW, Mercedes, and Audi were unquestionably the gold standard of tire-scorching, corner-carving four-doors. But in 1991 and ‘92, Dodge completely embarrassed the German triumvirate with its budget-friendly, front-wheel drive Dodge Spirit.

Wait, what?

Source: The Dodge Spirit R/T Was the Hellcat of the Early ’90s

 

 

Thanks for reading.

Tim

1992 dodge spirit r t

Daily Turismo: 1k: Strangely Appealing: 1992 Dodge Spirit R/T

This isn’t entirely true, but of the 1400 Spirit R/Ts sold in the US in 1991-1992, only a few are for sale right now. Perhaps they … a good deal. Find this 1992 Dodge Spirit R/T offered here on craigslist for $1000 in Maquoketa, IA.
Daily Turismo: 1k: Strangely Appealing: 1992 Dodge Spirit R/T

This isn’t entirely true, but of the 1400 Spirit R/Ts sold in the US in 1991-1992, only a few are for sale right now. Perhaps they … a good deal. Find this 1992 Dodge Spirit R/T offered here on craigslist for $1000 in Maquoketa, IA.
Interior: 1992 Dodge Spirit R/T 150mph speedometer

Date: 19th January 2012 Username: j4278h Full Name: City, State, Zip: 49079 Contact: pm Price: 350 Description:1992 Dodge Spirit R/T 150mph instrument cluster with 180k miles on it. Since I’ve had this car for 5 plus years …
6k: His and Hers: Dodge Spirit R/T and Daytona Iroc R/T

However, these two Dodges, listed separately but sold by the same seller, are tempting for the creative gifter. It’s the thought that counts. Find this 1991 Dodge Spirit R/T and this 1992 Dodge Daytona Iroc R/T for sale in …

Auto Factoids for the week of May 3rd 2015 – Willys, Packard and Le Mans

Here are your Auto Factoids (#AutoFactoids) for the first full week in May 2015.

 

Dateline May 3rd, 1948 – Willys Jeepster Phaeton debuts.

The production was only a 3 year run with a total units produced was  19,132.  The engines ranged from a  134.1 cu in (2.2 L) I4 and two I6, a 148.5 cu in (2.4 L) I6 and 161 cu in (2.6 L) I6.

1948 Jeepster Phatheon

1948 Jeepster Phatheon

 

Same day one year later (May 3rd, 1949 )  – Packard has its 50th Anniversary and to commemorate it they offered up 2,000 Gold Packard’s from Utica Proving Grounds. Yes that did happen.  They were painted in a special paint code of Gold.  Each were powered with 327 c.i.d., 150 hp engine.  Only 600 were convertibles.

This isn't, of course Gold, but only 600 Gold Convertibles were made.

This isn’t, of course, Gold, but only 600 Gold Convertibles were made with that special paint code.

 

Packard's Utica Proving Grounds.

Packard’s Utica Proving Grounds.

 

 May 4th 1923 – The first Le Mans 24 Hour race was held just outside Le Mans, France.  Initial the race was limited to ‘production’ cars  and  two drivers, now they require 3 drivers per car and the of course these cars aren’t in your dealers show rooms.  The race was won by one of the French teams  – André Lagache and Léonard driving a Chenard et Walcker  with  3.0L I4 engine.

This is an awesome looking car!!!

This is an awesome looking car!!!

 

May 6th and 7th, 1928– Chrysler debuts the De Soto for the 1929 model year and completes the purchase of Dodge, in part for its dealerships to sell the new De Soto.  In the course of the marque’s run (1929-1961) it set several sales records for Chrysler and the auto industry.  It’s first year (1929) saw 81,065 unit sold and it held the record unit 1960 when Ford beat it with the Falcon.

1928 Chrysler De Soto

1928-29 Chrysler De Soto

Thanks for reading.

Tim

(#AutoFactoids)

AGCarRestore

Auto Factoids for Week of April 26, 2015 – Lamborghini and Willys http://t.co/WYzhUBDaxE #AutoFactoids http://t.co/ajOpYWuAdW
Auto Factoids for Week of April 26, 2015 – Lamborghini and …

Here are your Auto Factoids (#AutoFactoids) for the last week of April 2015! Light week for Auto Factoids unless you are Lamborghini or Ford fan. Ferruccio Lamborghini was born on April 28, 1916 in Renazzo di Cento, Italy.

 

 

 

ThrowBackThursday A 1969 Dodge Coronet 440

I had to sneak this one in for #ThrowBackThursday.

One of my frequent reader sent over a couple of shots of him with his 1969 Dodge Coronet 440 from back in the day (1980).   ‘Wish I kept this one!” Bill says.

 

Thanks Bill.

 

Nice Car Mr. Bill!!!  Yeah...we all have one we should have kept.

Nice Car Mr. Bill!!! Yeah…we all have one we should have kept.

me_coronet5a

 

Thanks for reading!!!

Tim

1969 Dodge Coronet 440 Coupe – Lucky Motors

Green 1969 Dodge Coronet 440 Chicago, Illinois Lucky Motors. Click on our link now to view our wide selection of new, used, and preowned cars, trucks and SUV’s.
Curbside Classic: 1969 Dodge Coronet 440 – Bread and …

It was 1969, and the B-bodies from the Dodge Boys were making some big waves. Dodge Charger 500s were tearing up NASCAR’s short tracks. Bewinged Charger Daytonas had broken 200 mph on […]
1969 Dodge Coronet 440 R/T | Muscle Car

1969 Dodge Coronet 440 R/T. Engine – 440ci , Built 1/5/72, Casting # 2536430-9. Transmission – Numbers Matching A-833 4-Speed. RearEnd – Sure-Grip Dana 60, 4.10:1 Gears. B5 Blue Paint. 1969 Dodge Coronet 440 RT · 1969 Dodge …

Challenger Hellcat with ‘600-plus horsepower’ – Autoblog

I’ve said it a few times and I’ll say it again and mostly likely not for the last time.  MOPAR got it RIGHT with the Challenger!!!!!  Fiat ownership or not….it will continue to be an iconic car.

Now take that car that you did so right and boost it’s horse power….maybe up to 600 or more…and…well let’s not mince words…it’s a MONSTER!!!  Chase the link below and check out the video, you’ll see what I mean!!!! Can you say…first every factory super-charger!!!

001-2015-dodge-challenger-srt-hellcat_628opt
2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat with ‘600-plus horsepower’ officially unveiled – Autoblog.

Dodge has officially unveiled the most powerful vehicle to ever wear the Challenger name – the SRT Hellcat– complete with over 600 horsepower courtesy of a supercharged, 6.2-liter Hemi V8. It will be offered alongside the 485-hp Challenger SRT

The new, force-induced V8 isn’t just the most powerful ever fitted to the Challenger, it’s the most powerful eight-cylinder Chrysler Group has ever built. Power figures aren’t finalized, so expect to see “over 600 hp” bandied about quite a lot. That fury will be channeled through either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic. Yes, over 600 ponies through an eight-speed auto. So far, the only vehicle we know of that delivers more output through that many gears is the as-yet untested Chevrolet Corvette Z06. Sadly, we don’t have performance metrics just yet, although if this thing can’t crack four seconds to 60 miles per hour, we’ll be pretty surprised.

dodge hellcat engineThanks for reading
Tim

http://www.average-guys-car-restoration-mods-racing.com

Auto Factoids for Week of May 11, 2014

Light week this week.

 

5/14/1969 – Last Corvair build.  If you know only a little about automotive history or maybe politics or the consumer safety revolution of the 60’s and 70’s you’ll know the name Ralph Nader.  With a little Google’in you’ll find various search results linking him to the demise of the Chevy Corvair (and apple pie and America) – most are not flattering to Mr. Nader.   According to most accounts the last Corvair carried 6000 as the last 4 digits of it’s serial number.  The car was blanketed by the press when it rolled off the assemble, but then disappeared.   There are various stories as to the actual disposition of car #6000  but it remains a mystery.  We do know it was a two door, hard top,  Monza, Olympic Gold was the color and it likely had a Service 140 replacement engine.

I'm seeing the Corvair but can't help notice the Nova's on the rail car.

I’m seeing the Corvair but can’t help notice the Nova’s on the rail car.

The last Corvair convertible was #5997 which was a Forest Green Monza that has come up for sale a few times.

 

The last Corvair Vert.

The last Corvair ‘vert.

If you are a Corvair fan you’ll enjoy this read:  1969 Corvair: Finger Tip Facts by Corvair historian Dave Newell.

 

5/17/1868 – Horace Dodge was born in Niles, Mich.    Horace and his brother started out working in a boiler plant and invented a dirt proof ball baring and begin producing bicycles (1897).   In 1901 they began production automotive parts which led to a contract in 1902  to build transmissions for Oldsmobile.  The following year they refused a contract renewal with Olds and began producing engines for Ford.  By 1913 the Dodge boys were producing trucks, ambulances and other vehicles for the military.  The produced their first commercial car in 1917.

Dodge Half-Ton Military pickup

Dodge Half-Ton Military pickup

 

1913 Dodge Brothers Touring car.

1913 Dodge Brothers Touring car.

Thanks for reading.  If you have an auto factoid, drop me a note.

Timhorace dodge

Horace Elgin Dodge

Horace Elgin Dodge, Sr. (May 17, 1868 – December 10, 1920) was an American automobile manufacturing pioneer and co-founder of Dodge

 

 

Unrestored high-desert Mopars sell for bargain-basement prices | Hemmings Daily

Unrestored high-desert Mopars sell for bargain-basement prices | Hemmings Daily.

 

Just a field full of vintage Mopar metal!!!!   You’ve gotta love the prices that these car brought.

I often read where automotive writers type, “Where are all the classic/muscle cars?”   They really need to get out more. There are many places just like this one across the U.S.   Take a drive a cross the Painted Desert.  I’m sure I saw at least 10 muscle Mustangs in the backyards, garages and car ports!!!

 

Field of Mopars.  Someone's Field of Dream!

Field of Mopars. Someone’s Field of Dream!

 

Thanks for reading.

Tim

Reilly Motorsports’ Street-Lynx Rear Suspension Install

Ok, let’s get overly simple: Your classic Mopar has come from the factory with a leaf-spring suspended rear end. This setup has been installed in cars and trucks since the automobile’s humble beginnings. It works well in factory-designed situations
Classic “A” Body Mopar Enthusiast Forum, ForABodiesOnly.com, Celebrates a …

With over 30,000 members, ForABodiesOnly.com has become the largest and leading authority online for information focused on “A” Body Classic Mopar cars and is pleased to celebrate a decade of serving the community. Chicago, IL — (SBWIRE) …

Car News – Viper Production

I guess Chrysler….or…um Fiat…can’t seem to generate enough interest in the new Viper selling only 91 cars so far this year.  Nor did they sell that great last year only 591 went to new homes.

2013

2013

2014

2014

Chrysler laid of about 90 employees recently at SRT and now the Viper assembly plant is closed until June.

Maybe they can’t compete with…..well you know…..

2014 Stingray

2014 Stingray

 

Thanks for reading.

Tim

viper assembly plant

AD #1336 – Mary Barra on Message, China OEMs in Brazil …

A source in the supplier industry tells Autoline Daily that the Viper assembly plant will be shut down for 15 weeks. Chrysler says it will be shut for 11 weeks starting the week of April 14. The plant was originally going to shut for …

18 Things You Didn’t Know About Lamborghini – Italian Supercar Facts – Supercompressor.com

18 Things You Didn’t Know About Lamborghini – Italian Supercar Facts – Supercompressor.com.

By Aaron Miller

Miura

The Countach lived on your wall as a kid, and you probably knew that the Miura was the original supercar, but did you know there’s a direct link between the Miura and modern IndyCars, that there was a Dodge sedan based on a Lamborghini concept, or that Ferruccio Lamborghini started out making tractors? To honor the man who died on February 20th, 1993, we hit the books and came up with 18 things you probably didn’t know about Lamborghini.

1. Ferruccio Lamborghini was the original Tony Stark.
During WWII, he was stationed on the isolated island of Rhodes as a vehicle maintenance supervisor for the Italian Royal Air Force. Needless to say being stuck on an island in the middle of a war makes it pretty tricky to secure spare parts, forcing Lamborghini to cobble together scraps to keep his machines running. He quickly earned the reputation of being a master mechanic, and an even more prolific tinkerer. Kind of like that time Tony Stark built a nuclear reactor in a cave. But real.
2. The first Lamborghinis were tractors, and they’re still made today.
Because of that WWII experience, when he got home he started piecing together tractors out of spare parts. People loved them, and his tractor business took off overnight. They’re no longer part of the same company, but Lamborghini Trattori are still designed by the same firm that created the Gallardo and the Maserati MC12. They range in price from $30,000 to over $300,000 – the only question is, will your neighbor still give you credit for owning a Lambo?

 

3. Lamborghini was founded because Ferrari used tractor clutches and had crummy customer service.
Ferruccio famously owned a Ferrari 250GT, which he took in to be serviced at the Maranello headquarters after realizing that the clutch was identical to the one being used on his production line. He politely asked Enzo Ferrari for a replacement part, who replied “You’re just a silly tractor manufacturer, how could you possibly know anything about sports cars?” Like any red blooded Italian, he spit on the floor, walked out and started designing his own sports car. Four months later he unveiled the Lamborghini 350GTV. Boss.
4. The first Lamborghini Miura didn’t even have an engine when they unveiled it.
The Miura may have been the world’s first mid-engined V12 supercar, and the car most often credited with kickstarting the genre, but when it was first unveiled at the Turin Auto Show it wasn’t even finished. So they put a bunch of bricks where the engine should be and kept the hood shut the entire time.

 

5. And it was designed by the guy who builds IndyCars now.
Gian Paolo Dallara did much of the Miura’s chassis and engineering work, then went on to work in F1, before starting his own race engineering firm, which happens to build every single IndyCar chassis you see today.
6. In the late 1960s, if you didn’t own a Miura, you were nobody.
Today, they’re owned by people like Nicholas Cage and Jay Leno, but in the sixties Miuras were driven by people like Saudi King Fahd and Prince Faisal, Rod Stewart, Dean Martin, and Frank Sinatra, who famously said about his orange Miura with orange shag and wild boar skin seats: “You buy a Ferrari when you want to be somebody. You buy a Lamborghini when you are somebody.”
This one was really interesting:

18. They built the very first Viper engine.

The Dodge Viper was developed in the late eighties, while Chrysler owned Lamborghini. Rather than simply dropping a truck motor into the car, Dodge had Lamborghini cast an aluminum version of it for the prototype. It wasn’t the one used in production, but somewhere, locked away in Detroit, is a Lamborghini powered Viper.

See the rest at 18 Things You Didn’t Know About Lamborghini – Italian Supercar Facts – Supercompressor.com.

 

 

Disguised Lamborghini Huracan Outside Factory Premises

It seems as though the Lamborghini Huracan has been around for quite a while now, yet only Lamborghini customers have been able to take a close up look at it in the flesh. These pictures from outside the factory show the car going out, presumably on a
Australian LS1 V8 Powered Lamborghini Jalpa Runs 10-Second 1/4 Miles

This Lamborghini Jalpa P350 was originally purchased by a man named Nick who while impressed with its driving characteristics, was somewhat disappointed with the 25 5hp produced by its V8 engine. As a result, Nick decided to completely replace that 

 

 

Fiat Buys All of Chrylser – Discussion

Sometimes an article attracts comments that warrant a separate post.  This is one. Bill’s Comment:

This is a sad day for us MOPAR orphans. I truly wonder what Lee Iacocca thinks about this after so much hard work to save the company years ago.
  • admin
    Well I have to say I agree, it is sad. I’ll spare everyone my “I know what went wrong with U.S. car manufacturing” diatribe, but anytime we lose a US corporation (car manufacturing or not) it’s a blow to your economic and self reliance. More importantly, and this maybe just because I’m older and more nostalgic these days, its a piece of our nations living history dieing off. Having spend some time in Italy this past fall, FIAT is huge and their cars are built to last. They have to be, the driving there in the big cities is tough….much worse then most of our road…YES….even here in Arizona. Interesting enough. I saw a lot of Chevys and Fords in Italy, in the big cities (Rome and Florence) and even out in the rural wine country. Do you know the number of Chryslers I saw there – 2. Maybe that will change for Italians but it’s a loss for us.
Bill
I’d still like to think that if Iacocca hadn’t been so pig headed and left the company to Bob Lutz instead of Bob Eaton Chrysler might have survived. It wasn’t that long ago that LH models, PT Crusiers, and RAM pick ups were bring in lots of cash for pre-Daimler Chrysler. Chris Theodore had the Magnum, Charger, and 300 ready for production, and a third generation NEON was awaiting approval. Chrysler still held the honor as the world’s best selling minivan and convertible, and I believe they had a shot at the future. Daimler came in, took the billion dollars of reserve cash, replcaed the NEON with the POS Caliber, severed the Mitsubshi relationship, and almost lost the RAM truck business. Daimler damaged Chrysler so badly I guess the FIAT deal was all they had left. I’ll continue to be a Blue Oval customer as I do believe that FORD builds the best cars sold in America today. I hope they continue, as I really do not want to change brand loyalty anytime soon, nor start the import car habit.

admin

I loved the Magnum, the Charger – not so much.  But I’m sorry, the Neon wouldn’t be something I’d hold up as major player for Chrysler. Having owned one, I am confident the were a very bad attempt to make a compact/street tuner.  Maybe not an EPIC fail but a fail none the less.  (My son was in a side impact accident where the Neon split wide open. If he’d been any slower the impact would have been at the driver door and I doubt he’d be here today. – No air bags deployed.)  I understand their claim to fame with the Mini Van, but they were not stellar, many issues even when new.  They sold, because they were “inexpensive”.

 

You mentioned the RAM trucks, but again, I’m not sure the quality is there.  Chrysler sold a lot during the Homeland Security boom, in particular to Border Patrol, but they just didn’t hold up well, here in the southwest.  They are slowly replacing them with Chevy. I’m not sure how the Mitsubshi relationship started, but they do have some good engines (case in point the LaBarron) – I seem to recall the Stealth (2000 or 3000) was the first major Mitsubshi contribution.

I think you are correct FORD has been consistent and since the 1950’s has been producing cars worth of being American.  In fact, I am going out on the limb and say we’ll see the 2015 Mustang winning one off the Car of the Year awards.

I’d like to jump to GM they’ve had a fantastic year – Caddy CTS winning car of the year.  Corvette and Silverado winning awards this year as well.

It remains to be seen what becomes of Chrysler, I hope it returns to producing quality cars and stays here in the US.  BTW – I love the Challenger!!!!

Drop me a note.

Thank for reading.

Tim

 

Bill

Thanks for the blog and sounding post!

I have to comment on the Neon and minivan. These were vehicles that were the ‘best for the money’.

The NEON was the first factory produced car that was available ‘race ready’. You could order an ACR NEON that had no AC, no ABS, no Air Bag, and NEON RACING decals in the trunk. My friend that worked at Santa Cruz Dodge ordered an ACR NEON and it was ‘bang for the buck’. He auto crossed this car across the State of California and had a blast. Then the SRT NEON was introduced and again it was ‘bang for the buck’. Having said all this, my original point with the NEON was Daimler replcaed this car with the Caliber, and it was a terrible vehicle that laid an egg in that car segment.

The minivan was another best for the money vehicle. Always about $5,000 less than a competitor Seinna, or Odyseey it would maintain the market lead until Daimler dropped the ball. The forth generation minivans under Daimler were de-contented without a price reduction, and slipped in reliability and saftey ratings.

Finally, about Mitsubshi. Chrysler had 49% ownership of Mitsubshi from the late 1970s. This produced excellent cars such as the Dodge Colt and D50 RAM, but the really great product was the Diamond Star trio of the Laser, Talon, and Eclipse. I owned a Laser Turbo and it was 100% trouble free and would easily cruise at 130MPH (I got a ticket in Oklahoma wih the radar gun showing 124MPH, and was let off for 10 over). These cars were built in Illinois as a joint venture and were always a Car and Driver 10 Best awrad winner. Again, Daimler severed the Mitsubshi relationship and sold the ownership, and both Chrysler and Mitsubshi lost out here. (Today the Daimond Star plant produces the Galant only)

My only GM car ownership experience, a 2001 Impala, has tainted me on the brand. Other than a Corvette, I cannot bring myself to vere consider a GM car. I actually experienced the GM decline personally with my father’s cars. He bought a new Buick LeSabre every 7 years from the 1960s throughout the 1990s. Up until his 1982 purchase, all of these cars were bulletproof to 100K miles, then in 1982 everything changed, and in 1989 it got even worse. His GM loyality still endured, eventhough the cars were spending many days a year in the service bays with issues such as the dashboard falling off the firewall, exploading window regulators, intake manifold failures, transmission logic controller failures, and even a heater blower motor that failed every three months like clockwork, etc, etc. I still believe that Toyota’s best salesperson was named General Motors.

Thanks for letting me rant!

Tim

You can build reliable cars without all the extras. Folks that plopped down hard earned money wanted something to get them around – not something that would leave them stranded or fighting the dealership for honoring warrantee work. Once you gain that poor quality tag it’s tough to shake. And it wasn’t just MOPAR, as we all know it was the U.S. auto industry in total.

Dodge Neon

Dodge Neon

Chrysler is bringing back the “Shaker” hood | Biz Bearing

Chrysler is bringing back the “Shaker” hood | Biz Bearing.

 

That’s one mean looking hood!!!!

I say welcome back!!!!

I say… “Welcome back!!!!”

shaker hood

boilergawd

RT @DanTheWheelMan: The Shaker hood is BACK, and its attached to the 2014 #Dodge #Challenger @dodge_canada @prnmag http://t.co/2D1DvcZWGg
Dodge resurrects ‘shaker’ hood, Scat Pack Club to mark centennial

Dodge resurrects ‘shaker’ hood, Scat Pack Club to mark centennial. The shaker hoods surround working cold-air intakes mounted to the Challenger’s 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine. They are engineered to meet noise and safety regulations, Chrysler officials said.