By on July 22, 2014

Getting decent conclusions from very limited data is the sort of thing of which Nobel Prizes are made. What you’re about to read won’t be Nobel-worthy; however, I believe it will help you understand how fast the Hellcat and how it compares to both the other Challengers and the external competition.

I got a total of six flying laps at PIR, a place to which I’d never been, in three different cars. I had traffic in my face for all but two of those laps, and I had no truly clear laps in the Hellcat. But let’s start with the basics. I drove these three cars in this order:

Challenger R/T 6.4L Scat Pack 6MT: lap time of 1:38.9 with a top speed of 122mph on the back straight.
Challenger V6 Super Track Pack 8AT: lap time of 1:38.3 with a top speed of 112.5mph on the back straight.
Challenger SRT Hellcat 6MT: lap time of 1:33.7 with a top speed of 136mph on the back straight.

So let’s start by eliminating some of the variables. The only clean lap I got in the Scat Pack was my first-ever lap of PIR. There’s no way I was going to turn a brilliant lap time first time out. Analysis shows I was 6mph slower going into the turn before the long straight than I was in the average of the other cars. My line in the V6 which I drove afterwards was better. After looking at the data and assuming that the Scat Pack can turn about as well as the V6, I’ve guesstimated a 1:36 at 127mph for the Scat Pack.

How did other people do: This video shows SRT’s Vehicle Dynamics Engineer Marco Diniz de Oliveira running a 1:33.0 with the same spec car that I drove. Compared to my videotaped 1:33.7 lap you can see that he didn’t have to lift for a frightened journo like I did on the front straight, and he also didn’t goatfuck the chicane the way I did. (My excuse: I was so annoyed at being balked that I held throttle too long.) I’m reasonably confident that I got about as much out of the Hellcat as I was going to in two laps. Given ten more laps, I think a 1:31.5 was well within reach. Keeping pinned on the straight is worth half a second, doing the chicane right is worth a second and a half, and I could have shortened the braking zone in back.

Another journalist whom I won’t name was kind enough to let me “run data” with them in the V6 Challenger that I drove. He turned a 1:58.3 with a top speed of 105.5mph on the back straight. That two-minute-ish lap time is approximately representative of what most people were doing out there and it’s why I kept running into traffic.

So those are the caveats. Now let’s look at some stats.

First off, acceleration. The corner before the back straight shows the Hellcat with a low speed of 43.5mph against 41.7mph for the V6. That’s the extra tire you get with the Hellcat which is only partially canceled out by the weight of the engine. As we pass the access road on the back straight, the V6 has accelerated to 87mph and the ScatPack to a corrected 93mph. How fast is the Hellcat going? Survey says: 102mph. That is brutal acceleration. More impressively, the gap widens as speeds increase. Supercharged cars often feel breathless at the top of the rev range because they are optimized to push air at low speeds and unlike turbo-supercharged (to use the old phrase) cars there’s no compound effect as the exhaust gases push the turbo faster. As an example, when I drove the GT500 at VIR I found myself dueling a Porsche GT2 on the back straight. The Shelby had legs on the GT500 in the first half of VIR’s long stretch but the GT2 picked up as speeds increased and it wasn’t all due to frontal area.

Now for braking. A similar push of the brake pedal produced a .78g retarding force in the V6, a .86g one in the four-piston Brembo Scat Pack, and .98g in the Hellcat. These numbers have to be understood in context, not as absolutes, because of the way my phone was mounted in the car and the general issues with Android accelerometers. Only the V6 ever felt underbraked in these short lap situations; it doesn’t have enough thermal capacity as supplied for two hard laps. The others were fine, with the Hellcat having a considerable edge in feel and response. My experience with the Z/28 at Thermal Club for last month’s Road&Track showed me that it’s possible to put enough brake on a ponycar, but you have to be willing to spend a LOT of money on it. As expensive as the Brembo system on the Hellcat must be, it ain’t carbon ceramic and when you’re slowing two tons down from a considerable velocity it’s worth getting the right material for the job.

v6lap

This is the V6 lap.

hellcatlap

This is the Hellcat lap.

Cornering isn’t exactly an open and shut case, which is why the V6 might be a satisfying track car if you could upgrade the brakes a bit via pads and fluid. Data for all three cars shows that they are capable of about the same max cornering g and speed, with a slight edge going to the Hellcat in pretty much all the corners. What the data can’t show you is that the Hellcat feels like it’s from a different class with regards to body roll control and suspension dynamics. Given enough time on a racetrack, you’d feel comfortable pushing the Hellcat harder in quick transitions and in long high-g turns. There’s a superiority of feedback that is no doubt due to better tires and higher-quality suspension. With that said, however, this is primarily a laws-of-physics thing. Big heavy cars are never eager to change direction. Unsurprisingly, the V6 is best in transitions and the Scat Pack has the lowest cornering speeds.

As I stated earlier today, you really do get your money’s worth with the Hellcat’s engine and brake upgrades. It’s also a solid handler for its size and class. Let’s do some subjective rankings as far as track-fitness goes, based on things I’ve driven recently:

Viper ACR (previous gen)
Viper TA (current gen)
Mercedes AMG SLS Black Series
C7 Corvette Z51
C6 Corvette Z06
C6 Corvette Z51
Camaro Z/28
Boss 302-LS
Boss 302
Jack’s raggedy old 2004 Boxster S with 48,000 miles
GT500 (not counting the brakes)
Hellcat
The old SRT8 392
Camaro SS
Mustang 5.0 Track Pack
Challenger R/T 6.4L Scat Pack
Mustang V6 Track Pack
Challenger V6 Track Pack
Challenger R/T 5.7 Track Pack

The higher you go up that list, the more comfortable the car feels on track, but at a cost.

I wish I’d had time to drive the standard SRT8, which has 485hp now and offers the big brakes as an option. I believe that car would feel most “balanced” since you wouldn’t be arriving at corners as quickly and therefore the brakes would hold up even better and it would be easier to select the absolutely perfect corner speed — but I’d choose to spend my own money on the Hellcat, plain and simple. There are no downsides. You can pretty much instantly turn it into an SRT8 6.4L just by laying off the throttle a bit on the long straights.

At this point I normally like to talk about what the cars do when they are “out of shape” on track. The truth is that with this little time on an unfamiliar course I didn’t spend too much effort getting the Challengers past their envelope of tire grip. I can say that the Hellcat and Scat Pack can be reliably turned on the throttle and that no Challenger has ever had bad habits on track with regards to overly quick responses in extreme handling situations. If you’re good to the Challenger, it will be good to you. If you’re bad to it, you will still have plenty of time to get things right.

Ponycars are about compromise. They’re about what you’re willing to give up in order to have the admittedly minimal but occasionally mandatory backseat. With the Hellcat, the answer is simple: you’re giving up Mustang-style direction changes but gaining more power at each trim and spec level than the not-so-small Ford can offer. It would be frankly absurd to buy a Hellcat if you primarily planned on using it at the track. But for the low percentage of owners who will try it there, their experience will be positive — even if their tire bills won’t.

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87 Comments on “Track Analysis: Challenger V6 Track Pack, HEMI Scat Pack, SRT Hellcat...”


  • avatar

    How much would you spend to have the fastest, most powerful production car on your block? (Your neighborhood, your office’s parking parking lot, etc).

    Let’s keep it real. 8-out-of-10 of these cars will NEVER see a track.

    They are for dominating streets, interstate highways and local municipalities.

    It comes with two keys:

    The Black key gives you 500 horses.
    The Red Key unlocks all 707.

    Put the Black key in your kitchen key keeper and have the Red one surgically implanted next to your heart or left testicle.

  • avatar

    The top speed you hit was only 137 on the Back Straight.

    When I did SRT Experience at Englishtown, NJ, the top speed – that the pro drivers hit – was just 105.

    It’s not until you get on a long, solitary, interstate straight at 4AM and pass 150 that you understand why you spent $60,000.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Save yourself the money and get a Fiesta ST and hit 145 instead.

      …only if you have a death wish to yourself and others who share the road with you.

    • 0 avatar
      beefmalone

      If you really wanna stretch one out, get in with the vette club that rents Talladega once a year. There are supposedly pace trucks doing 100 at each end of a 15 car field, but everyone stretches out and let’s it rip. If you get in with the right bunch you can run some good numbers. My stock GTO hit 155 on the back straight and 140 through the tri-oval. A GTR managed to hit 165 through the tri-oval.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Or do like they did on Top Gear USA and get an old Saab. That’ll save you at least $55,000.

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      Just buy any performace-oriented sedan. An early 2000′s Audi A6 will do 135 MPH.

      There are a lot of $10,000 cars that’ll push these speeds. Impala SS (The B-Body one), Camaro (Maybe), Audi’s, BMW, Porsche Boxter, …

      I can buy a lot of Go-Fast parts with the leftover $45,000

  • avatar
    SC5door

    Isn’t the Hellcat running a traditional hydraulic steering, as to the 6.4, 5.7 and 3.6 cars running an electric setup?

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    “You can pretty much instantly turn it into an SRT8 6.4L just by laying off the throttle a bit on the long straights.”

    Or by just using the black key……..

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    112 mph for the V6? Is there a speed limiter on the V6? I would have thought it might be closer to the V8 in back straight speed – or is it due to softer brakes and not being comfy pushing it as hard?

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    “That two-minute-ish lap time is approximately representative of what most people were doing out there and it’s why I kept running into traffic. ”

    Wow, I didn’t realize that so many members of the motoring press were such poor drivers. That makes me think that there’s no real point in reading reviews.

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      It’s not that they’re poor drivers as much as a representation of the skill set of the average enthusiast driver. Track times does not a good writer make. Jack excepted.

    • 0 avatar
      Kendahl

      Many months ago, Jack commented on the mediocre driving skills of most of the motoring press. I asked him how they would compare to a typical novice driver at his first SCCA driver’s school. Jack replied that the SCCA novice would be much better. To be fair, they’re not all bad. Some are amateur racers which puts them a step above the non-racers.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Reviewing a car has nothing to do with performance at the track, unless that’s the intended purpose of a car, which is never the case.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Although track testing runs a very poor second to actual street racing for ferreting out fast street cars, there’s a fair bit of carryover. And few manufacturers are willing to hand test cars to street racers these days….

        If a reviewer says car A handles better than car B, but drives so obscenely slow that even an unpowered billycart could keep up with him; I’d be a bit concerned regarding how he’s able to tell.

        Going back to this article, a reviewer does need to be able to get the car up to some semblance of speed on the straight to even notice the Hellcat’s brakes fades less than the V6′s. Ditto cornering speeds and tires.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Jack, how did you like PIR?

  • avatar
    mitchw

    Hmmm, I see what you meant about getting held up. Maybe the green car’s mirrors were switched off. Otherwise, I can only dream about having such a quiet steering wheel, JB.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    My sister and brother in law are looking at the 2015 V6 Challengers. Is the Track Pack worth it? He has done the Petty/Nascar/Racing experiences but probably won’t put the Challenger on the track at all.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Can anyone tell me what the difference is between the 2015 R/T Scat Pack (392) and the 2014 SRT Core? It’s looks like the Scat Pack will be about two grand less than the Core, but is there any equipment lost/gained between the two?

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Speaking of Scat packs, isn’t Scat slang for animal droppings?

  • avatar

    The third to last paragraph comparing the Hellcat to the SRT8 pretty much shows that despite the suspension and brakes improvements the SRT8 is still more balanced and handles corners better. I get the Hellcat and the market for it, but it seems pretty clear it is not for me as I prioritize other things and not absolute horsepower. Is there any difference in comfort in day-to-day use? Are the Mustangs that much more uncomfortable on a daily basis? Sincere questions as I don’t know.

    • 0 avatar
      bachewy

      I can tell you the GT500 has a serious drone on the highway. Throw in any construction zones with rough roads and you can’t wait to get out of it – that’s with the suspension in ‘soft’ mode. The top of the line stereo does nothing to drown all that out, either. I’ve only driven 60 miles at a stretch with it and my head was throbbing. I’ve read the Hellcat has some type of setting to kill that drone on the highway but lets it rip on the track. Still, I know guys who use theirs daily and put many miles on them with no complaints.

      I love my GT500 and won’t get the Hellcat but I’ve rented the V6 Challenger a couple times and it was a pleasant commuter car, just a bit big when trying to park in small spaces.

      • 0 avatar
        doctorv8

        The Hellcat has a valved exhaust to kill the drone, similar to what was introduced 10 years ago on the Corvette Z06, but electronically actuated instead of vacuum.

        Still surprising that the GT500 was able to be passed through the EPA noise regulations without a valved exhaust…..hence the drone. Anyone that heard mine thought I’d put an aftermarket cat back on it.

      • 0 avatar

        Thanks for the answer. So it does seem the Hellcat is a sort of compromise between comfort and some more performance, whilw the Mustangs are either more focused on performance or livability.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      @Marcelo – I can’t speak for the Challenger, but I was shocked at how small and useless the Mustang’s back seat is. I had ridden in a couple in sn95s in high school, and while cramped, I fit. I went with a friend of mine while he test drove an s197 and I barely made it in the back seat. I had to controt myself all sorts of ways to get in and I had literally almost zero legroom back there – my knees were firmly in the seat in front of me. I’m not a big guy either – 5’8 and 170 lbs.

  • avatar
    chaparral

    Is it worth discussing the trackworthiness of journalists who are generating these reviews?

    I’ll start with:

    Patrick Bedard – A fluky 8th place in Cleveland is still finishing 8th in a CART race.
    Jack Baruth – Improves most good LeMons teams.
    Your average Jalopnik writer – lost badly to your average Big 3 / Tier 1 engineer at the Jalopnik Challenge at Kart2Kart in Sterling Heights MI, with no journalists in the top 25 of 100 drivers.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      Patrick was a very solid driver. He also was one of the first to race a rotary engined car, back in the 70s.

      • 0 avatar
        Morea

        A check of the Racing Sports Cars website indicates a rotary-powered NSU Spider first raced in 1965 at Zandvoort.

        OTOH, Wikipedia states:”The first racing victory by a Wankel-engined car in the United States was in 1973, when Bedard won an IMSA RS race at Lime Rock Park in a Mazda RX-2.”

        Perhaps Bedard was the first to race a rotary car in the USA?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I have data from my time in Koni Challenge and I have no concerns about my ability to run with anyone in the business given adequate seat time. Obviously that doesn’t apply to open-wheel cars and other stuff into which I don’t fit.

      You can ask Aaron at Kart2Kart what he thinks of my ability to drive the car, he was my instructor in comp school.

      I consider myself to be a solid club racer capable of setting track records in the right equipment… and also capable of hitting the wall pretty hard :)

      • 0 avatar
        3Deuce27

        Reg; “Obviously that doesn’t apply to open-wheel cars and other stuff into which I don’t fit.”

        How big are you, Jack? My brother at nearly 6′-4″/230pds and my friend John at 6′-5″ and 245, have both fit into my Formula cars from the F440′s to the FFords and the F5000. A little pedal and seat bolster and bottom pad adjustment, is all that has been needed. Though, I would have liked another inch or so safety hoop/roll bar height for both of them as sometimes they had a hard ride with no bottom cushion.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Baruth

          I am six foot two, 235 pounds, 48″ chest, 37″ waist, 36″ sleeve, 32″ inseam.

          Now you can order me a suit. :)

          I’m too heavy to be competitive in any class where they weigh the car alone, or karts. Even when I raced Skippy Miatas I was losing a car length up the back straights.

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            “Now you can order me a suit. :)” … COL!

            Yes, driver weight can be a significant factor in light weight race vehicle, especially when car weight only is the spec rule, that is one reason why I always put my cousin(135pds) into our best car, that and he took care of the car and paid attention to the track situation, and he always gave me good feedback so I could figure car adjustments. His track talents, my cars and set-ups gave us a couple of Mini-Indy championships back in the early nineties and had us competitive and on the podium for many other races in other cars over the years. Now I can’t get him excited about being on a Crap Car team, he got old on me as did my brother and a couple of other former drivers. And so it goes…..

  • avatar

    Jack, a question if I may. The SRT Vehicle Dynamics engineer has a Portuguese name. Is he by any chance Brazilian?

  • avatar

    What a wonderful age we live in that there are so many (relatively) affordable performance options.

    Hopefully MOPAR offers this as a crate, as I’m sure AEV is already making sure it’ll fit under the Brute’s hood.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Affordable in the sense they are not hundreds of thousands of dollars. They aren’t really “affordable” for 9 out of 10 folks in the nation (hint: leasing it does not mean you can afford it).

      • 0 avatar

        Not so much the Hellcat specifically, but I’m thinking more in a “trickle down” sense.

        Deprived of their top-dog status, current and previous SRTs will depreciate a notch more, pushing used examples into a decently affordable range.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Perhaps. Sometimes though exotic and oddball cars don’t come down as much as you’d think (although in the past this was true, Reatta, Allante, Masareti TC, Alfa Graduates, Jag XJS/XJ6s, Benz SECs could all be had at significant bargains). Modern case in point: the Lex SC430.

          This SC was not nearly as popular as its predecessor and only selling in relatively small quantities, this MSRP $66,355 (in 2008) still commands an impressive 40-50% wholesale valuation. For some perspective, Lexus sold 14,333 examples in CY01, but sub 10K units from CY04 onward, so the model is somewhat rare. However if we look at the figures, even in rough grade condition at 103K an MY08 sold for $19,500 in Ft. Lauderdale. Let that sink in because I find it mind boggling at that price, reconditioning costs and model specific parts alone (roof motors for example) bite into your margin. What is it about these that makes dealers want to bid them up? The fact they are hardtop convs and the selection is low? The V8? The aesthetics? ZIRP? I don’t really know but I can tell you early 90s SCs were *the* personal cars to have in the mid 00s among wholesalers and I assure you they were not trading for 40% of MSRP at that time. I wouldn’t be surprised if the current SRT’s act the same way and stay high (or act like the G8 GXPs did, which was ridiculous).

          MY08 Lexus SC430 Convertible (hardtop)

          06/25/14 CEN FLA Regular $33,200 18,830 Avg SILVER 8G A Yes
          07/08/14 ORLANDO Regular $34,600 18,852 Avg SILVER 8G A Yes
          06/24/14 ORLANDO Regular $31,800 48,111 Avg SILVER 8G A Yes
          05/30/14 PA Regular $32,000 52,591 Avg PRLWHITE 8G A Yes
          07/16/14 DALLAS Regular $24,000 79,105 Avg BLACK 8G A Yes
          06/06/14 FT LAUD Regular $19,500 103,543 Below WHITE 8G A Yes

          http://autos.aol.com/cars-Lexus-SC+430-2008/pricing/

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexus_SC

          • 0 avatar
            johnny_5.0

            Wasn’t the SC300 really the one to go after for the 2JZ?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Correct, and the 2JZ was also available in a 5spd. Truthfully though IIRC correctly it was 1UZ SC400 which was more popular among the wholesalers, although I saw at least two SC300 sticks in their ranks. The Legend coupe was also popular, I knew a gentleman who picked up a white MY95 in 2000 and was absolutely in love with it. He claimed at the time (2005/6) it had almost 200K on the clock from running around to auctions and ran just was well as they day he bought it with 78. I used to see what I think was the same car around the area where his lot was (also around where I grew up) but I haven’t seen it in at least three years. I suppose its gone now.

          • 0 avatar
            johnny_5.0

            I can understand his adoration for the Legend. I remember a really clean green six speed coupe I used to see often (probably in ’95 or ’96). It had a presence on the road that somehow didn’t carry over to the CL, and I wanted one for a while.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            That Legend was an GREAT car. The Acuras of the early to late 90s were epic, and then Acura started to tilt off its rocker in the mid 2000s, until falling off the mountain and combusting into a giant fireball of fail (to likely never be revived, i.e., past the point of no return), as of late.

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            Middle aged and older women love the SC430. I rarely see a guy driving one, or a younger woman.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @johnny 5.0

            I’m really having to think here but I don’t recall seeing a KA7/8 (gen 2) Legend in a stick (also I never saw the interior of the white Legend I referred too, so maybe that was one). I do recall seeing the first generation though with a manual, so I’m assuming this is the one you refer too. The second gen had the look IMO, although I did lust after an MY88 Coupe in early 2001 which belonged to the groundskeeper of the country club where I worked at the time. I agree the road presence did not carry over to the CL, although the CL was in fact built on the USDM Accord platform which is probably why its lacking vs Legend (and of course later CL models had the glass transmission, unlike JDM Legend which runs forever in comparison).

            @dw

            Acura effectively ceased to be a brand once the TSX was discontinued. I suppose RL is still a true JDM market car being offered but one of what five models? The whole point of Acura was JDM Hondas being imported and restyled for the US. Restyling USDM Hondas as Acuras doesn’t work, its lazy and lame. Why not just make the USDM Hondas better in the first place and sell higher trims for additional margin as what they are… Hondas? I would love to drive around in a Legend with a loudspeaker and blare out what tools people are who buy the current “Acuras”. We often lament the fall of Lincoln, but Acura has been using the Xerox machine for much longer and IMO their owners are so much more obnoxious than Lincoln owners. *turns on loadspeaker* Enjoy your not-made-in-Japan Japanese luxury car, proles.

            @3Deuce27

            Anecdotally I was told it was specifically designed as a toy for trophy wives. Factually I can tell you it was designed from the ground up as a convertible, due to customer feedback on the previous SC model. However even if it was meant as a toy for rich b*tches, this doesn’t specifically explain why it commands such high resale for something that’s at least seven years old at this point and discontinued. Trophy wives do not like to be seen in something that’s no longer trendy, something so 2000s. So one would think the value would come down to Earth a bit more, yet it does not (Earth would be 15-20 on avg). Now that I think about it, the Cadillac XLR also has bizarre resale behavior. For something so coldly received and carrying a Northstar, those things should be free, yet they are just as high if not higher than the superior SC. Oddball cars do oddball things.

          • 0 avatar
            mademike99

            Doesn’t lexus have other cars that hold their release value higher then most other luxury brands because of good reliability/precieved reliability? A few guesses on why that car is holding value well could be because of its uniqueness to the lexus lineup. Maybe a fair amount of people who bought them were not as wealthy as say someone who got an sl500 or even the slk mercs, so when it came time to sell, they sold them for a higher price.Maybe something completely different as I’m surprised its still holding that much value since I last checked probably 5 years ago.
            I used to like the cars looks before I knew anything about cars but as the years passed and I realized the car was not nearly as much of a sports car like the looks led me to think.

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            @ 28cars.

            Like 230-250-280-SL’s and last generation SL’s and T-Birds, they are now trendy. Add to that the reliability of the SC430 and uniqueness of both cars(SC430/XLR), and the fact that the old rich and the nouveau riche are running a bit scared/fiscally conservative since 2008 and you have a new emerging market for these cars. And frankly, the SC430 is a much better sorted car then the newer SL’s.

            A friend of mine who sells used high-end European cars, has seen a big uptick in sales since 2008. He really can’t keep any inventory for long, and his problem now is finding new stock. He also knows intimately his customer base, and he says that the old rich used to buy a used Merc’ or BMW for a kid or a girl friend, and new for themselves and their wives, they are now buying nice newer used or just off lease cars, especially for their wives.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @mademike99

            Yes, its true Lexus generally has higher resale than many luxury brands from a percentage standpoint and this may be contributing factor to the SC430′s valuation vs if it has been an Infinti etc. If I had to make a guess its because its a (1) reasonably reliable hardtop convertible (vs an equivalent SL), (2) a model from a legitimate prestigious brand and (3) V8 power. Styling and uniqueness certainly play a role. Although my points if accurate still do not explain why a contemporary XLR does just as well if not better. XLR actually had lower production figures (15K total all produced) and yet there are so many more being traded for MY08, and many trade higher than the Lex. Maybe as you suggest its owners bought the SCs and held on to them creating a low supply condition for the SC430 and if there was a greater supply available we may see lower valuations. That XLR valuation though is just crazy… I don’t care if it was a Y-body like Corvette. If you want a Y-body just buy the Corvette and get a good motor.

            MY08 Cadillac XLR Conv

            04/12/13 PA Regular $45,500 1 Avg WHITE 8G A No
            05/01/13 DENVER Regular $46,500 4,699 Avg SILVER 8G A No
            03/08/13 PA Lease $31,000 8,744 Avg PEWTER 8G P No
            11/16/12 PA Regular $44,000 13,523 Avg WHITE 8G A No
            04/30/14 DALLAS Regular $37,250 15,743 Avg BLACK 8G A No
            03/07/13 PHOENIX Regular $40,300 16,618 Avg WHITE 8G A No
            10/31/12 DALLAS Regular $41,000 19,223 Avg BLUE 8G A No
            08/21/12 ORLANDO Regular $34,400 43,712 Avg SILVER 8G A No
            09/19/12 DALLAS Regular $34,900 43,739 Avg SILVER 8G A No
            02/13/13 DALLAS Regular $34,500 43,922 Avg SILVER 8G A No
            04/17/13 SF BAY Regular $25,500 45,185 Avg BLACK 8G A No
            07/26/12 DTNA BCH Regular $41,000 45,693 Avg White 8CY A No
            01/17/13 TX HOBBY Regular $33,000 48,149 Avg SILVER 8G A No
            12/18/12 HOUSTON Regular $30,000 49,916 Avg RED 8G A No
            04/03/13 PALM BCH Regular $30,000 53,494 Avg WHITE 8G A No
            02/13/14 TAMPA Regular $27,100 58,746 Avg RED 8G A No

            @3Deuce27

            I agree the SC is probably a better sorted buy than a newer SL/K, perhaps even trendy in some circles. However SLs were always “trendy” regardless of age AFAIR, esp the 80s variety. I can’t quite recall the exact pricing now but clean mid 80s 560SL convs were trading at or near the $10,000 range ten years ago (380s were prob 30% cheaper). This is despite the then Mercedes gold dipped parts pricing and specialty repair costs (being a Mercedes ragtop). 560SECs were much cheaper by comparison despite being much rarer, but I suppose they weren’t ragtop roadsters.

            I find the fact the “rich” are buying off-lease high end cars for wives/themselves hilarious because such cars are nearly all meant to be throwaway lease queens (unless specialty models like SL/SLK, Z4, TT etc are actually *good* and the lease fodder is limited to the nouveau riche or poser entry level models, I really can’t say anymore). If I had the cash and was looking for a somewhat serious weekend toy (or had a wife who deserved something that nice) I would give SC430 a hard look, that or post MY11 Mustang. I’d prefer some other oddball stuff in a perfect world, but we don’t live in one of those.

    • 0 avatar
      Kendahl

      Agreed. Classics from the mid 1960s, built before early safety and emission regulations sapped performance, are worth having because of their character and historic significance. However, their performance pales in comparison to modern cars. This is truly a golden age.

      What is disappointing is that there is no longer any place, except for the track, where you can drive such cars up to their capabilities. Prior to the 55 mph national speed limit foolishness, the rural speed limit in Nevada and Montana was “reasonable and prudent”. After the repeal of 55, Montana reverted to that for a brief time before instituting a 75 mph interstate speed limit. During the interval between, there were instances of judges dismissing tickets for 100 mph because the officers who wrote them could not show how that speed was unreasonable or imprudent. The best news in years has been that Utah and Texas have raised their interstate limits to 80 mph in some places. Texas has one 40 mile section of a toll road posted at 85 mph.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I had a Challenger R/T rental back in October last year. I found power delivery very nice and the cabin very comfortable. However, the nose is incredibly long and the brakes were way too soft.

    The dude in the Toyota Camry I rear ended probably also agrees…

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Can you see the end of the hood? Probably depends on seating position, but i wouldn’t want to guess where that hood ends.

      How many miles on the car? Any chance the brakes were near the end of their life and/or needed new fluid? Maybe bad tires? That’s too bad if the brakes are so bad you have to plan carefully on normal street driving.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Camaro baby!!! Who needs visibility when everyone is in your rearview mirror?

  • avatar
    michal1980

    i’d love to get/buy a lesson from jack.

    coming to Wisconsin anytime?

  • avatar
    johnny_5.0

    Jack, any thoughts on how well the 8HP acquitted itself for track duty vs the Tremec in such a heavy coupe?

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    Welcome to PIR, Jack, my home track since 1974, though, I first raced the old West Delta/Vanport track in 69′ in my Spitfire. The track you tested the Challengers on, is new since about 2008. It is unfortunate that you couldn’t spend more time on the track.

    We used to have some hi-powered events there, Can-Am/Cart/Nascar/SCCA regionals, and the track hosts many club events. Some of the CART teams use to use the track for testing, and since I didn’t live to far from the track, I could hear their engines sing down the straights.

    While I have several thousand laps on the ancient track, improved track, and new track, I have never ran the quarter mile there. There also used to be a half mile and 1/8th mile oval track on the other side of the freeway from PIR, so we would often get the mixed sounds of Roundy Round cars and car and motorcycle road racers, or formula cars, and Motocross bikes. We did run some Mini-Indy events in the F440′s at the half-mile track. We quit doing that as we shared the crude and congested pit with the Outlaw cars whose drivers cared little about pit safety.

    Your encumbered time in the Hellcat, is above the average for our Spec Miata using the chicane, though, DP MX-5′s run about 1.27-.28. My DP Starfire(Buick V-6 powered/Stock)ran a bit faster(1.25) on the old track(no chicane). My Sevensque runs 1.13-14′s(chicane) on summer performance tires, about the same as my times in the F5000 on the old track. Our times in the F440/F500 were about 1.24(no chicane). 1.17′s in the Cobra ‘R’, and a bit less in the 1LE(no chicane).

    Over the many years, I have had a lot of fun on that track in all its iterations.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I wouldn’t expect to be able to run with a Spec Miata in this thing. Your corner speeds would be 10mph lower at a minimum. Given that my Neon PTE car can dust a 997 GT3 at Mid-Ohio… this shouldn’t be much different. At VIR a good Z06 time is 2:08 and a good SM time is 2:15, and that’s with a track that’s got two 3/4 mile straights.

      Take the chicane out and let the Hellcat run flat out front and back and I think you’d see something different.

      • 0 avatar
        3Deuce27

        Reg; “Take the chicane out and let the Hellcat run flat out front and back and I think you’d see something different.”

        Jeez! How do I put this, oh, what the hell. The GP- MX-5 and Spec Miata would still be(are)faster with out the chicane.

        Good track times in a small-bore vehicle like the MX-5 rely on carrying speed. The chicane kills that. With the chicane removed from the situation, turn 4 becomes turn one and just about flat out for MX-5′s and Spec E-30′s. The heavy big-bore stuff is still slower around the track and their brakes go way much faster with the chicane removed. You would be surprised at the number of small-bore stuff finishing ahead of the big bore stuff at the end of a 30 lapper, chicane or no chicane. They just fade faster when the chicane is removed.

        Peter’s old ‘GP’ Opel Manta with maybe 80Hp, turns 1.34′s with the chicane. The ponderous Hellcat with damn near ten times the Hp would barely be faster in the hands of a PIR track veteran.

        They hold several Crap Car races at PIR, maybe you can catch some time with a team at one of those events, Jack. Always a good time. I was trying to put another team together, but my old pilots have begged off, so I’m off on other adventures for the next couple of years. I love cars and racing them, but sailing and nature are my deeply held passions.


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