Tag: mopar

By on February 17, 2021

While we knew Fiat Chrysler Automobiles would have to undergo substantial changes after it merged with PSA Group to form Stellantis, many enthusiasts were holding out hope that the North American Street & Racing Technology (SRT) engineering team would skate by unmolested.

No such luck.  (Read More…)

By on February 16, 2021

1969 Chrysler Newport in Colorado junkyard, RH front view - ©2021 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsChrysler redesigned the big C-Body cars for the 1969 model year, calling the vaguely airplane-ish curved-panel look the “Fuselage Style.” Although the prole-grade Fury and middlebrow Dodge Monaco looked distressingly similar to their upscale Imperial and Chrysler New Yorker/300/Newport siblings in the 1969-1973 Fuselage era (further blurring the Snoot Factor dividing lines among the Chrysler divisions), these cars offered plenty of Detroit steel at a good price. Here’s one of the most affordable Chrysler-badged C-Bodies available during the first year of Fuselage Styling, found in a Denver-area car graveyard. (Read More…)

By on February 1, 2021

Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis has repeatedly suggested that electrification would be a keystone trait of tomorrow’s automobiles. But he never sounds truly gleeful about the prospect, injecting the level of joy one might reserve when announcing that the trip to the grocery store after noticing spartan shelves in the kitchen. Kuniskis is aware that Dodge’s lineup caters heavily to automotive size queens and that its ability to manufacture those models is swiftly coming to a close.

Despite the former FCA giving the brand the go-ahead to manufacture V8-equipped behemoths like the Hellcat, the newly formed Stellantis auto group may be less inclined to continue those efforts and the freshly installed Biden administration seems wholly committed to doubling down on environmental regulations that were already at odds with high-output automobiles. Kuniskis typically stops short of discussing these issues as the death knell for automotive performance, suggesting instead that electrification will open new doors for the industry while closing a few others. But he occasionally issues statements hinting that he’s not quite so enthralled with or as hopeful about EVs as his contemporaries.

(Read More…)

By on November 6, 2019

While this year’s Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) event was laden with utilities and pickups, American manufacturers have not forgotten models riding closer to the ground. Dodge presented the latest incarnation of its Mopar Dodge Challenger “Drag Pak” — presumably spelled poorly due to the existence of Ford’s Drag Pack cars. Unlike most vehicles at SEMA, it’s something you can theoretically own.

Normally, SEMA display cars exist to showcase individual parts. While this also applies to the Challenger, Fiat Chrysler’s parts arm is at least interested in offering a comprehensive ass-hauling package. It’s a turnkey racer, something the industry has embraced a bit more fully these last few years. Yet the Drag Pak isn’t a track car meant for curves or corners. It’s all about straight-line speed and is legally obligated to keep itself off public roads because it’s not good at doing anything else.  (Read More…)

By on November 4, 2019

1973 Plymouth Duster 340 in California junkyard, RH front view - ©2019 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsDepending on how strict you are about stuff like gross-versus-net horsepower ratings, emissions-related compression ratios, or the general feeling of Malaise that set in after the 1973 Oil Crisis, the Golden Age of the Detroit Muscle Car ended in some year between 1970 and 1974. I say that year was 1970 and that only midsize coupes really qualify, but my definition leans to the strict side.

The case could be made that the 1973 Duster 340 was a lot more fun-per-buck than Chrysler’s “traditional” muscle car choices for that model year (the Plymouth Road Runner and Dodge Charger), and so we’ll keep that in mind when studying today’s Junkyard Find. (Read More…)

By on September 12, 2019


I hardly watch television anymore. I’ve a couple of shows that I keep up with via on-demand or DVR, but generally my time is spent working or with my kids. Occasionally, however, I’ll end up at the in-laws, where invariably they’ll have the old Sony tuned to some half-hearted reality show. One of their faves is Dancing With The Stars, where washed-up tertiary celebs dress in tight clothes and strut for an hour.

Often, one of those stars is a washed-up football player who’s blown through his rookie contract and trying to increase his marketability before the league pension and/or CTE settlement dough starts rolling in. Getting those hulking beasts to move with grace is quite a sight.

You can see where I’m going with this. Yeah, the platform on which this 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody is old enough to vote. But Mopar engineers, in creating this package, have taught this bruising lineman to shake a leg in style.

(Read More…)

By on June 5, 2019

Thanks to its unique ability to keep old things fresh, Dodge has become the Tupperware of automotive brands. Instead of a patented burp that locks in freshness, the automaker fields an endless supply of special editions, and yet another entry has appeared for 2019.

While Dodge has spent time refining its aged LD platform vehicles by repeatedly sprucing up their powertrain and bodywork, its specialty seems to be appearance packages that add stripes, decals, and unique paint options. A gradually expanding roster of factory racing stripes greeted buyers in recent years. First available on SRT variants of the Charger and Challenger, Dodge eventually made them an option for R/T buyers, adding a broader choice of colors for good measure.

There have also been numerous black editions, one of which wandered over to Chrysler to help butch up the Pacifica, but it’s the Charger Hellcat that receives the latest injection of attitude — not that it needed the help.  (Read More…)

By on May 3, 2019

Remember when we told you you could purchase Fiat Chrysler’s beastly, 1,000-horsepower Hellephant crate engine last week? Well, you’ve missed the window. After just a few days of availability, Mopar’s mightiest engine is entirely sold out.

According to Allpar, FCA’s inventory was depleted within 48 hours of pre-orders opening for “Hemi Day” (April 26th) after third-party sources began saying the motor was no longer available. The outlet posited that the $29,995 hand-built unit was likely produced in extremely limited numbers and reached out to the manufacturer for verification about its availability.  (Read More…)

By on April 26, 2019

Apparently, today is Hemi Day in our vast autoverse, though Twitter tells me it’s also Lesbian Visibility Day, while Wikipedia informs me that John Wilkes Booth was shot through the neck in a Virginia farmhouse on this day in 1865.

But yes, Hemi Day. April 26th … 4/26. Get it?

Appropriately, Fiat Chrysler waited for choose this calendar date to open pre-orders for its monstrous “Hellephant” 426 crate engine, a 1,000-horsepower, 950 lb-ft beast of an powerplant designed to turn your pre-1976 Mopar into an object of fear and testosterone-fueled lust. It now has a price tag. (Read More…)

By on October 31, 2018

It’ll have not escaped your notice that the performance arm of FCA is currently going all-in on horsepower. Numbers cresting the 700 mark currently reside in SUVs, while the march towards the stratosphere continues in the Challenger. I firmly believe that, even at 840 horsepower, they haven’t yet reached the upper limits of what a speed-crazed Mopar fan can buy right off the showroom floor.

If that same fan is willing to deal with the “some assembly required” mantra, they can now treat themselves to Mopar’s new Hellephant engine — a supercharged beast making 1,000 horsepower.

(Read More…)

By on October 26, 2018

Are you ready for a Dodge Omni R-GLH? (Really Goes Like Hell)? Okay, maybe this new engine won’t fit between the fenders of an old Chrysler subcompact, but it will probably plug quite nicely under the hood of your 1970 ‘Cuda.

As is Fiat Chrysler’s wont, they’ve left us plenty of clues over which to mull. All of them point to one thing – a return of the 426 Elephant engine.

(Read More…)

By on July 30, 2018

If you’re the proud owner of a Hemi-powered Dodge Charger, Challenger, or Chrysler 300, you probably love getting that sweet baby up to highway speeds in a hurry. However, you’re also likely fond of having the ability to stop it whenever you wish and not entering into a real-life version of the movie Speed.

We’ve got some unfortunate news. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, you might have to take a couple of extra steps to avoid that being a possibility. Fiat Chrysler has issued a recall on 2014-2016 Chrysler 300s, Dodge Chargers, and Dodge Challengers equipped with the 5.7-liter V8 and Mopar Stage 1 Performance Package powertrain control module. The 2018 Challenger SRT Demon is also affected by the recall.

Apparently, the PCM is sick and could screw with the cruise control system. You’ll definitely want to get this one fixed as soon as possible. FCA claims the defect may not just prohibit cruise control from disengaging — there’s also a possibility it could cause the car to accelerate unpredictably. That’s about the last thing you want an 800-horsepower car to do without you giving it the go-ahead.  (Read More…)

By on February 9, 2018

2019 Ram 1500

Most truck owners customize their rigs to some degree – witness the multimillion dollar aftermarket industry and the popularity of SEMA. Not to mention the existence of Truck Nutz.

Ram, after refurbishing the 1500 pickup in an effort to quash its competition like beetles under its tires, wants in on some of that high profit action. Today, at the Chicago Auto Show, the company unveiled a passel of Mopar gear for its snazzy new truck.

(Read More…)

By on February 8, 2018

Image: FCA

While not a new or even recently refreshed model, the Dodge Durango is one of those vehicles that keeps its corporate parent happy through perpetually buoyant sales.

January saw the three-row midsize SUV’s sales rise 9 percent, year over year. Despite the current generation bowing near the start of the decade, and with its last refresh now four years in the past, Durango sales in 2017 rose 104 units over 2016. Along with the Challenger, it was a shining star in a lineup that saw its volume plunge 31 percent between this January and last.

For 2018, Dodge understandably wants to spread the sales net as wide as possible. A such, buyers of hotter Durangos must now ask themselves a question: “Can I pull off this look?” (Read More…)

By on September 22, 2017

road-runner-jack-smith

By 1966, muscle cars were hitting peak stride. But some argued they had become too expensive and strayed too far from the original concept. As performance models had grown in displacement and technology, some crossed into premium pricing territory. Pontiac’s GTO, for example, could easily exceed $4,000 with a handful of options when the average cost of an American automobile was closer to $2,750.

Enter Jack Smith.

Plymouth had fallen into the pricing pitfall like most other manufacturers. Smith, who owned a souped-up Belvedere II, had recently been promoted to head of the company’s mid-sized car planning division. He wagered the public might enjoy a car like his and Plymouth introduced the GTX in 1967 to compete with the GTO. But it was still too expensive, especially for a budget brand like Plymouth, and garnered a lukewarm sales response — which gave Jack an idea.  (Read More…)

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