Making New Friends - 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T Long-Term Road Test

2009 Dodge Challenger Long Term Road Test

2009 Dodge Challenger R/T: Making New Friends

June 15, 2009


"What kind of car is that?"

This was actually the third time the guy had asked the question. The first two times, I couldn't hear what he was sayingbecause he was 30 yards away,standing next to his geriatric blue-and-primer Chevy Suburban. Finally, he walked over.

Me: "It's the new Challenger." Him: "Huh." Pause."Hemi?" Me: "Yep." Him: "Dang, it's tight." Hmm.

At this point, I should mention that this conversation took place roadside in front of the Astro Motel, a photo location I selected for the name and retro ambiance. Any place with "Astro" in the name is OK my book. This motel just happens to be 100 yards off the interstate and is in what I'll kindly call a financially challenged (pun!) part of town. I'll also mention that the guy had some rather interesting tattoos.

He also had a friend (presumably) who was actually the driver of the Suburban. I kept eyeing him, but he wasn't getting out to see the Challenger. Other than moving around in the driver seat, I couldn't tell what he was doing.

Meanwhile, my bystander was eyeing the interior. Me: "What are you guys up to today?" Him: "We ran out of [expletive] gas, man." Now, these guys were both inside the Suburban when I pulled up. How long had they been there? But, you know, I'm helpful. Me: "You know, there's a gas station just a couple blocks up the road." Him: "Yeah..."

At this point, I decided that having our just-washed, fully-gassed Challenger in this location wasn't the best idea. So I told the guy good luck on getting fuel and hopped in. I'd like to say that my U-turn and full-throttle V8 Hemi blast past the Suburban was for show, but it was also some "Let's get the hell out of here!" too.

Our 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T certainly attracts a lot of attention. Sometimes, it's not exactly the kind of attention you want.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 6,242 miles

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