Versatile California Coast Cruiser - 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T Long-Term Road Test

2009 Dodge Challenger Long Term Road Test

2009 Dodge Challenger R/T: Versatile California Coast Cruiser

April 26, 2010

challenger on pch.jpg

My two younger sisters came out from the East Coast to visit so I took them on the requisite cruise up the Pacific Coast Highway here in So Cal (from Santa Monica, through Malibu and on up to Oxnard). We left my 'hood, Culver City, at 9:30 am Sunday. There is a stop sign right at the bottom of the on-ramp to the 10 freeway and it was completely empty. Too good to resist, I treated them to a quick blast through the first four gears.

Reactions? Lori thought it was cool -- she's more into cars and used to drive a Dodge Stealth with a manual tranny. That's Lori in the photo doing her Price is Right impression next to the car. More conservative Jeanne didn't care for the completely intended acceleration -- it put butterflies in her stomach and reminded her of riding in my old '69 Chevelle SS (built 396, TH400, 4:11 posi, headers and glasspacks) except the Challenger wasn't nearly as noisy. She used towhackmy leg when I stuffed my foot into the Holley's secondaries. It was a long time ago, and not exactly a warm and fuzzy memory for her.

Once we were cruising on the freeway and then the PCH (both refreshingly free of traffic), both sisters thoroughly enjoyed the other side of the Challenger, that being a spacious, comfortable and quiet touring car. All the better for them to enjoy my '80s catalog on my iPod.

John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 24,068 miles

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