My Maiden voyage in my cat

Discussion in 'Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat' started by MattG, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. MattG

    MattG Gold Member Hellcat Car Club

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    Charger SRT Hellcat
    I wanted to pass along my first experience in a Hellcat I just purchased in Toledo, Ohio.

    I sold my 69 GTX 440 6BBL car to get money to purchase a Hellcat Charger. I made my first order in February of 2015 just before the FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) system went haywire and shut down all the ordering. So I made the cutoff and will get a new car. Leaving out all the roller coaster ride of yes you will and no you won’t of Allocations. Information comes out in late July that now they will build the sunroof / moon roof cars. OK, I get it, I had ordered my car with one and wondered why is it taking so long?

    Then FCA announces that the 900+ cars left will not be built. You will need to order a 2016 when the order banks open up. They will send you a “voucher” that will help keep the newer pricing down to your original order price. The banks open up and I am there waiting for the dealer to unlock their doors. Really..

    The order is placed (Holding my breath) and I receive a new Vehicle Order Number (VON) and go home to exhale. Later that day, I find on my front porch a Fedex envelope with a FCA voucher in it. Telling me that I can present this and get $4,000 off the price of my order of a Charger.

    The new order does not have the sunroof option in it, but the price is way higher. My first order invoice price was in the Mid 60K range. The newer invoice price was $75K+. Jeez what a jump. I have the owner’s son doing my order and we try to get the sunroof option added, but it is not showing up on the screens. As we are looking, the screen refreshes and all the pricing is blank on the order screens. We stop there and figure the system is getting hit so hard it messed up. So we agree to check back in a few hours and see if the banks are fixed and can order the sunroof. I have my new VON and will not mess with it. No sunroof is not a deal breaker at this point, I just want the car.

    I joined The Hellcat.org site because of its information they offer. Seems I get to hear about stuff before it hits the media. Great Site, no BS but honest information I had sometimes before the dealers are informed. I found people there that were most informed, or wanting the same thing, A Hellcat powered car.

    Not wanting to be a PITA, I emailed the dealership, Rentschler CJDR of Slatington, PA who all along has been truthful and no price gouging on the car.
    Rentschler web.jpg


    Rodney Fritzinger, my salesman has been very up front and courteous all through this even though my Italian upbringing ranted a few times on them.

    I read about the “glitch” FCA had in the first two days of open order banks. Now I see a different format in the VON numbers being posted online. So I email Gregg Rentschler with a screen shot of the new VON prefix and he calls his regional rep.

    I am told my order along with whoever else ordered on the first two days are purged from the FCA system and will need to repurchase / order the car they wanted. But wait there is more. You need to wait almost 7 days before things are ready to do so. During which time my Dealer’s upper management is in Las Vegas for a big FCA function learning stuff.

    When he gets back, I asked for an update at which time he emails me that he would like me and my salesman to meet in person with him. You know what that means. I told my wife I will probably not come home smiling. He spoke to his zone rep and she told him what would happen in our region.

    When we all get together, I can see in his face he is not happy with what he as to say. He tells me that my order has been purged from the system. Dealers can only order from what is available in allocations from FCA. His allocation for this first part of the 2016 year is one Challenger in this period. Not a Charger like what I want. Then in February of 2016 he might or might not be given an allocation for a Charger.

    Further, the zone rep tells him that no one in our “zone” will receive a charger, only challengers. Now FCA has reached out to allotting not only the Hellcat vehicle but down to which vehicle and transmission is allotted.

    He offers some options which I have to think about. I leave with no order in the system and a voucher not good enough to wipe myself with.

    Later, very much later I go online at Hellcat.org and browse the site for others who are in the same situation. What are they doing about it. I come across this young lady from South Dakota (HellYeah1) posting that she had been contacted by Grogan’s Towne CJDR dealer in Toledo, Ohio about a B5 Blue Charger that has become available. She had already made arrangements with another car so she is passing along this one to others on the site.
    Dealership web.jpeg


    I browse the information given, visit the dealer site and read the ad. Early on Sunday morning, I call the dealership wanting to leave a message first for Doug Simrell in the post. I do that thinking that maybe Monday is his day off, so by the time he reaches out to me, the car is sold.

    But, hold on, there is a glimmer of hope here. He does call me mid-morning and I find him courteous, professional and most of all No BS. He tells me how the car is still available, and we negotiate terms. In less than 5 minutes on the phone I give him my credit card info for a down payment.

    Is this really happening? I guess so because I go to my bank and get a Cashier’s check for most of it. I call my friend Gary and let him know of a “Road Trip”. During all this time my wife is in Hampstead, North Carolina visiting our daughter.

    Gary responds that he is available for the trip, and I am getting my insurance in order. Washing the truck and getting it ready for the journey out west. A few phone calls go between me and the dealer giving them copies of my license and insurance info. Shower and grab a change of clothes and we are on our way.

    I am running on adrenaline, and at 7pm we leave PA and get on interstate 80 west. Stopping along the way for fuel, food and stretching my legs. we arrive in Toledo, Ohio at 3:30am, find Grogan’s Towne CJDR, the dealer and two blocks away get a room to get 4 hours sleep at Rodeway.

    I am awake before my alarm goes off. Dressed and check out of the Rodeway Inn to get breakfast at Bob Evans. We arrive at the dealers just as it is being pulled outside from being prepped. I inquire “Is that for me?” trying to be funny. We park and take it for a test drive With Doug Simrell.. My first time behind the wheel of a Hellcat.

    Dumb me, I choose a bumpy road and he directs me to one that is more smooth. As I change lanes to make a left turn, I am almost hit by another Charger that just happened to see us going down the road.( in my blind spot). They put all the windows down so they can hear the “tone” of the Hellcat as we are going about 25mph. Not one mile on the road test and almost in an accident.

    Back to the office and do the paperwork. Inside of this Giant showroom, we get the papers signed and I am introduced the one of the owners of the dealership, Denny Amrhein then the finance guy (Big Ohio State fan Can’t find your name) and others. Denny and I exchange how we got the Mopar in us.
    handing me the keys web.jpg

    I notice that there are no loud voices except mine, all people there have smiles on their faces, including the visiting customers. Italians can’t be happy and quiet at the same time I guess.

    My car has a full tank of gas in it and we are ready to take my cat home. I pull out of the lot and follow my GPS to Interstate 80 East. My first traffic light and I am in the left turn lane. I wait for opposing traffic to go by before I proceed, and in the other left hand lane is a truck that decides to take a closer look at the car. As I start to make my turn doesn’t he decide to get a closer look at the Hellcat? He goes straight towards me and I hit the brakes. He narrowly misses me as he looks down and smiles. Twice in a few hours this car has got attention. Not the kind I want to have, so cautiously I proceed onto the interstate. During the next 8 hours of driving I am being “assimilated” into the Charger. My DNA is merging with this monster of a car and I love it.

    On one of the merging ramps ahead of me I see two tractor trailers coming up the ramp and we are on an incline. So that tells me if I stay in this lane I will shortly be going about 40mph. In my lane up ahead is the remains of a tractor tire. I go to merge into the inside lane and see a car approaching far enough behind that if I give it a “little nudge” I can speed up and change lanes missing the merging trucks and the tire in the road.

    Well, let me tell you what a little nudge does on your first experience with a 707HP Hellcat. I have the cruise control set at 70mph, and after about 2-3 seconds I am past the trucks and the tire in the road. I look down and I am doing well over 110mph. Holy #$#$% off the gas and pull back into the middle lane.

    When I over correct my speed I am now doing 65 with the hair on my neck at full attention. I was laughing so hard that I started to tear up. Because at that moment I get passed by a couple in a freakin Prius !

    I can’t control my laughter and my friend Gary is following me in my Silverado calls me to find out what is happening. It took me a few moments to comprehend what I just did with only using a quarter pedal at 70mph.

    The Sirius XM radio is great on the way home. I wear hearing aids so I figured all these 19 speakers won’t win a prize because I won’t be able tell the separation and really enjoy it as it should be. Wrong. (Trap shooting when I was younger without hearing protection will do that to you)

    I search for some “Traveling music” and the Rolling stones come on. One of my favorite “She’s So Cold” I slowly turn up the volume and when it gets to around 19 the sub woofer starts to wake up. At 25 it is bouncing the windows and I swear Mick Jagger is in the back seat. What a blast with electronic ears.

    If you remember one movie with Stalone that was doing some Nascar racing? At the time he is racing and when he gets in his zone he starts to hum or sing to himself. Well, that is me for the next few hours till I get across the Ohio state line into PA.

    The car gives me all the feedback I like to have. You’re not disconnected from the suspension and it holds to the road like glue. I tease myself as I am driving, at times I can hear the supercharger start to wind up. I touch the gas and it explodes with power. On cruise control, it is a quiet sedan and very comfortable to drive. Not like in the Lincoln commercial you see on TV. More like a comfortable ride till you hit the gas, ten it turns into the Tasmanian devil (but controllable)

    When I finally get home, it has been a 48 hour trip on 4 hours sleep and 531 miles each way . It definitely worth the extra over the MSRP for the car. I am no longer in VON hell. I have what I consider at the moment a rare car. Not many to be seen in Pa at this time. On my last gas fill up. I check the dash and find that I got a whopping 23.7mpg on my first trip.
    mpg at home web.jpg


    I am reading, and finding the performance pages to be outstanding. Reading the manual? Yes I did, and I find that the only thing not available during the first 500 miles was the Launch control. HAHAHA

    Economy mode? What the heck is that? Might find out some day on my way to Sykesville Maryland to visit family some day. Till then, only the red key will do.

    I cleaned off the bugs the next morning and spent a few hours detailing the outside paint. Now it’s nice and smooth. I will consider an invisible bra for the car. I did look into the CQuartz but I am the type of guy that still likes to wipe it down and wax it. this way I can inspect the paint and overall condition as I do so.

    I picked up my wife from the airport that Saturday and her first comment on the car was that it was pretty. That’s enough for now. Can’t give her any demonstrations just yet.

    My hat is off to my first Dealer, Rentschler in Slatington,Pa. for trying to work within the FCA system. And to Grogan’s in Toledo, Ohio for the completion of the sale. Great staff at both dealers. HellYeah1, I owe you a steak dinner for the lead on getting it. Gary for taking the trip and putting up with me. Most importantly for the support of my wife, who said “don’t settle for A car, get the one that you want”

    The car now has 635 miles on it and no issues, except the GPS screen that went blank and reboots a few times. I met the FCA service trainer at Rentschler’s and he told me that they are aware of it and it would fix itself during an update.

    I put in for a PA vanity plate and have to wait almost 8 weeks to see if their “screeners” will allow what I am asking for. Saw a few good ones on Hellcat.org and tried for one in PA. I will post my results when I have it.

    Thank you Hellcat.org for all of the learning and info I have gathered on this car that should not have been built! I am happy it was. Hellyeah1, I look forward to getting both cats in the same parking lot.

    Thank you RS and Rayzazoo from the best darn site on Hellcats..


    me in car.jpg


    I like this.png
     
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  2. hellcat1

    hellcat1 Gold Member

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    Congrats,, very cool story,, glad you got your car, glad your happy with it,,I love hearing people's thoughts on the driving impressions,,, these cars drive very very nice,, and they have some power to play with
     
  3. Angel

    Angel Gold Member

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    Congratulations MattG! The car looks great and I am so happy it all worked out for you. I too just got my Hellcat yesterday and drove 1,100 miles back home in her.
    Thanks for sharing.
     
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  4. Toolman_42

    Toolman_42 Gold Member

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    Congrats! If we have learned anything about purchasing a HELLCAT it is

    THAT THERE IS NO BETTER HELP THAN SELF HELP!!!

    because you can be sure that FCA is not going to help

    PS: You might see me making trips back and forth between VA and York, PA via Route 15 & 30
     
  5. Sjbeckman01

    Sjbeckman01 Active Hellcat Member

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    Congrats! You look like that car was made just for you! Enjoy!
     
  6. Hellyeah1

    Hellyeah1 Senior Hellcat Member

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    Great story!! I'm just glad someone picked her up because she's a beautiful car. I love the color. I have the redline Tri coat and love that but I think the b5 pops. She's a beast who is fun to tame. Maybe I can take you up on that steak dinner at a national hellcat convention or something .
     
  7. ManicMechanicMD

    ManicMechanicMD Silver Member

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    Great looking car. Glad you're happy with it. You'll have a great time.
     
  8. Sjbeckman01

    Sjbeckman01 Active Hellcat Member

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    Congrats to you to Angel! Enjoy!
     
  9. Shasta's Dad

    Shasta's Dad Silver Member Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member HCC Charter Member

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    Congrats and Enjoy:D
     
  10. The Max

    The Max Gold Member

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    Long read, it sounds like you are enjoying the beast they call Hellcat.

    In comparison to your last 69 440 6 bbl, which had more power?
     
  11. Northern Cat

    Northern Cat Senior Hellcat Member

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    Beauty car and a great story, congrats!
     
  12. MattG

    MattG Gold Member Hellcat Car Club

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    Thought I would see what the Black key does tonight when I took it out for a spin. Stopped at my friends house who owns a Challenger and there is a big difference using the Red key.
    Black key was at first like my GTX till you hit about 50 -60 then the Hellcat stands out.
    I think there is no end to the Hellcat torque. It keeps pulling and forcing you back in the seat.

    Red key no comparison I can make. I know a guy who has a COPO but I don't think I can get a ride in it on the street to make a side by side.
    When I was in Vegas last year, I took a spin in both Mustangs and Corvettes they were offering at the Barrett Jackson auction at Mandalay Bay. The Mustang GT felt more comfortable at the high speeds, the corvette quicker in the turns but not as comfortable as the stang.
     
  13. MattG

    MattG Gold Member Hellcat Car Club

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    Will be making a trip to NC shortly and we pass thru Gettysburg on 15 to 95. On a future trip, I will take the charger and maybe try and do a meet somewhere along the way.
     
  14. bolivarshagnasty

    bolivarshagnasty Gold Member

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    Congratulations Matt, I'm glad your perseverance paid off ! Beautiful car.
     
  15. Odin

    Odin Gold Member

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    Congratulations!
     

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