Once in a lifetime event . . . acquisition of a Hellcat

Discussion in 'SRT Hellcat General Discussions' started by Cruisin1966, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. Cruisin1966

    Cruisin1966 Silver Member

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    Sorry for the uber long post.

    Where do I begin? Well, at the start, of course.

    Unlike some, I wasn't aware that the Hellcat was in the works before I started to hear the buzz back in May/June of 2014. So, what to do? Well, there was a rumour of Sublime making an appearance (check), over 600 HP (check), subtle changes (check), two doors calling my name (check). It's not like I hated my 2012 Stinger Yellow SuperBee, but "something" was calling my name.

    [​IMG]

    I started following different threads on a couple of forums. Rumblings of order banks being open in July/August. And then the official opening of the order banks in Canada July 23, 2014. Yay!!! I couldn't get to the dealership for a couple of days, but I had heard a few folks had already laid down cash (at least one up to $20,000). Yikes! Showed up on the 25th and put my order in for a Sublime, A8, no sunroof, NAV, and black wheels. $500 down and a deal struck for MSRP ($63,995 Base + $1000 Green Levy + $1695 Shipping + $650 NAV). Note: in Canada the “default" transmission was the A8 with the 6 spd being an additional $1000. Signed the offer, and it was submitted/entered, or so I thought. I found out later that the order wasn't actually placed until July 28, 2014. I was told I was 4th or 5th out of 10 orders placed. First rumour for orders was approximately 2500 for Canada. By now we all have heard that the US order banks might open in early September.

    So, we wait. August comes and goes. No Hellcats built for the Canadian market. September comes and goes. A few are built, most are held up for quality control. No sunroofs and issues with the black hoods. Whew, glad I played it safe with my options. Hopeful for something to be built in October.

    October comes and goes. The first Hellcat order at the dealership is in "C" status (more on this later). No other orders in progress of the 10 at this one fairly small dealership.

    I find Hellcat.org early November and ResumeSpeed keeps us better informed than anyone else. The dealership's first order goes "D" and stays that way for a VERY long time. More on this later. Still no clear communication from head office or the dealers about how the allocation system works in Canada. Dealer keeps saying they don't know until the order is picked up. Speculation hints that it's a weird combination of a "lottery" system with overall sales and dealer/area rep relationship (squeaky wheel syndrome) figuring into if an order will be picked up.

    December rolls around and now the talk of the Charger heightens with the impending order banks opening up. Surely by this time, the Challenger production for Canada (approximately 60 built) will increase. Ummmmm, nope!

    January begins and the first Challenger order at y dealership is still in "D" status. By mid-Jan I'm resigned to the fact that this may be the only Challenger Hellcat built for this dealer this model year. Okay, perhaps a different tactic. So I go into the dealer on Jan. 19, 2015 and ask about the Charger. Note, the order banks have already opened and some are about to be or have been built. My dealer explains to me the only way to put in a Charger Hellcat order is to "buy" the privilege by agreeing to receive (and sell) less desirable vehicles. In this case, Promaster vans. Other dealerships (at least out west) mentioned their "price" was Fiats, or a bunch or Darts, or two-wheel drive half-tons.

    They agree to pay the "price" and I order a Jazz Blue Charger Hellcat (NAV, black wheels) for MSRP ($64,695 Base + $1000 Green Levy + $1695 Shipping + NAV $650). On Jan. 28, 2015, my VON turns into a VIN and "D" status. Yay!!!! But hold on, remember that first Challenger order, well, it's still in "D" status, re: NO MOVEMENT. I'm not nearly as happy as I should be, because this could be a long arduous wait as well. At least I'm pretty sure I'll get a Hellcat. Dealer thinks it could be built and delivered in May. Now, to backtrack a little, I had called and left a message at the dealership about the time the VIN was assigned. I had decided to go big or go home with the Charger, so I added the laguna leather and Harmon Kardon upgrade. Once the VIN was assigned it took a call from the General Manager to the rep to get the "upgrades" added. Done deal!

    I also decided since the Challenger wasn't going anywhere so far, that I would change my order around a little too. So, rather than the A8, I selected the manual transmission. I want to feel more engaged in the driving experience. I also chose to upgrade to the laguna leather. Order changed.

    I contact the GM and we have a chat about both cars. We discuss a scenario in which I might "own" both, one after the other. Taking possession of the Charger first, while I wait for the Challenger (if that ever happens). Then selling the Charger once the Challenger arrives. Sounded pretty cool to me. A little too surreal to imagine happening, however.

    Well, now I'm still stewing over the Challenger. It is the car I want, with the only color (in my opinion) worthy of purchasing this year. I'll fill in details why that is later, as well. I've noticed during this time, a few of the folks on the site had sent in emails to T.K. and received replies or phone calls. I'm normally not lucky with stuff like this, but I'm in a mood to "vent". On the morning of Feb. 10, 2015, I composed a respectful, yet frustrated, email and sent it off. I explained I had been an enthusiast since university and listed all the Dodge vehicles I had owned since then. I expressed my frustration with the secrecy of the Canadian allocation system and horrible lack of communication. I shared my concern that Sublime was a one year color, and it was THE color for me.

    Two days later (Feb. 12, 2015) the GM phones me, asking me if I've been participating in a blog (he really meant an online forum), and if I had sent off an email to Dodge. At this point I'm a bit suspicious, but also more than a little curious. I replied I had, and he responded that someone from Corporate had called the dealership looking for information on my order. They were calling to "get Clayton's car built". At this time I'm shaking with emotion I have no words for. The GM explains we need to fill out the paper work and needs me to confirm the options. So, by now, the base MSRP has increased by $1200 and I didn't even think to ask about price protection {base MSRP ($65,195) + Green Levy ($1000) + Shipping ($1695) + Laguna ($1995) + 6spd ($1000) + Nav ($650) + Performance Tires ($250)}. More on this later. I fill out the "intent to purchase" and email a signed electronic copy back to the dealer. Little did I know, at that moment my Challenger order went from VON to VIN and "D" status. HOLY CRAP!!!!!!

    At this point I have two orders in "D" status, but remind myself that the very first Challenger order is still in "D" status and hasn't changed/moved in the last 4 months. Stay tuned, more on this first order as well.

    Now I'm intently checking daily for the new 'D1 assignment' posts by ResumeSpeed, hoping, wishing, praying for one of my VIN's to materialize. On March 4th, 2015 the Challenger VIN goes "D1". OMG!!! Can this really be happening? On March 10th, 2015 the Charger VIN goes "D1". ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!! Both are projected to be built shortly. Not in a million years could I have ever imagined this. With the knowledge that the Challenger will get built, the dealership asks if it's okay for them to sell the Charger because my original order will be built. I agreed to let them offer it up for sale to another customer, in lieu of their Challenger order never being picked up.

    Now I have a reason to look up and print off (when available) the window stickers and build sheets for both cars. Cool beans. I notice that the Challenger’s window sticker represents the current prices (increased from July, of course) and the build sheet mentions some Price Protection - Code “D”, but no one can articulate what this means. All features and options are accounted for. The Charger build sheet raises an eyebrow, however. It lists brass money wheels. Strange, I distinctly remember ordering black. The window sticker shows the $300 wheel upgrade. Hmmmm. Well, not my problem, but strange nonetheless.

    The projected build weeks draw near, and every day I'm bugging ResumeSpeed to see if either of the cars are on track. During this time, us Sublime folks are speculating, wouldn't it be cool if the green cars could/would be built on St. Patrick's day. Lo and behold, my Challenger starts down the line on the 17th and is completed and passes inspection on the 18th. Yay, now I just have to wait for it to be loaded/shipped.

    And all this time the very first order at the dealership is still in "D" status. Oops, sorry, I guess I jumped the line. Not intentional, but sometimes CRAP happens. Hee hee

    As the Challenger sits waiting to get loaded, the projected build week for the Charger arrives. On March 28th it starts down the line, and is completed and passes inspection the next day. I'm beside myself, two Hellcat's with my name on them. WOW!!!!

    Another round of waiting begins. Challenger sits in “J” status from the 19th without any indication as to why. More quality control perhaps, rail car shortages, etc. Who really knows. However, on March 30th the Challenger finally goes “KZ”, while the Charger goes to “KZ” on April 4th. Both are finally being shipped!!!!

    Back story (see next post)

    Again a wait, but shorter this time. With ResumeSpeed’s help, I track the cars via daily updates across the Prairies. They’re projected to land in Calgary on the 20th, and then the 17th. As luck would have it, both cars are delivered to the Calgary rail yard on April 15th. The Challenger is unloaded around noon, the Charger a couple of hours later. Ask me how I know? LOL. Thanks again to ResumeSpeed.

    So, me being who I am, and with an offer in my back pocket for a little reconnaissance, I magically find my way into the rail yard to get an early glimpse of my car. I didn’t have a lot of time, so I was unable to find “my” Jazz Charger, but I did find the Challenger. Another Jazz Charger (with brass monkey wheels, which look REALLY good against the Jazz, by the way) was parked right next to it, slated for a different dealership.

    [​IMG]

    The Challenger, albeit dusty/dirty looks REALLY good. No damage anywhere (no splitter damage, important to note), body panels line up well, and the paint looks good, but requires closer inspection once clean. This is excellent. I can “taste” owning this car, no reason I can see that it couldn’t/shouldn't be delivered to the dealership for Saturday.

    The next day I ask R.S. for an update and build number for the Challenger and am told:
    Huh? WTH! I ran my hand under the splitter, no damage there. What’s up now? (rolleyes) Damn, serves me right for getting excited too soon. Grrrrrrrrrr!

    I also asked for an update on the Charger at the same time and was informed:
    Cool, delivered on the 20th, nice (for my buddy). Maybe there’s still a chance the Challenger might arrive then as well.

    As each day passed (moving towards the 20th), R.S.’s updates showed no changes for the Challenger (in Fenkell HELL). Rats!!!. On the morning of the 20th the Charger is being delivered and there’s still no information on what’s up with the Challenger. My buddy is at the dealership on the 20th and will take possession of the Charger on the 21st. I’m happy for him, getting fed up with the delay on the Challenger.

    No matter how happy I was for him, I was frustrated about the hold up on my car, so I complained to the masses on Hellcat.org and was offered a number for Fenkell in one of the replies. It wasn’t valid for us Canuck’s, but I was able to get the appropriate number from the nice lady on the phone. <evil grin>
    I called that number and asked if I could get an update on FH797979. I was told the hold up was for additional cleaning (salt/dirt). Again, I’m thinking to myself, huh!!! The car looked fine at the rail yard. Sigh. The lady on the phone wasn’t able to give me an ETA for release, but she took my cell number and I was supposed to get a call after she conferred with the tech assigned to my car. No call came.

    I started receiving text messages around 9:30 am on the 21st from my buddy (Hitachiman), as he was taking possession of the Charger. Sweet! I can tell from his texts he’s vibrating with excitement. I couldn’t be happier my Charger order has been acquired by a good friend and an absolute car nut. This gave me the incentive to call Fenkell again for an update. I was told again it had been in for extra cleaning and it shouldn’t be too much longer. I left my phone# again for an update call. At 11:13 I received a call back from Fenkell, the Challenger was done. So I called the dealership informing them of same. The GM said that getting the car from the rail yard would need some coordination and wouldn’t happen right away. Definitely not today. <deep sigh>

    So, like a dog with a bone, I call and leave a voicemail with the GM around 9:30 Wednesday morning, hoping the Challenger can be delivered this day. I get a call back at 11:00. All the important people at the dealership (GM, senior sales and finance folks) are in a conference call with Dodge Corporate from 1:00 - 5:00 pm so no delivery today. However, he offers to let me get at the car, which has been placed at their commercial lot. I can meet the SRT Tech (Viper) who will do the PDI, and the detailer who will clean it up before delivery. Of course I jump at the chance, and head over. I get to remove all the plastic and stickers. No one else touches the car. I even get to drive it to the dealership from the commercial lot the next day.

    The detailer is a cool guy, and a car nut. I can tell from our conversation that he’ll treat the ‘Cat better than gold. He’ll detail the car Thursday morning before I come get it. The Viper tech comes out and we chit-chat as we inspect the car. Looks straight, no issues to be found. We fire it up and head over to fill it with fuel. This ride is the one and only time I’ll be in the passenger seat.

    [​IMG]

    Once filled, he pops the door open and says it’s my car, time to drive it (for the PDI). Yippie!!!! Seat adjusted, mirrors adjusted, park brake off, away we go!!!!! I’m mindful of the break in procedure, but it’s still fun to get to almost 3500 rpm before I hit 88 km/hr. <huge grin> We get back to the lot, and climb out of the car. A quick goodbye and I’m headed back home, excited about delivery day.

    Delivery day (Thursday, April 23rd, 2015) dawns cool but bright. I’m up and ready to call the insurance company for papers (at 8:00 am), before heading out. Great news, my insurance goes down from the 2012 SuperBee to the 2015 Hellcat. Who’d a thunk it! I get picked up at the train station by my buddy. We drive over to his house where the ‘Bee sits. One last ride. Sad to see this one go. Get in, fire it up, heart pumping volume with the custom exhaust. So nice!

    I arrive at the dealership at 11:00 as planned. I grab the key and insurance slip for the ‘Bee and head inside. I drop them off (along with the rest of the stuff I’ve brought with me) with the salesman, and head out to be shuttled over to the commercial lot. This is really happening. <palms sweating, rapid beating heart> We arrive, and the ‘Cat is still inside where the detailer has worked his magic. Car looks immaculate. No scratches, no orange peel, absolutely beautiful. He pulls it out of the bay/building and out into the sunlight.
    [​IMG]

    I jump in to head to the dealership to finalize the deal, with the GM following behind.

    I pull into the dealership, and park next to my ‘Bee.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    People come out of the woodwork to look and take pictures of the Challenger HC (staff, owners, etc). It’s the third HC delivered in the last couple of weeks at this dealer. First was a Red Charger, followed by the Jazz Charger that I ordered which Hitachiman purchased. Congrats again, buddy! And now, the first Challenger Hellcat delivered by this dealership.
    [​IMG]

    A side note, at this time I find out that the first of the 10 Challenger orders, remember, the one that hadn’t changed from “D" status back in November, will actually be delivered soon. Finally. Part of it’s delay was the black hood option. Who knew. So, by the end of May, two each of the Challenger and Charger Hellcat’s delivered by a fairly small dealership.

    Paperwork signed, keys acquired, now time to spend a few hours breaking in the ‘Cat. <evil cat grin>

    Impressions and Observations
    • Quieter than my SuperBee
    • Love the supercharger whine, although following the documented break in procedure, you don’t hear it all that much, yet ;-)
    • Clutch is firm/solid/feels right, I like it
    • Throw is shifter isn’t bad, Barton Industries short throw definitely planned
    • Lots to play with given the myriad of settings
    • The color is, well, EXACTLY what I wanted, either you love it or hate it, very little middle ground

    Speaking of the color, here’s an example of why I want this color. Back in 2009 I picked up a 2007 Sublime Daytona (#82/150, 6700 km). A few mods have been done to it, but it was the color that caught my attention.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I told myself if they made a Challenger in this color, I’d be all over it. Who knew it would be this amazing machine we call the Hellcat.

    More to follow . . .
     
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  2. Cruisin1966

    Cruisin1966 Silver Member

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    Back Story

    The Alberta boys have a VERY special event planned. They're flying A.J. (Hemituner) in from New York, to tune some of our highly modded vehicles, over two days; April 1st-2nd, 2015. I can’t get up north for the 1st, but I have a day in lieu, so I plan on running up on the 2nd (3rd and 6th are Easter holidays, so 5 days off in a row WOOHOO!!!). Hitachiman will have his 1000+ HP Detonator Yellow SRT Challenger tuned, so I gotta see this. Spent the day watching his car and one other get tuned by the Master, A.J. What a thrill.

    Hemituner is a really great guy, knowledgeable and easy to talk to. After the long day we head over to the Keg for supper. We get to talking about car tuning and the conversation moves onto Hellcats. In this conversation, I describe a lot of my journey (a reader’s digest version of this account) to all in attendance. Hitachiman listened intently, although I didn’t recognize it at the time. I told them of the two orders, and that the Challenger was my choice, and the Charger was available to be purchased.

    A week later I receive a text from Hitachiman. He was out cruising around and decided to stop by the dealership. I won’t give much detail here as it’s his story to tell, but he managed to ink a deal for the Charger. Wow, what a strange turn of events. At least it’s going to a friend, and someone who is a true car enthusiast.
     
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  3. Cruisin1966

    Cruisin1966 Silver Member

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    Reserved:
     
  4. mowe

    mowe Gold Member

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    This might be the longest post on Hellcat.org... :p Congrats
     
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  5. cruizinrc

    cruizinrc HCC New Jersey State President Hellcat Car Club HCC Charter Member

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    Cruisin enjoy buddy glad you got your dream fulfilled I'll be having my dream filled soon I hope
    Ron
     
  6. Carnage

    Carnage SRT Hellcat Supercharged Moderator Staff Member Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member HCC Charter Member

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    Reminded me of my superbee 2012 as well that I traded in for the hellcat. Congratulations on your Hellcat and welcome to the muscle top of the line club! Sharing on FB HC page
    image.jpg
     
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  7. Mills

    Mills Silver Member

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    Clayton - awesome to hear you got your car! Congrads!
     
  8. Hattrick

    Hattrick Silver Member

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    Geez, deleted that, say again?
     
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  9. Lord Hellcat

    Lord Hellcat Gold Member Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member HCC UK President HCC Charter Member

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    That is a great story. Glad it all turned out well. Looking to read some more in the future
     
  10. april77

    april77 Naughty SheDevil Mod Staff Member Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member HCC Charter Member

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    Enjoyed reading your story! Grtz, and enjoy!!

    April
     
  11. Odin

    Odin Gold Member

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    Congratulations on receiving your Hellcat! I agree with the title of your post...the acquisition of a Hellcat is a once in a lifetime event.
     
  12. bolivarshagnasty

    bolivarshagnasty Gold Member

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    Congratulations Cruisin! Great write-up. The trials and tribulations of acquiring a Hellcat.
     
  13. SRT_HC_707

    SRT_HC_707 SRT_HC_707 Staff Member

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    I read half... Great story so far. Going to take a nap and finish later! I love a good thriller.
     
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  14. actionjack99

    actionjack99 Hellcat Member

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    love these play by play posts! the sublime is a beauty!

    cl
     
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  15. huggytree

    huggytree Gold Member

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    congrats on the car.......i see a sublime superbee in town every summer 1 or 2x.....and i always said the same thing to myself....if they came out with a Challenger the same color id get it

    i will have to reserve 20 minutes of my time to really read all you said, but from a glance it was a very nice post.....also love the yellow superbee
     

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