Updates and Stuff

I'm interrupting Little Red Riding Hood for a moment just to update everyone on a few things.

I promised to write Little Red Riding Hood and, by God, I am. It's a lot longer than I intended and obviously people are less interested in it than they used to be, but I can't help it. This is just how it's coming out.

Red Riding Hood
My job is still slamming me and a significant number of adjustments in my personal life are combining to make it extremely difficult for me to do much of anything on the internet, including blog.

The car search is still going on. Here is the latest:

I had a line on a nice 2010 Shelby Mustang GT500 that I liked. But it sold before I got to it.

I have been searching like mad for a Dodge Challenger SRT8 that has everything I want. Along the way, I have learned a few things.

First, the year models prior to 2011 all had 6.1 liter engines that were designed and tuned specifically to hit that 425 horsepower number, and in order to do that they had to make it wrap up pretty high in the RPMs. The peak horsepower and torque comes in so high that people complained that it didn't have enough power at the normal driving RPMs, or at least not as much power as it should with such a large engine. So for 2011 they enlarged the engine to 6.4 liters and improved the torque curve substantially. They also improved the ride, handling and just about everything else. So, with that in mind, clearly a 2011 or 2012 model would be what I want. And that is what I am looking for.

No sunroof, please
One more issue with the Challengers, though, is the sunroof. I don't want one. I've had Trans Ams and other cars in the past that made big power and had some sort of sunroof, moonroof, or T-tops and I'll never do that again. You don't want a car with frame-twisting torque combined with a hole in the roof, ever. You'll be sorry if you do. And from what I've read all over the internet, a lot of Challenger SRT owners are discovering this the hard way. There are a lot of complaints about the sunroofs and body damage appearing out of nowhere on the roofs around them. The problem is, 90 percent of the Challenger SRTs out there have sunroofs. That rules out 90 percent of them from my search, in addition to my limiting my search to the 2011 and 12 models. Also, I don't like copper, white, green, and don't especially want the yellow Superbee, either. More limitations for my search. And I'd prefer an automatic transmission since I'm going to be driving this thing in rush hour most of the time and I've already done the manual trans route in the past. It gets tiresome.

Everyone and their brother has heard about the 2011 improvements and so now there is a flood of older models on the market, but a sudden shortage of 2011 models. In fact, Carmax has a grand total of zero 2011 used Dodge Challenger SRT8s and has had this total of zero for the past couple of weeks. They had a single 2012 model, but it had a sunroof so I didn't even ask to have it shipped to Memphis for me to look at.

I nearly had a red 2011 model with black stripes that was right here in Memphis, but it was initially priced too high and then, after they lowered the price a few thousand, it was gone, baby, gone. I hadn't even gotten a chance to run by and ask them about it at the new price.

I was all set to focus exclusively on the SRT8 Challengers and did for a long time. That's how I know that all the 2011 models without sunroofs are GONE. I'm beginning to look more closely at Mustangs again simply because they are available in small numbers and the Challengers aren't available at all. I can get a decent 2011 Shelby GT500 for close to the same price as the 2012 Challenger SRT8, without the sunroof problem, and it's not nearly as hard to find.

But it does cost a lot of money, even so. And meanwhile, a Mustang GT Premium can be had for $10,000 less. It's becoming mighty tempting. Oddly, the standard 5.7 liter Challenger hasn't tempted me at all.

Throw money at it
Also tempting is the idea of simply putting all this money into my 1970 Chevelle SS and turning it into a show car quality machine. That is becoming increasingly tempting as I have grown frustrated in my search for the perfect Challenger. Also a possibility is splitting the money between my 1970 Chevelle and my 1971 Monte Carlo and making them both significantly cooler and more driveable, even though I would almost never consider  using either of them as a daily driver to and from work due to the high incidence of car thefts in and around Memphis, and how easy it is to steal an antique car compared to a modern car.

So that's the situation at present. In case anyone wanted to know.

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