February 03, 2023

Classic Wheels Spotlight: Collectible Companions

Couple proud of his-and-her muscle car SRT-8s

Photos by Steve Rubens - Dodge SRTs Front

The Dodge boys’ Street and Racing Technology (SRT) Division is renowned for delivering uncompromised American muscle. For Hot Rod couple Karen and Pete Anderson, who owns a pair of Dodge SRT beauties that, with their torque, could easily pull a city block out from underwater, the muscle car SRTs are a great source of pride.

While there are clearly two cars, under the shells of these two knockout vehicles lies the identical frame, transmission, differential, and four-wheel Brembo disc brake system. You would never know it, but both SRT-8 cars are more than 17 years old. Listen to them roar and you still cannot believe it.

Karen’s Chrysler 300 sports the 6.1 Hemi-headed 425-horsepower engine; Pete’s Magnum wagon features the same. Karen, a summa cum laude software engineer at a major tech corporation, sits in the lap of luxury behind the 300′s leather-wrapped wheel and is quite content with her factory hot rod. She claims she doesn’t have any problem with a stoplight contender who might think this is some overweight luxo-cruiser. Both SRTs are capable of 0 to 60 in a whisker over five seconds.

Photos by Steve Rubens - Dodge SRTs Engine

Pete, an airframe power plant mechanic, says his Magnum might be a tad quicker than Karen’s 300. Of course, there’s absolutely no room for miscalculations in his occupation. The man’s brain worked overtime when it came to modifying this beast – as if the stock setup wasn’t enough. Wisely, when originally purchased, he chose modifications that would not affect the factory warranty.

Besides a more free-flowing air cleaner and blow-through Borla exhaust, Pete knew the dealer would drill the brake rotors for better cooling and change the computer-controlled shift points with the proper request. This thing runs as well as it sounds, kinda like the old muscle car days.

I received a ride in the Magnum on a cool weekend afternoon this fall. On the interstate entry ramp with virtually no traffic, Pete pushed me back in my seat like receiving a gut punch! These two SRT beauties cars perform on demand!

Photos by Steve Rubens - Dodge SRTs Interior

The cool factor for both of these vehicles, unlike the knuckle-dragging old days of an overheating low-optioned muscle car, both vehicles are extremely mild-mannered under normal driving conditions. Hot day, no problem, turn up the air; cold, turn on the heated seats. Pick your favorite station or slide in a CD and turn on the GPS if you’re going out of town. It’s an impressive mix of nostalgic muscle and modern technology

The Inferno Red paint on both vehicles looks to me like it’s show quality, but many enthusiasts I encounter tell me there’s ‘always room for improvement.’ Pete claimed he wouldn’t go to a cruise night until he had some touchup done. Well, it looks to me like it’s ready for the World of Wheels!

With 425 horsepower, and even more in Pete’s ride, and over two tons and a zillion pounds of torque, these cars scream. This is definitely a his-n-her pairing of totally hip SRT-8 vehicles.