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When Dodge brought out the very surprising Magnum concept I thought it was cool, but didn't give it much thought. To me it was of peripheral interest at best, with no chance of making production. In 2004 I saw the first commercials for the production version and knew I had to have one. It was perfect for me... a hot rod that I could put stuff in. Two birds, one stone. So I ordered an RT - a 5.7L Hemi V8 (the 6.1L SRT hadn't come out yet). The RT was hot back then, commonly selling for thousands over sticker if you could find one at all. Production lead time was long and it turned out my wait would last 6 months.
With months to wait for a car I had to have now, I turned to the internet. I had no idea what I was getting into. I discovered online enthusiast communities at various forums, loaded with people who had my car already in their garage. They had the experience I wanted, and it turned out they were only too happy to share. I learned about modding and that was the end of my other hobbies.
Up until that point, while I was an unabashed auto enthusiast, I had little experience wrenching or modding on one. Cars were things you buy and that mechanics fixed. I wasn't even familiar with the fact that a 'mod' wasn't part of a squad on television. This changed quickly. In short order my garage filled with shiny chrome wheels, a polished aluminum intake and any number of other goodies... all they needed was a car to put them on. The joke was that soon I would soon have enough parts to build my own car.
Eventually the car arrived. I became involved in what turned out to be a lively and real-world online community centered around these cars, and this has never really stopped. But my use of the station wagon has dramatically changed. Now its primarily a car I take to race tracks like Thunder Hill, Buttonwillow, Cal Speedway and, what I consider to be my home track: Laguna Seca. A 2-ton station wagon most certainly couldn't do that very well in stock form, and changes to the car are extensive, to say the very least.
This web site is a revision of my former, heavily-trafficked personal site where I chronicled technical issues surrounding these cars and my history with this example. I built this site because I get so many requests for information about my car from customers and colleagues. This fancier version is more in keeping with that professional audience, and since it is now a part of my business I finally have a good reason to take the time to update it and keep it that way.
Take a look around. For now you will see sparse pickings but as I port over three years of fun, experimentation and learning - both successes and hard knocks - this area will grow.
Here are some neat links:
Dedicated to Dodge or Magnum autos:
- Inside Chrysler's new-generation Hemi
- The largest community devoted to the Chrysler LX platform (300, Charger, Magnum and now the Challenger)
- Building a 5.7L Hemi V8
Useful ancillary sites