Archive for Motorsport

Devil and a Hellcat

Over the last couple of weeks in Portland, there was a media introduction of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. The gist of the story – 707 horse power, retro styled muscle car with loads of useable modern technology.

“Devil and a Hellcat” (get it?) sounds like a movie about WWII in the Pacific… The Grumman Hellcat (how the Hellcat name was made famous) was used to combat Japanese Zero’s.  This isn’t about flimsy imports, this is an intramural war – Dodge vs. Ford vs. Chevy vs. Dodge.  Combatants from the Land of the Rising Sun have long since been dispatched…  This is about pure brute force and hitting a nail with the biggest hammer – American style!!!  Hellcat is that SRT/Dodge hammer.

Grumman F6 Hellcat

Grumman Hellcats on the Prowl

My job was mostly to make sure that no over-exuberant journalist crashed any of the Hellcats (Dodge and SRT afforded them personal discretion with the rest of the cars), and to provide chauffeur service to those that preferred the experience from the right seat.

Since there are pros (with editors) available and most write much better than I, I’ll save my commentary and simply link to a story written by the most competent driver of the bunch – Alex Lloyd Driving the World’s Fastest Muscle Car.

Two things that I took away:

1) If you’re a MOPAR lover – today is a great day

2) Social Media is a now a bigger part of doing business than you think (even if you already think it’s really, really big).

To the second point, Wednesday was a day devoted to new media.  There were people there that you would only associate with cars via their blogs, instagram and twitter accounts – and some, not even then.

The one that struck me in particular, was a woman named Jennifer Holly  @worldwarjenn. After a brief inquiry, she insists that she is not particularly popular on twitter, and that she will be reviving her website soon – my assessment is that she’s kind of awesome, in that sweet, smart, engaging, smiley, 20 something and loving life kind of way.  That’s all, and somebody at Dodge believes that, that carries weight – who am I to judge..?  Could it be that Dodge understands that cars are for everybody and that they’re FUN!?!?

Brian Jenn Holly Hellcat PIR

Patrolling the Pacific with @worldwarjenn in a Hellcat

When it comes right down to it, the best Muscle Car in the World is the one living in your own garage.  What I confirmed over the past two weeks, is that the Dodge and SRT guys are a clever bunch and great fun to be around – they love their new car.  And, they have done a great service to us by extending a great American tradition – well done, boys and girls!!!


Classic Porsche’s in The Gorge

Route 30 fron across street2If you are near Portland, Oregon and enjoy vintage Porsche’s, there is a gem of a place that you should know about.  Everybody knows that The Gorge has plenty of stuff (like for mom and the kids) to do – but if you are a car guy that has come to Hood River to visit the WAAAM (air and automobile museum), for the Maryhill Loops Hill Climb, or to see some of the most recognized driving (car video, and commercial filming) roads in North America, you will end up close to Route 30 ClassicsJust take the Mosier exit (Exit 69) from I-84, and you can’t miss it – really.

Mosier is an eclectic little town 5 miles east of Hood River – when wind sports took of in The Gorge, a lot of the hippy / hipsters settled right there.  One of those hippies is Stephen Demosthenes – he’s a Porsche nut with a collection of Porsche memorabilia (some of it for sale) and some cars.  Oh, and there is also an ice cream shop…

I stopped by last week and there were two very nice early 70’s 911’s on display, and Stephen’s blue 6 cylinder 914 that you’ve seen if you regularly ride a bicycle between Hood River and The Dalles.

Dean and McQueen

Porsche’s are cool, as evidenced by the fact that both James Dean and Steve McQueen are inextricably linked to them.  Dean for famously dying in one, and McQueen for his movie LeMans.

917 Arentina 1000K

LeMans featured the Porsche 917 – the biggest, baddest sports racing prototype of all time.  The 917 was capable of speeds approaching 250mph, it was the pinnacle of technology in the early 70’s – they were loved by racing fans and feared by those who drove them.  At Route 30  Classics, Stephen has a nice collection of the posters that  commemorate the Porsche 917 and great races of that era.

Route 30 911's

This is a nice spot in a little town that has something of interest for just about everybody – especially a car guy that likes ice cream…