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2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8So here it is, at long last -- my 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 test drive. As a rule, I try to avoid whining about how hard my job is -- I drive cars and write about them for a living, how hard can it be? -- but I have to tell you, this one really threw me for a loop. I wrote no fewer than a half-dozen different versions, two of which I came very close to publishing. One involved a dream I had one night, in which I drove the Challenger to a Chrysler media event. In the dream, I had a conversation with a Chrysler executive about the Challenger that just so happened to correspond perfectly to the About.com Cars review template. I wrote it, edited it, re-read it, and promptly began contemplating a change in career.

Why the sudden obsession with perfection? When it comes to old muscle cars, I'm a Chrysler man through-and-through, and the Challenger struck a deep emotional chord, so really I wanted to get this one right. You know what they say -- if at first you don't succeed...and if at second, and at third, and at fourth, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Finally, after enough tries, I got what I wanted. Here it is. -- Aaron Gold

Photo © Aaron Gold

June 9, 2008 at 8:32 am
(1) Mike in Minn says:

Wow, I wonder how long until my local Dodge dealers have some. That sounds like a drive worth taking.

So Aaron, what color looks best on this beast? In pictures, I liked the silver better than the orange. In person, that could easily change.

Maybe this one deserves an “extended test drive” :0

June 9, 2008 at 10:52 am
(2) LWATCDR says:

I guess I have to say?
It is so retro and old fashioned. Yes I have worked on Z28 and even a 383 Challenger back in the day but those days have passed.
Civic SIs, Mazdaspeed3s, Evos, and WRTis are the new pony cars.
I guess I am just a little tired with US car companies copying the past.
I guess this car is less work than restoring a Challenger but IMHO it is also less fun.

June 9, 2008 at 1:40 pm
(3) IGB says:

Every time they park a Hyundai in your driveway and read your review, I fill with doubt as to your car-guy credentials.

Clearly the Challenger has cracked your shell and your car-guy marrow has been exposed. You’re true blue.

June 9, 2008 at 3:55 pm
(4) john says:

it sound fast butt look overweight to me. the 70 was a much better lookin car

June 9, 2008 at 7:07 pm
(5) hawaiian don says:

Great review…loved your passion! The feelings you had were the same ones I had when I brought home my brand new’69 Mustang Mach 1 Cobra Jet (I slept in it the first night).
This is a beautifully executed retro car. Unfortunately, its timing couldn’t be worse for real world drivers. With its ridiculous premium fuel consumption in a $5 a gallon world, it’s nothing but a weekend cruiser for the few. It’ll be interesting to see what the SE’s MPG numbers shall be. In sum, I won’t be considering buying one, but rather shall wait for the coming MINI SUV which shall give me all the retro, utitity, fun-to-drive and fuel efficiency that I want AND still be a head turner.

June 11, 2008 at 9:29 am
(6) Mike in Minn says:

Agreed with what Don said. Well worth waiting for this review. It suited the car.

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