Karl on Cars

Let's Talk Cars, Motorcycles and Other Life-Changing Events

Flash Back Friday: 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE

2018-Dodge-Challenger-SRT-Demon-Lake-Elsinore-Front

The 2018 Dodge-Challenger-SRT-Demon looks almost as good as a Ford GT

My 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is actually the third Dodge Challenger I’ve owned. As featured a few weeks ago, I had a 1973 Dodge Challenger Rallye when I was in college in Colorado. That car was pretty cool, but as fun as it was to drive I always wanted a big-block Dodge Challenger, preferably a 440 or 426 Hemi version from 1970 or 1971.

1973 Dodge Challenger Rallye Front

The Challenger’s body damage was not extreme, but every panel had a noticeable flaw

About 13 years after selling my 1973 Dodge Challenger Rally I found another Challenger while browsing eBay. This was an all-original, one-owner car with every single feature I wanted. First, it was a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE, which immediately makes it a relatively rare and well-equipped car. There were plenty of Dodge Challenger R/Ts produced, and a fair amount of Dodge Challenger SEs were made, too. But there are very few original Challengers that featured both packages in one car.

1970 Dodge Challenger RT SE Front Sunset

My 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE had every factory feature I wanted

Though I didn’t know it at the time, this car was also a Chrysler executive ordered car, which is why it was so loaded with features. When I saw the eBay listing I was thrilled to see this Challenger’s list of factory features: 440 engine, air conditioning, AM/FM radio, rear defrost, rim-blow steering wheel, chrome trim (mirrors and windows) and hood pins. And, best of all, it was painted my favorite vintage Challenger color: Plum Crazy Purple.

2019 Ford GT Carbon Series World Debut at SEMA

2019 Ford GT Carbon Series at SEMA

The 2019 Ford GT Carbon Series debuted at SEMA in Leadfoot Gray

I reported on the new 2019 Ford GT Carbon Series when it debuted in Leadfoot Gray at the SEMA show. For that story I simply used the Ford GT press photos, but I was on the SEMA show floor when they pulled the wraps off the Carbon Series, and I captured both photos and video during the process.

 

The Dodge Challenger: America’s Porsche 911?

Dodge Challenger Porsche 911 Auto Show Girl

These two models share timeless styling that hasn’t changed, and hopefully never does

The Dodge Challenger is one of the most iconic American muscle cars of all time. There is a high level of love in the car community for this quintessential US car. But how many of these Challenger lovers would be willing to see the iconic car redesigned? That’s what we’re going to be discussing today.

Few cars possess a style that can hold up over a single decade, let alone multiple decades. One of those cars is the Porsche 911. The 911 has certainly evolved since its introduction in 1963, but the sports car’s basic profile and proportions remain unchanged after more than 50 years. I’d argue that at this point Porsche can’t change the 911 without risking a massive revolt from the car’s dedicated fanbase.

Porsche 911 Vintage Show Monterey

The Porsche 911’s basic shape and proportions have aged gracefully

I’d make the same argument about the Dodge Challenger. Unlike the Porsche 911, the Dodge Challenger doesn’t have 5 decades of uninterrupted production. Dodge’s muscle car was only in production for 5 years before it vanished for 35 years (and no, the Mitsubishi “Challenger” from the 1980s doesn’t count…).

Two-Wheeled Tuesday: Triumph X75 Hurricane

1975 Triumph Trident 1973 Triumph Hurricane

The 1975 Triumph Trident and 1973 Triumph Hurricane are two of my favorite bikes

For a long time, the Triumph X75 Hurricane was my ultimate dream motorcycle. As previously noted, I grew up in a house full of classic British motorcycles. Sure, 1960s and 1970s BSAs and Triumphs weren’t quite as “classic” in the 1980s. They were mostly thought of as old, leaky, unreliable has-beens compared to the more advanced Japanese motorcycles of the day.

1973 Triumph Hurricane Dodge Challenger

The Hurricane’s fiberglass bodywork flowed from its tank to the side panels

But any enthusiast with foresight knew, even back then, these bikes told a compelling emotional story flush with timeless design elements and an engaging man-machine interface. And within the massive spectrum of classic British two-wheelers there were bikes like the Vincent Black Shadow, the Norton Commando and the Triumph X75 Hurricane. I appreciate all legendary British motorcycles, but I personally loved the Triumph X75 Hurricane.

Going Secret Agent in the Ford GT

2005 Ford GT Karl Brauer Suit

The Ford GT cleans up well; certainly better than I do

In September of 2015 I had an opportunity to drive an Aston Martin DB10 ahead of the James Bond movie, Spectre, premiering in U.S. theaters. This was one of 10 cars produced for the movie, none of which were street legal and one of two that weren’t destroyed during the movie shoot. I used this opportunity to produce a story and video for Forbes in which you never see my face but you do get a glimpse of my hand or arm or some other random body part.

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