Day 5/LA

After the last 4 days of searching for the right car, we end up back at the original car we looked at, and pay for it.

I’m shown the SatNav, uConnect, Performance Pages app and other features of the car, and it has plenty. One of my favorites is the engine. Sure it’s a pushrod, 2-valve OHV V8, so old school, but that just means it makes old school V8 noises and there’s no going past that. In a manual, it just sounds so much better – also the manual version has 4 more HP than the auto so take that 8-speed Torqueflite – I have more power than you!

For the heat we are going to have, especially Las Vegas/Arizona, the ventilated seats are going to be fantastic. The car has a heated steering wheel and seats too, but I doubt they’ll be needed. The 8.4” touchscreen is great for my eyesight, and the SatNav is going to be so much easier than using our phones like we have been. The Chrysler uConnect system is excellent, and after using so many others, this one is right up there with the best.

After all the paperwork is done, we drove off in our ‘B5 blue’ 2016 Challenger RT Plus.

Do I wish I’d bought an auto? Nah, but it’d be close in acceleration; the 6-speed manual Tremec box is fairly manly, and needs a solid hand to move gears and let’s be honest, it doesn’t like to change gears too quickly. The clutch is pretty manly as well, but I’ve gotten used to it quickly. It may just mean bigger calf muscles on my left leg eventually.


Those are the two ‘worst’ things about the car, the rest of it so far excellent. Reasonably big back seat for three people, a far bigger boot than a Camaro or Mustang. The looks do it for me too – stunning in that colour. According to one dealer 85% of the Challengers they sell are grey, silver white or black. BORING! Dodge has some awesome colours for the Challenger, including Mango and Plum Crazy (purple), so why go grey…I have no idea.

Tomorrow we move our base to San Diego for five days, hopefully taking the long way so it takes more than the normal 90 minutes.

Will post pics of the new car once I can find a decent location. One thing I had forgotten about driving in the US is stopping – you just can’t. Many kerbs are painted red, so you can’t stop there. They just don’t have the pull-off spots like we do in New Zealand.

I’ll get to it soon and it will be worth it – it’s a stunning looking motorcar.

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Fred Alvrez
How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm a driving instructor and an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.


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