The Charming Charger
The story about my best friends Charger and how it has now sadly ended.
In 2006, I got as a birthday present, one of my favorite HotWheels Cars of all time, a yellow Charger SRT-8 Super Bee in metallic yellow, a car that to this day I own and often play with, like any 25 year old petrolhead.
And If I am honest, is a car that I always liked, but always thought was on a unattainable level for me, Fast forward to high school, where everyone apparently peaks, and I met a guy who shared a lot of interests with me, and coincidentally, actually shared the same bithday with me.
We ended up becoming friends and I can confidently say that 10 years later, I still think of him like the brother I never had, even as far as being on the same college, on the same career and even entering the same first job 40 miles away from home, having to of course move out of our respective homes and therefore turning into roomates.
Throughout these 10 years of friendship he became increasingly interested in cars, something that I already was obsessed with, so of course when it came to picking up our first cars, we had colorful opinions of each others cars, he had a Chrysler Town and Country Minivan, heavily used and abused, but still in respectable shape, and mine was my still running 2003 classic VW Beetle.
Then one day, while entering school, I spot on the front parking spaces, a flaming 2006 yellow Charger R/T Daytona, a version that in Mexico at least, it's rarely seen, even more rare than the Super Bee. It looked nice and I passed by it, admiring its still good yellow paintjob and some 20" rims of a newer Challenger, overall, a tasteful car kept running but used constantly.
As soon as I enter school I spot my friend who very excitedly says to me, did you see my new car?, to which I replied "Which car?", and as he gestures to the car, I am left speechless and of course in a very comradery way, very happy for him.
My friends Charger Daytona 2006
The next 3 years of College were just a number of experiences and laughs and many included that car, given that he was the only one of us with a tag of the campus parking lot, that charger took us many times for pizza and tacos, which of course are funny stories on their own.
And when we graduated, we all went to what would become our first job place on that very car, now the downside of that yellow behemoth, was among many, its gigantic size, the lack of visibility, and the not so terrible, but still poor fuel economy.
I got to drive it on some ocassions, and while it felt heavy and powerful, it was surprisingly comfortable, I have never driven a V8 car that cruised as smoothly as that one, and the powerplant had a lot of torque meaning that a car that weighs almots 2 tonnes, felt quicker than it had the right to.
Front part of the Charger
He had that car for almost 7 years and on all of them he took it to some amazing places, every year was a new adventure, whether it was a group activity between us, or the car club friends he had, and even some girls he took out, he drove that car extensively, proving again and again that even though in theory that car was impractical, the reality was that the car delivered on every part of a daily driver, and utility vehicle, with my friend going as a far as taking a mattress on the trunk with the seats folded down.
That car I must also admit, I preferred over the Mustang on its early years, from 2006-2008 the Charger was a dream car of mine and I was always curious on how it would compare to the S197 Mustang, luckily I got to experience both outstanding american cars on different times and sa far as I can say, they're very different from each other and enjoyable on their own way.
Which in turn makes me sad to say, as the Yellow Behemoth, met its untimely demise recently, My friend, willing to keep the car running and driving for many years more, did an overhaul on it, resprayed it, fixed it and even changed the wheels for some more modern ones, but one fateful day, the car was flooded, all the way to the roof, meaning that when the water settled, there was an extensive damage on his precious daily driver.
Rear shot of the Charger
As the brother he is to me, it saddens me that he went through this pain, as that car was more than just a machine for him, it was an extension of him, and it showed his personality better than any other car, that car was a part of him, like many of ours are to us petrolheads.
In the near future he will probably get a newer car, and start another story, like we all do when the time comes to part ways with our cars, eventually creating new memories and forming new attachments all over again. But even though time will pass and sure every future car will be meaningful in their own way, I bet that neither he or I will forget that Charming Charger.