Owner Profile: Brandon Averill, Fort Myers, Florida.
Since I was young, and I do mean young, cars have always been my passion and hobby. I knew that, one day when I grew up, I was going to do something with cars.
I got my driver’s license in 2003, the year that SRT was beginning to develop. In 2004, I bought my first SRT vehicle, the Neon SRT4®. The test drive was like no other. The Viper-inspired seats hugged you as you would corner, and the overall feel of the car and performance was spot-on. Since then, I haven't looked back. While I've owned a variety of sports cars, bikes and trucks, the SRT lineup continues to surprise me, and has always been my favorite lineup.
First Mopar 2004 Dodge Neon SRT4 in Flame Red. This was my very first manual transmission car, and already knowing the basics, I fine tuned my shifting skills to perfection. The car is owned by an individual overseas now, and has the original clutch at 88,000 miles.
Mopar garage I currently own a 2008 Jeep® Grand Cherokee SRT8 in Brilliant Silver with every option except navigation. I got it in 2007 when I went to my first Track Experience. I'd say it's held up quite well!
Favorite stretch of road It’s too hard to choose with all of the different places I’ve seen. Basically, any road that allows me to drive the car how it was intended and built, and has enough room to get the car moving.
Farthest you've driven to meet with a fellow car enthusiast Every year, twice a year, there was an event in Boca Raton, Florida known as the “Hybrid Kid Picnic”. It was hosted by the parents of a fallen SRT member, Andrew Chin Shue, who passed away in 2003. The parents built “Project Blue”, a big-turbo SRT4, in honor of Andrew. It was always the main attraction. SRTs, Ferraris and all sorts of exotic vehicles would make the trek over just to see “Project Blue” at this picnic, as well as honor Andrew.
Racing or cruising I’ve raced my Neon SRT4 and my Charger SRT8 at Immokalee Regional Raceway, an eighth-mile track in Immokalee, Florida, as well as Bradenton Motorsports Park, a quarter-mile track in Bradenton, Florida. All of my SRT vehicles have been daily drivers. Cruising with local SRT friends on the weekends was routine, while getting the pleasure and satisfaction of driving SRTs everyday.
Badge of loyalty Getting seat time in every SRT vehicle, including the Viper, and owning three models of the SRT lineup myself. I also have miscellaneous apparel and merchandise, and I keep the boost gauge from my first Neon SRT4 on display in my office.
Offline clubs We didn’t have a designated name, but a group of us who had SRTs would cruise every weekend and go to local meets, track events or car shows. We would all get together and “convoy” to the east coast twice a year for the picnic. Some of us still have SRTs, and others have moved on, but most of us still keep in touch and meet up from time to time.