Owner Profile: Dave Orr, Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
I was born into the Mopar family. My grandfather decided to go retail after working for Chrysler Canada for many years. One day, when I was ten, I was waiting in front of school and all of the sudden I started hearing all these kids holler and shout. I thought maybe the Power Rangers just showed up, but no -- it was Dad in a Dodge Viper RT/10. He swung into the parking lot like a rockstar and gave me a nod, and I ran to that machine grinning ear to ear. After that day, I would get introduced as "Dave, his dad has a Viper."
First Mopar 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Spring Special in B5 Blue. It was one of six B5 SRTs built on July 1, 2009, and the first six-speed manual car built that day.
SRT garage I still own my B5 Blue Challenger.
Favorite stretch of road From Mount Forest, Ontario, heading west on Highway 89, take Highway 17 toward Mansfield. Highway 17 is like nothing I have ever experienced: high-speed corners, chicanes and huge elevation changes. There's a stretch of rolling hills that are so steep you are literally driving into the sky. I took one uphill at such speed that it compressed my head into my shoulders -- Gs I've never felt in my life. When I came booming over the top the change caused my stomach to tickle my tonsils. It was such an experience I had to actually pull over and reflect on to what just happened.
Farthest traveled to meet a fellow car enthusiast I have driven over 800 miles in one day just to meet up with my buddies in their Challenger SRT8s. The trip took me to Mississauga, Barrie, Parry Sound, Whitby and Oshawa.
Racing or cruising I haven’t raced my SRT (yet), but I have driven it hard and fast. I have logged over 30,000km (close to 19,000 miles) of pure cruising enjoyment. Two summers ago I was averaging 1000km a week and loving every second of it. It’s the best commuter car out there.
Badge of Loyalty I am proud to say that I have had seat time in every SRT vehicle. Growing up with a Chrysler dealership in my family, I have had the luxury of watching the SRT brand form and grow. I was the driving force behind our dealership stocking the high performance SRT vehicles for my own selfish reasons.
Online hangouts challengertalk.com
Offline clubs I guess if we had a name you could call us “The GC SRTs”. The GC has two meanings: Gentlemen's Club (an inside joke) and Georgian College. Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario is the proud home of the Canadian Automotive Institute that has specialized programs in marketing and management designed to introduce car lovers to both corporate and dealership policy and procedures. I have been through both. There were some interesting courses like Automotive Law, Automotive History and Concepts of the Automotive Industry.
I remember the day the Challenger was reborn. Tom LaSorda made it official: the Challenger was 'A Go!' and it was going to be 'identical' to the concept. Fast forward almost two years and Dodge unveiled teaser shots of the production Challenger: the Alcoa rim, spoiler with SRT8 badge, the front grille and the exhaust tip. At that moment, my buddy Cam leaned to me in the middle of class and told me he was buying one from me. In February 2008, Cam and I drove down to Chicago to see the production Challenger unveiling. We both lost our minds seeing it person and spent the entire show staring at the Dodge booth. Our excitement and hundreds of pictures convinced our other bud Jeff to buy one, but he wanted to be different. He wanted a manual transmission and he wanted a stripe delete, so we placed the order.
Finally, it was my turn. I dreamed of B5 Blue the day number 43 of 6400 was sold on eBay. My dream came true July 27th, 2009, while working for Chrysler Canada.
Our final Challengers came last summer. Arthur ordered Furious Fuchsia SRT8 number 42 from me, and just before I left Chrysler, I ordered an extra-special FF SRT8 for myself. I ordered a six-speed manual car without a sunroof or navigation and Sound Group II -- every other Fuchsia SRT8 was loaded. With my connections, I was able to secure number 007. After an unfortunate accident, Cam was forced to write-off his car, so I sold him mine. In total, our crew has four of the finest SRT8s ever made.
Connect with Dave on Twitter.