Video: SRT at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show: the perfect chance to meet our fans.

SRT lands on the Chicago show floor for the first time.
Posted on Feb 12, 2012

Chicago is a city known for sincere hospitality, irresistible cuisine, and a glittering lakeside downtown district. SRT fans should know one more thing about the city: Chicago is home to several SRT-specific and SRT-friendly car clubs that make it a point to recruit every SRT owner they meet. The 2012 Chicago Auto Show was our chance to meet the amazing people behind these clubs.

Leaders and members from the Chicagoland Mopar Connection, Shelby Dodge Auto Club, Chicagoland SRT Club, Viper Club of Illinois, and joined driveSRT for Social Media Day at the show, where they were able to network with each other while experiencing the 2012 SRT lineup firsthand. Between casual conversation, club members joined a special panel of SRT representatives for an exclusive question-and-answer session. Beth Paretta, Director of Marketing and Operations at SRT, gave members a better understanding of where the brand is headed. Dave Cottrell, chief engineer of the Grand Cherokee SRT8, fielded specific questions from our Jeep fans. Finally, SRT president and CEO Ralph Gilles spent time asking fans how they’d like to see the brand offer support to the owner and fan community in the future.

“Today, Ralph posed the question, ‘Can the new and the old exist together?’ From what we see at the Mopar car shows, the answer is, ‘absolutely’,” said Roger Smeling, president of Chicagoland Mopar Connection. “We as muscle car owners see that the future is in front of us in the form of the LX and LC cars, as well as the established SRT platform. We have definitely welcomed all of those cars with the many classes that we have added to our show field.”

“We had an absolute blast at the SRT display,” said Gary Oldenburger, a member of Chicagoland Mopar Connection who has worked at Chrysler’s Belvedere Assembly Plant for 25 years. “As a Chrysler employee, it makes me feel great to see the effort being put in by you guys to make everyone involved with SRT so easy to talk to,” said Oldenburger, a Crossfire SRT6 owner who calls SRT “a way of life."

Club guests quickly began relaying their experiences to their home forums, as well as posting updates to Facebook and Twitter directly from the show floor. As each new thread began to grow, the excitement of the day was catalogued to live on forever.

“It was good to chat with other like-minded SRT fans,” said Joe Montana, an active forum member at “I'm already uploading photos and posting to the forum.”


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