St. Louis SRT® Club turns heads with their rides and supports the local community through philanthropy.
For Cory Brant, it was love at first sight. And why not? The Neon SRT4 was like no car he had ever seen. The sporty and curvaceous styling cues, the flair of its ground effects, coupled with the sheer speed and performance of the ultra-powerful turbocharged four-cylinder gripped him and would not let go.
Wanting to share his passion for the SRT4 with the masses, Brant formed the St. Louis SRT Club. From humble beginnings with just four members, the club now consists of around 100 paying members and over 750 online forums users. They all have one thing in common -- unbridled passion for the SRT® brand.
"The people have been the biggest and best part of the club," notes Cory. "When I started this in 2003, I never thought it would get to where it is today. Some of my best friends have come from this car club. Everyone takes a great pride in their car and the club as a whole."
About two-thirds of the members of the St. Louis SRT Club have SRT Neons and Calibers. Within the club there also are Crossfires SRTs, Grand Cherokee SRTs, Challenger SRTs, Chargers SRTs, Ram SRTs and one Viper.
"These are rare vehicles, so people seem to really be drawn to them," shares Cory. "We are part of an elite group, as you just don't see these vehicles every day. It's neat to see how people who have never seen an SRT react. They always have a lot of questions, especially wanting to know how fast they go and how much power we are putting out. Being able to explain the car to people and share our passion is one of the best parts about it."
Reminiscent of the car club culture, the St. Louis SRT Club takes part in drive-ins and cruises, in addition to photo shoots. While the St. Louis SRT Club has its roots on the street and at the track, the group takes great pride in giving back to the community in the greater St. Louis area. Every December, the club gathers toys for the Toys for Tots program sponsored by the United States Marine Corps., to help brighten the holidays for less fortunate children. Keeping in that same spirit, the club raises funds for St. Baldrick's, which helps kids with cancer. Each year the club sets a goal and if that goal is met, Cory shaves his head, per the St. Baldrick's tradition. Happily, the club again met its goal last year.
"It's a lot of fun helping out the charities and everyone pitches in," says Cory with a smile. "Our supporting vendors are great about donating prizes and we are able to have raffles as well. Hopefully, we'll meet all of our goals again this year."
The summer months are busy for the club, as they take part in the annual Monster Mopar® Weekend, which has traditionally been held at Gateway International Raceway, just outside St. Louis. Following the closure of the track last year, the event shifted to Indianapolis, Indiana, and was back at Gateway this year, with the re-opening of the facility under the banner of Gateway Motorsports Park. The Monster Mopar Weekend consists of a car show, a swap meet, a vendor's midway and also drag racing. In the true spirit of SRT, club members take to the track for parade laps around the 1.25-mile oval.
Adding to their passion for the brand, the St. Louis SRT Club had the chance to meet some SRT insiders and those in-the-know last year, during the High Performance Tour. That function left a lasting impression on the club and its members, reaffirming their bond to the brand.
"Everyone at SRT is so personable and treats us so well," remarks Cory. "Things like the High Performance Tour coming to town really make a lasting impression with club members and SRT owners. The folks at SRT take care of their owners and the clubs that follow and support them."
Whether on the street, at the track or within the community, the St. Louis SRT Club embodies everything that SRT stands for and we are proud to call them one of our own.
Visit the St. Louis SRT Club online at: stlsrt.com.