SRT® Owner Profile: Bill Donoho, La Plata, Maryland
I got started with a European car when I could afford a "nice" car, so when I compared my Euro fit and finish with my previous vehicle, an American pickup truck, there was a night and day difference to the interior quality. So my perception of most American cars/trucks was low. At the same time though, I enjoyed wrenching on my own car, and it's not easy to do on Euro cars, because you had to have specialty tools to do the simplest of basic engine care. It was expensive and ridiculous.
So I checked out the Magnum when it hit the showroom floor so I could see what it was about, and loved the interior quality. The 340-hp HEMI® from 2005 was a nice start, but after a year or so, I knew I wanted more, and the SRT8 version of the Magnum was finally coming out, so I planned to own one. I was bit. I loved that motor, and with a mild exhaust update, it just sounded so mean.
After those first two years, the sharp minds on the LX boards were making some stout products for the 6.1-liter engine, and I knew I wanted to own a monster motor someday too and started my plans for that. But, along the way, the Challenger prototype came out and I was hooked on the look. It was retro, though slightly updated. My vision for the car is exactly what I have today, a modern muscle car with a mean look, monster engine, and all the conveniences I desired.
First Mopar® 2005 Cool Vanilla Magnum R/T
SRT® Garage 2009 HEMI Orange Challenger SRT
Favorite Stretch of Road A6 in Germany. With the long stretches of unlimited speed highway, I was tempted to take a job in Germany just to take my car there and drive it.
Farthest Traveled to Meet a Fellow Car Enthusiast I've been on a car cruise from Washington D.C. up to Pennsylvania.
Racing or Cruising I drag race my Challenger at the race track, and so far, have a best pass of 10.89-seconds at 126 mph on Nitto Invo 315/35x20 tires. I now have Mickey Thompson ETII tires in the garage, but haven't run her yet with those on. Even with 715 rwhp on pump gas, she's my daily driver (unless it's snowing). If I had to do the beltway daily with 100hp, I'd lose my mind.
Online Forums I'm on LX Forums, Challengertalk, USMopars.
Offline Clubs I meet up with local LX/LC owners for Mopar® gatherings such as Moparpalooza and the NMCA/ShopHEMI meet at MIR annually. I also still hang out with Euro car enthusiasts I met when I still had one. I like hanging out with the local European car guys as they are more hands-on with their cars than many I know from other car platforms.
Badge of loyalty This is my third HEMI car. The first was a 2005 Cool Vanilla Magnum R/T, which I bought when my first son was born, since I wanted a family car with some go. After the standard mods, I loved the look, but wanted more go, so I traded up for a 2006 Brilliant Black Magnum SRT8, and I loved that through my second son's coming. That was the family truckster for a few years and was one hell of a wagon. When my wife got her American sports car, I was jealous of the 2-door. Once my sons could crawl into the booster seats in the back on their own I found my current 2009 Challenger SRT and traded in the Magnum for her.