Owner Profile: Tamara Wong, Dublin, California
I first got involved with the LX community not long after buying my Charger in 2005. I had a question about why there was no spare tire. That lead to learning more about my Charger, then making some friends online, then agreeing to a meet and greet at the Jelly Belly factory, then signing up for the first Spring Fest in Irvine, making more friends, attending a Modification Face-Off, making more friends, attending my first track events (three in ten days), making even more friends and getting hooked on road course racing and autocrossing. That was back in 2006. Since then, I’ve made an effort to contribute my experiences and opinions, support others and get the word out about upcoming events. My pet project is cheerleading and keeping track of the attendance statistics for the annual Spring Fest of LXes in Irvine.
First Mopar ’99 Dodge Durango. I sold it to my Mom, who now drives it daily in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Holds up great in sub-zero temperatures. Or, if you count the mid-50s model Windsor Deluxe my dad brought Mom and me home from the hospital in… Mom told me it was a a sky blue color with all the chrome trim and handled like it belonged in a Dick Tracy comic. I guess I get it honest.
SRT garage 2006 Dodge Charger SRT8 in Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl
Favorite stretch of road Too hard to choose. The corkscrew at Laguna Seca, the big track at Willow Springs, Highway 9 on the way down to Santa Cruz, Highway 58 at dawn crossing the Mojave desert with a pack of other SRT8 owners, the 25 miles on 580 between Dublin and Tracy with a stop for tater tots before I turn around and drive home… basically, any road with curves and hills where I actually have to put the car through its paces.
Farthest traveled to meet a fellow car enthusiast I drove the Charger, with my mom co-piloting, from Dublin, California to Georgia and back for the second-annual Southeast Shindig, an all Chrysler/Dodge LX meet. That was in early August 2007.
Racing or cruising Both, when I get the chance. I drive it on a daily basis for errands, family outings and for work. I’ve also piloted it on roadtrips to SoCal, Las Vegas (two Bullruns before the week of SEMA) and Phoenix. I have taken part in track events at Willow Springs International Raceway, Altamont Speedway when it was still in operation, autocrossed at California Speedway, and dragstrips in Sacramento, Phoenix and even Georgia. I’ve also taken part in car shows like the Mopar Alley Mopar Rally® in Fremont, the Mopar Spring Fling in Van Nuys, five of the six Spring Festival of LXes in Irvine, plus a Mopar Rumble in the Desert and a SouthEastern Shindig.
Badge of Loyalty Before my SRT, I was just another driver. Since I got my SRT, I’ve become an ambassador of sorts, answering questions from perfect strangers at stoplights, gas stations and parking lots. I first drove my SRT Charger home from the dealer in November 2005, so for a good couple of years, it was unique and different from anything else in my local area. From my previous answer, you can see I’ve done a lot with my SRT. The car is a part of my lifestyle now. Since owning it, I’ve made more friends than I can count and had more once-in-a-lifetime experiences. I drove to Las Vegas with my then-fiancé as part of a Bullrun, attended SEMA, eloped on Halloween night and incorporated a Chrysler 300 stretch limo into the affair. I even managed to drive my daughter home from the hospital for the first time in my SRT. Now, I take her to classes and trips to Grandma’s house in it. She compares all other cars to the “mommy car” now.
Offline clubs CenCalLX are my family basically. We meet at least monthly here in California’s Central Valley, and we coordinate as a group to enter at least half a dozen car shows per year. We don’t have our own official car show just yet, but the club prefers to stay pretty low-key since the club runs smoother that way. We do our best to help each other out when times are tough. When my daughter was born 10 weeks premature, she was transferred to a NICU in San Francisco, 40 miles from home. So, the club pooled gas money for us to go see her every day, and threw us a huge baby shower. I couldn’t believe a bunch of guys got together and threw together a baby shower, but they pulled it off and I can never thank them enough. They do the same for other members who need help with getting a job, or car repairs, anything.
Connect with Tamara on Twitter.