Richard Cox and his Dodge Challenger Shaker
Power from the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 should be north of 375 horsepower.
I met a celebrity at the Dallas Auto Show. He was young, handsome, wearing a three-piece suit and standing in front of a fast car.
That man’s name was Richard Cox, a leading man in the gearhead world. And that car was his personal vehicle, a Header Orange 2014 Dodge Challenger Shaker, number 0001/2000.
My already-awesome morning just got that much better.
The director of the brand, which celebrates its 100th birthday this year, was having a great day as well. Cox told my colleagues in the Texas Auto Writers Association and I that Dodge retail sales were up 32 percent in 2013, making it the fastest-growing car brand in America. That figure is even more impressive when you consider the entire industry’s seven percent jump.
Cox’s company fared even better in the Lone Star State. Last year, its sales went up by 37 percent, he said. The whole auto business itself enjoyed a nine-percent increase.
In a way, the 2014 Challenger Shaker is already sold out. All 2,000 units were ordered by Dodge dealers in under four days. Each one has a genuine shaker attached to a 5.7-liter HEMI V8, a Mopar cold-air intake, unique 20-inch wheels, side exhaust pipes, a conical air filter and performance-tuned steering and suspension.
The 2014 Challenger Shaker is available in six colors, including Plum Crazy Pearl and Header Orange (pictured).
The engineering team should be happy. Cox certainly is. He likes seeing the black bump on the hood, straight and center. “You give a little bit of throttle or in almost any gear and, all of a sudden, you can see that shaker moving and it just takes you back to a different time and puts a smile on your face, instantly.”
A flat-bottomed steering wheel hints at the Challenger Shaker’s racier performance. So does the three-mode electronic stability control system, which can be deactivated for track time.
He’s also been spreading that happiness to everyone around him, getting thumbs up from people of all ages, and literally stopping traffic. While Cox was at the border between the United States and Canada, a gate worker stopped serving a customer to approach him and ask him to pop his hood. Cox said the man was blown away by the fact that the shaker was not just a bit of non-functional cosmetics and that the car didn’t cost $50,000 to $60,000. The Challenger Shaker starts at a much lower $36,995.
Unfortunately, Cox wasn’t able to share official performance stats, but he did say to expect better response, driveability and performance from the additional air intake of the shaker and the conical air filter.
Dodge’s nostalgic nod to its muscle car past went into production in late January and is hitting dealership floors now.
Hit this link to see all of the Challenger Shaker’s performance gear.