Life & Style | Motoring

Davide's Dodge Challenger SRT8

Davide's bright green motor won't make tree-huggers happy, but petrolheads will be grinning from ear to ear

  • By Imran Malik, wheels magazine
  • Published: 00:00 February 10, 2012
  • Wheels

Dodge Challenger SRT8 392
  • Image Credit: Grace Paras/ANM
  • Davide likes his Challenger so much he doesn't want to put too many kilometres on it.
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Hailing from Modena, shouldn’t you be here with a red, Italian exotic of some sort?

Well, I used to have a red Fiat Barchetta! Although I can appreciate cars from an aesthetic and technical point of view, I’m more interested in cars with massive personalities.

They really do it for me and not much stands out more than a bright-green Challenger!

You got that right. It’s much like the wild colours the originals had. Plum Crazy was my favourite. But this Green With Envy is as good. What made you choose this colour?

My midlife crisis! No, I like bright colours and following the philosophy of the muscle car, they must be loud in every sense.

I believe it’s the only one in the UAE with this colour.

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I’m guessing every time you turn the key, you have a great big grin on your face…

I’m sorry I have to correct you — the engine fires up with a remote start and I think that is the best gadget on the car. It is especially useful in the morning when the engine is cold and I can start it up from my living room and wait for it to warm up.

But yes, when I crank it over, the sound does put a big smile on my face.

It looks awesome. But, it doesn’t just stand around looking pretty, does it?

Well, it has a 392-cubic-inch (6.4-litre) Hemi V8 that makes 470bhp. The engine is extremely generous, you can feel the torque from very low RPMs, while the gearbox, even if it is not particularly technical, does the job very smoothly. It spins the wheels with ease and the brakes are fine for normal daily driving and bring it to a safe stop but I know for sure that it isn’t the best-handling car — thankfully it has traction control which helps a lot.

To be frank, I’m not the greatest driver on the planet, so I don’t really push it that hard. However, it meets all my needs, no matter how basic they may be. Its whole purpose is to be noisy and smoke the tyres and it certainly does that. It really is a great muscle car.

It probably wouldn’t fare too well on the track as it is quite heavy and prefers straight-line action. Rumbling around on the streets is where it feels most at home.

It is an awesome daily drive. It’s big and comfortable and is much better than I thought it would be.

Now the problem is that I like it so much, I don’t want to put too many kilometres on it. I think I will have to buy another boring daily driver soon!

What did you used to drive before splashing out on this?

My previous car was a silver 2011 Grand Cherokee Overland. It was beautiful, safe, comfortable but unfortunately anonymous.

My wife was the one to push me to trade it in and to get something more to my liking. We had our eye on a grey Challenger with black stripes but surfed the Dodge website and saw one in this Green With Envy paint. So, we called the agent here and booked the car.

Just to be even sillier, I asked for a manual gearbox but production of cars with this paint and tranny were over, so I had to settle for an automatic.

Ah well, you can’t have it all. Has anything been modified or is it all stock?

The only thing that’s been done is that it has a Mopar exhaust but that isn’t for any performance gains, it’s just so it sounds louder. Nothing else will be modified. I dislike car customisation and believe that carmakers know best when it comes to performance and handling. They are experienced enough to let whatever they launch into the market be at the best of its capabilities.

I bet it gets more than a few looks of astonishment. What do people think about it?

I guess they think I’m a freak! But I don’t care; I’m happy and love my Challenger.
I love the fact that my six-year-old daughter thinks I am some sort of magical, mystical figure because of my green monster!

Are you part of any clubs?

No, I’m not aware of any club that is going to suit me and my car. I’m thinking about starting up a club for vintage and classic cars with a friend of mine. But the fact is, unfortunately, there does not seem to be a very big old-car culture here.

I mean, some people here consider a 1993 Mini a classic...

... But they’re really cool. Anyway, what is your dream car?

The Morgan Aero SS but I also love the Rolls-Royce Corniche and Ferrari Daytona.

Bio

Name Davide Fabbri
Job Sales
From Modena, Italy
Wheels 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392
In the UAE Seven years
 

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