Brazilian journalists extol passion for honoring and accelerating Mopar supercars at traditional Woodward Dream Cruise, USA
October 4, 2019 - #FCAMeLevaDeNovo! (FCA Take me again!) This hashtag aptly reflects the reaction of a group of automotive journalists from Brazil after visiting – at the invitation of the FCA Group – the 2019 edition of Woodward Dream Cruise, an annual meeting in Detroit (USA) and every car lover's dreams. And believe me: once is not enough! "It is impossible not to want to go again. I would like to have spent two days on the avenue", says Jorge Moraes, editor at the Diário de Pernambuco and anchor of CBN Motor on CBN Recife radio station.
Following the tradition that began in 1995, the climax of the event took place on the third Saturday of August, on the 21-mile long Woodward Avenue through several cities in the metropolitan area of Detroit, Michigan. According to the organizers, throughout the week of the event, 1.5 million people attended the parade of no less than 40,000 cars of various brands.
As usual, the region becomes quite busy a few days before the event and on Friday the huge road connecting the cities of Detroit and Pontiac are taken over by the public, either by driving in cars that are not normally seen (not even in the United States) or on the sidewalk, admiring the machines, which also include models prepared by Mopar, the FCA brand dedicated to customizing vehicles and all other aftermarket aspects. You can even find amazing cars in shop parking lots or on side streets.
"The Mopar universe presented there shows how big and important the brand is for Americans. Those who like the good old classic cars and have V8 in their veins are very impressed", says Moraes, who, like other Brazilian journalists, had the opportunity to accelerate ten highly "Moparized" vehicles. "It was amazing. Mopar's ability to turn an old body car into a modern, demonic beast is impressive", emphasizes the editor of the TV Auto Motor program. He drove a 1967 Plymouth Belvedere renamed Hellvedere (with new badge and all), for getting a 707-hp HEMI 6.2-liter V8 Supercharged with 650 lb.-ft of torque under its hood. This is Hellcrate, a kit for vintage cars sold by Mopar in North America that includes the same engine as the Hellcat versions of the Dodge Challenger and Charger as well as the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.
This muscle car has thrilled everyone. "It is an intimidating car because it is too strong and does not have ABS, traction control or stability", explains Rodrigo Mora, editor of the blog Mora nos Classicos, by UOL Carros. "Its roar is brutal, like the grumbling of a grumpy rhino. The six-speed Tremec Magnum shifter is not delicate in the shifts, but it's wonderfully short and precise. There is excessive play in the steering, but for some reason I found this attractive because it makes you more afraid of driving fast."
Editor-in-chief and host of the Vrum automotive program, Clayton Souza named the Dodge Shakedown Challenger concept the most fun car he drove on the Woodward Dream Cruise. "It has incredible strength, with the deep mechanics upgrades ranging from the 485-hp HEMI V8 to the high-performance Brembo brakes. It was a lot of fun to drive it", he says. Created in 2016, this "Super Dodge" was assembled from the body of a 1971 Challenger, but with several modern touches, such as the LED lights from its current namesake car and the steering wheel of the Dodge Viper.
Editorial Director of Motor1 Website Daniel Messeder also got excited behind the wheel of the Shakedown. "Seeing the V8 engine screeching with every hard step on the accelerator was really remarkable, not to mention the impressions behind the wheel. I enjoyed the agile steering responses and the very short gear ratio. In fact, it's worth remembering that the steering gear and transmission are the latest generation in the Viper", he highlights.