Serendipitous Rendevous – How I met the 2008 Prototype

Blog Note: I was looking at old drafts I hadn’t published and found this one needing a bunch of old photos lost in archive. I found them…

 

Since you all haven’t noticed the link on the side that takes you to the 2008 Challenger prototype article, I decide to blog about my experience and stick the link to VALID CONCEPT in the article (se below at the end of the text).

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It was April of 2006 I got connected via Trans Am Challenger Owners Registry with an auto writer named Richard Truesdell who had a spot with the 2008 Dodge Challenger prototype. He wanted to gather a group of the original Challenger owners in the San Francisco area to meet him and the prototype at Laguna Seca Raceway for the two-day photo shoot in May 2006. He was particularly interested to hookup with vintage T/A owners to key on the Trans Am connection with Laguna Seca. Two of us T/A owners would respond, Reno Debon and myself.

At the time, I was attending Chinese Medicine School getting ready for finals and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to indulge in my hobby was put to some test. I was offered to stay with the rolling publicity shoot for two days but opted only to stay aboard only for the 1st day shoot at the Laguna Seca in effort to go back home to Menlo Park, CA and then to Santa Cruz, CA to catch my late afternoon acupuncture classes.

The afternoon before, I drove my garage queen T/A the 90 miles drive down to Monterey, with my friend Rock Woo driving my Ford Explorer with repair tools just in case. It was the longest drive I would take with the T/A in restored condition and it ran very well.

We needed to be ready to begin in the early morning the next day so I sprang for a nice room at Carmel Valley Ranch to catch some zz’s beforehand. Actually, the night we arrived, Rich Truesdell hosted all the Challenger owners to a dinner at one of the seafood restaurants on Cannery Row where we had some spirited talks about the motor world.

The next day started early with photo shoots beginning in the parking areas of  Carmel Valley Ranch trying a variety of ideas.

Eventually we made the winding drive to Laguna Seca to find areas to shoot. Rich was hoping we could get on the track, but for some unfortunate reason, we were not allowed not take our Mopars, even the prototype under the finish line straight away under the large banner there. I’m sure they were afraid of a bunch of donut patches showing up as if by magic on their pretty racetrack (one that I had driven on with my Mustang for my first open track with the NorCal Shelby Club).

Instead we found a couple of parking areas, one in the infield. We tried multiple configurations of staging our Challengers, included is the group shot with all participants including the secret agent Chrysler guys who were traveling  with the new experimental production vehicle. I can’t remember exactly, I think the prototype cost $4 Million?

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After a very busy morning of shooting, I had to leave, rededicating myself to the study of Chinese Medicine of where I had a perfect attendance record (believe me, it was torture that I  made myself to leave).  I  sacrificed going on a group cruise to Cannery Row and later to take my T/A with the two other vintage Challengers (a Hemi and and the other T/A) asked to continue on later to beautiful Big Sur for “on the road” shots the you can see in the linked article “Valid Concept.”

Now it’s 2016, I no longer have my Red T/A, and now all that is left are the memories, a few photos, this little article and my Acupuncture License. I can spend a life time needling myself out of this self-induced musclecar-deficient depression.

You can check out several photos below.

CKY

 

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CLICK ON THE VALID CONCEPT IMAGE below TO GO TO RICH TRUESDALE’s ARTICLE FEATURING OUR THE CARS IN THIS BLOGPOST

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PHOTO BLITZ with Captions

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Early morning at the resort, helping a fellow Challenger owner jump start his semi with my unscathed vintage battery.

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Photographer Truesdale loved this shot, two dudes screwing with their classic muscle cars. Me with my previously unscathed show battery terminals. Buzz Graves with his orange Hemi-Powered machine

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Dig it! The Prototype teams up with some real T/A Challengers.

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Rear end shot in one of the parking lots of Carmel Valley Ranch.

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The Chrysler guys were joking about how we had to pack our cherished cars together, remembering the many times they’ve had to cram cars together at the factory. My friend Rock is in the background. Yes, we had to hide in our cars while the shots were made.

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What do you do with a bunch of vintage Challengers? Make a sales ad.

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Secret Agent from the Chrysler Plant

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The Three Amigos, Reno Debon, Challen Yee, and Buzz Graves with the HEMI Shaker.

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Get back to your cars, Let’s try it this way

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No, let’s try it this way… no that way…

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So this is how you get some of those weird shots. Don’t forget your athletic cup.

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Let’s fuel up and head to the race track. Nice way to attract attention.

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Reno Debon’s T/A

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We’re on the roll

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Overlooking Laguna Seca

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Laguna Seca parking area

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My old pride and joy. The unintended garage queen.

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The Reno Debon T/A and Company

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Have you seen this style name plate?

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On an infield area at Laguna Seca, the photo group starts small with the prototype and the two vintage T/A’s in attendance.

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Move them doggies around

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Yeah, Baby. That’s some real Mopar

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Drivers! To your Cars!

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Let’s try it this way!

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Action Shot! Challenger T/A door opening, write it up.

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Post it. A rare picture.

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Another Rare picture, a vintage blue on blue 1970 HEMI car owned by Jeff Lederman.

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We got to highlight each of our cars, I went first because they knew I had to leave early.

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Nice pic, but yes, that ladder is very close to my car.

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Yes, very close.

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It was fun while it lasted. Once in a life time photo shoot. Hope you enjoyed my little walk back in time.

 

 

 

*****

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The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

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MoPar Alley Rally 2014

Mopar Alley Rally 2014- De Anza College, Cupertino, California

As the largest one-day MoPar car show in California, with over 350 cars annually, this year Mopar Alley found a new venue for their car show at De Anza College. The newly renovated parking lot comes equipped with solar panels overhead which saved most of us from getting toasted by the sun.

Below I’m sharing some of my photos for your curiosity. I also have the text that was posted in front of my car for passerbys. One guy who was looking for a 1970 Challenger for a project car asked if he could sit in my car (as per my invitation below) and, being a minor ambassador for the MoPar world, I was happy to let him.

I’ve entered this car show at least 4 times. I haven’t won anything yet, but I’m okay with it. Being a popular vote, there’s more fun involved. The best part of being at these MoPar shows is talking with people interested in sharing stories and information, taking pictures, and, for me,  catching up with some reading.

This year I entered my R/T in the “Daily Driver 1968-1974” class with 7 other cars. I don’t consider my car “Stock” and I don’t consider it in a show quality “E-body” category, or a “Pro-Street” class. Maybe  a “Vanishing Point” category would work?

In the past I entered my restored  FE5 (Bright Red) T/A, and the competition in that category is really tight.  A very nice, crowd favorite EB5 blue on blue 4 speed T/A owned by Barry Bentley takes the category almost annually and if they didn’t force category 1st place winners to compete in the following year’s “Topgun” class, someone like Barry could possibly take the 1st place category every year in his car’s class. This year there was only one other T/A, a very nice Fe-5 with a black vinyl top, owned by David Gibbons,  in T/A class (see in photos)… ding! winner!

(I did manage to take 3rd place in the Concourse d’Elegance at Stanford University back in 2004 which is judged strictly by officials).

 

mycar

Hi there… I am a real 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T.

I am a 44 year old muscle car and a driver. It’s okay to touch me or ask my owner questions if you want to.

I am known as an “N-code” E-body which means I was originally built with a 383. Actually, I originally came with an automatic and was painted Sublime-Green with a black bumblebee stripe.

At some point at least 3 owners before my current owner, my engine was replaced with a 440, with, I think, a .480 cam, headers and a Richmond 5-speed with 4.56 or stiffer gears. I was driven pretty hard since the 5th gear is 1:1.

Two owners ago, the rear axle gears were changed to 2.94’s which go well with the Richmond 5-speed since 5th gear is 1:1. Highway driving is decent.

Recently I’ve had my suspension upgraded and my 44 year old frame stiffened a little to handle the 440 and had a Six Pack added to match the hood emblems.

If you noticed, the Six Pack Air cleaner decal says “340” not “440”, this is because this air cleaner assembly is from my owner’s Challenger T/A (which he has since had to sell). When he bought that Challenger, it came with the wrong air cleaner assembly but had the correct 340 decal. During the restoration of that car, my owner kept that air cleaner assembly for me, a big-block MoPar. He’s got a new decal but hasn’t gotten around to fixing it yet. So for now, it’s a memorial to the old car (which was sold to a guy in Kentucky).

I still need my carbs tuned to get all my power back and by next year, I hope to get rid of this dorky-looking upholstery and headliner for a new set of Legendary NOS style upholstery and seat buns.

Since my owner likes the 1971 film “Vanishing Point”, I am probably going to remain Alpine White.

Thanks for Looking!

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oldchargerfastbackold2old1old_trucknew_tahood new_orange mycar ltBlu_cuda lime_cuda hoodornament gtx grey69greenSbird facing DSC_0107 drag_fish daves_ta chp barry_ta 2challengers

xrr xracer xpurpleconv xpink xold xnewchallengers xhotrod xgreenbomb xemblem xbugjuice xbomb xbluebomb xblackcuda xamx xair

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The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

 

Copyright © 2014 ChallenYee.com. TheDodgeKid.com  All Rights Reserved.