Here in The Garage, we were rooting hard for the Mopar team at the 2008 Targa Newfoundland. Not only is the Dodge Challenger built here in Ontario, but the piloto is none other than hometown boy Ralph Gilles. While many consider the Dodge icon to be as American as apple pie, there is a strong Canadian flavour to this go fast dessert.
Like any hi speed event on real roads, a car has to be tough as nails to even finish. Of the 70 cars that started the 2008 Targa, only 39 finished. On its first real race outing, the Challenger finished 2nd in class and 22nd overall. A great introduction for an enthusiastic team.
Enthusiasm is a big part of what carries a car like the Challenger to market, a consideration which is not lost on the folks at Chrysler. A second, production car was also on hand for the team to introduce to fans alongside the 540 horsepower rally car. The team met with fans at every chance and even dropped in at a couple of dealerships to spread the gospel of Mopar.