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It is hard to believe that it has been 10 years already with this car. Purchased in May 2006, drove for the first time November 2006 (more on that later). Okay, so a little more than 10 years. I meant to post this up earlier, I have some time now :grin:

I bought my SRT-4 sight unseen, unless you count the internet. I was in Iraq in 2005/2006. I wanted an Electric Blue pearlcoat SRT-4, and looked all over. It was May 2006 though, and that color was the feature 2004 color. I wasn't a big fan of the Orange Blast (sorry those of you who have them, just not my thing heh heh), and finding a blue was turning into an impossible process.

The local dealer had some interesting SRT-4's though, 2005 Commemorative Edition. I looked them up, found the info on here interestingly enough. HemiDakota had a thread discussing them. I called the dealer, he said they had three of them, 69, 70, and 71. He said he'd find the one with the lowest miles for me, but once he said they all had under 12 miles, I said "I'll take #69 ", you know, because that pervert inside of us always has to spring forth from time to time >:)

My buddy picked the car up, and put it in storage. I remember sitting in Iraq reading about what all the guys on this forum were up to, studying, taking notes about upgrades, what addon parts to buy. October 2006, had about a month left in Iraq, so I ordered BWoody HBrace and traction bars, and an Aeroforce Interceptor gauge. I can remember wondering if I was more excited to come home and see my wife...

...or my car. I can't really answer that question to this day haha.

November 2006, finally home, headed to my buddies place. Backing the car out of the storage facility... jamming the brakes hard and catching my breath when I looked in the rear view mirror...

Oh shit, that's just that f'ing wing!!! WHEW!!! (that took about a week to get used to back there, not going to lie).



In his garage, drilling, under 60 miles on the vehicle and already putting parts on it. The traction bars and HBrace installed, gauge set up in the car. Taking it out later that night to head for home.

Same night, my first stoplight pull!!! Sorry Pontiac Grand Prix GTP, you never really had a chance :grin:

Driving cross country to California, wife was still stationed at Camp Pendleton...

On that trip, my first photobucket picture:



Among others:





Spent three months in San Diego. Discovered that every idiot Marine out there seemed to own a Toyota or Nissan pickup truck, and all they ever wanted to do was street race... and lose. Found out about Fontana, went up there several times. Met up with the Southern Cal San Diego SRT-4 crowd at one of the meets, great time! Then found out she was getting out, headed back early with a car load of stuff to Nebraska





Nebraska weather was considerably different than California weather in January



Discovered that KDW2 tires + snow = potential death... stopped driving in the snow.

Started the Commemorative Edition Register page here:



Moved into a small apartment, moved into a bigger apartment six months later. Moved into a house one year later. Realized I couldn't keep daily driving the SRT in the winter if I wanted it to stay nice, so got another Neon.



Installed factory cruise control on my SRT-4. Figure there are probably less than maybe a dozen people who have ever done it?



Found out that purchasing an SRT new allows you to attend the SRT Drive experience. Drove to Jolliet Illinois to participate in that event, had a blast :clap:



On the way back, imagined that I ran the car to 155 mph against a Pontiac Grand Prix GXP on the interstate in Iowa, because of course, if I really did that, putting that here could potentially get me into some hot water ;) This situation is the only time I "imagined" the car going that fast in all the time I have owned it.

Got personalized plates. Drove up to Cleveland Ohio to the SRT-4 Nationals, met ERabbit and a bunch of other great guys. Ran the car completely out of gas and coasted to a stop in the gas station parking lot, had to push the car to the pump to fuel it:





Got my personalized plates, then picked up a Mopar Borla exhaust and waste gate assembly cheap from a guy going through a divorce:



Went through a divorce myself :frown: Kept the car! :clap:



Moved away for my job. Moved back a couple of years later. Drove up and took part in the Woodward Cruise in Detroit:





Realized while I was there... there are starting to be fewer and fewer of us left, only saw 2 other SRT-4's the entire time, out of more than 40,000 cars.

Attending countless Mopar events in the Midwest





70k miles, replaced the shifter/tranny bushings.



Also replaced the transmission fluid...

For the first time (I KNOW I KNOW, WTF ARE YOU DOING RT???)



I could talk about a host of other things, the other cars I've owned, from the pickup, to her Buick, to the Cruz, now to the Ecodiesel. The SRT-4 however has been amazing. I've beaten up on cars I didn't think I could. I've been beaten by cars that surprised me, the Honda Civic turbo guy who bought me lunch just so he could talk about cars. The state patrolman who pulled me over doing 130 mph but couldn't ticket me because "I couldn't get a radar lock on you, you were going too fast". The skunk that bonked his head on my oil pan, then let loose with his cologne all along the underside of the car (the only time I've ever gone to the car wash at 3 in the morning, and it STILL STUNK FOR 3 MONTHS AFTER!).

She has been incredibly reliable, check engine light on once, only once, after installing the Mopar exhaust, to let me know "uh, hey man, no downside O2 sensor reading" (because this set up doesn't have it). Cleared it, never came back, never seen another one. I don't want to hear from you Chevy guys... my Cruz was in the shop EIGHT times, check engine light came on God knows how many times, and that was my daily and didn't get driven near as hard as the SRT. Up and down the track, did a 13.9 once (just once, sadness) rodding the piss out of her, but just goes to show, you keep track of engine oil, coolant, don't do stupid mods, this car can go on, and on, and on....

Everything has been so fun. Yes she shifts hard, yes the interior is literally stepping back into last century. Yes people ask me "Dude, you have CD's in here???". Yes, I have the last BF Goodrich KDW2 tires that were available for this car (from 3 different places all around the USA), because I guess I like originality more than performance (I'm sure stowaway would confirm that about the stock tires haha).

So this is today:



10 years, 75,351 miles, lived in 7 different places, 5 daily driver vehicles, a wife, 2 kids, a divorce, this car and I have been through a lot. I still come across old posts from other forums from back in the day, laughing it up that Dodge would even consider making this vehicle. "A turbo neon? haha that will blow up before it is even a year old" "Won't touch my WRX, hell it won't even beat a honda". It brings a warm fuzzy feeling. I've watched so many people come and go here at the forums but I cherish all the information I've gained, the crazy fights we had here, the friendships I've made, and even though there aren't near as many people, I hope the forum continues to go on. After all, I have a stage 3 package that I need to install, and I may need some more information. It's only been sitting in the box for SIX YEARS now.

I will buy other cars, maybe even other SRT's, certainly other daily drivers, but I will never sell this car. I've grown to "love the hate" that it gets, I don't expect it to ever be worth anything, but it is worth its weight in gold to me, and that is honestly all that matters.

So here is a big cheers to these cars, and to all of us who own them now, have owned them in the past, and who purchase them in the future, may they continue to make your heart race, and bring a smile to your face.
 

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Good story. I installed cruise as well. Not the factory but the Rostra system. Best thing I've done to the car. I'll keep this car as long as I can keep it running. I baby the transmission. Sourcing parts for this rare tranny if needed will be interesting.


Adrien
 

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I miss mine so much. I'm jumping back in next year and doing a complete rebuild. Never going to get rid of the next one. It's really the only car I've regretted selling and I've owned STi, Camaros, mustangs, Mazdaspeed 3. I just loved the underdog nature of it.
 

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This is one of the greatest tributes I have ever read. Makes me want to delete my FS thread and go give my car a hug.
 

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here here.. great write up..

not many of us original owners, just hit 208k on a dd... still no traction (he he) and the quest continues for faster et's
at 10 years old.. little stuff has started to pop up.. for example foglights turn on during hard acceleration (which is most of the time)


It is hard to believe that it has been 10 years already with this car. Purchased in May 2006, drove for the first time November 2006 (more on that later). Okay, so a little more than 10 years. I meant to post this up earlier, I have some time now :grin:

I bought my SRT-4 sight unseen, unless you count the internet. I was in Iraq in 2005/2006. I wanted an Electric Blue pearlcoat SRT-4, and looked all over. It was May 2006 though, and that color was the feature 2004 color. I wasn't a big fan of the Orange Blast (sorry those of you who have them, just not my thing heh heh), and finding a blue was turning into an impossible process.

The local dealer had some interesting SRT-4's though, 2005 Commemorative Edition. I looked them up, found the info on here interestingly enough. HemiDakota had a thread discussing them. I called the dealer, he said they had three of them, 69, 70, and 71. He said he'd find the one with the lowest miles for me, but once he said they all had under 12 miles, I said "I'll take #69 ", you know, because that pervert inside of us always has to spring forth from time to time >:)

My buddy picked the car up, and put it in storage. I remember sitting in Iraq reading about what all the guys on this forum were up to, studying, taking notes about upgrades, what addon parts to buy. October 2006, had about a month left in Iraq, so I ordered BWoody HBrace and traction bars, and an Aeroforce Interceptor gauge. I can remember wondering if I was more excited to come home and see my wife...

...or my car. I can't really answer that question to this day haha.

November 2006, finally home, headed to my buddies place. Backing the car out of the storage facility... jamming the brakes hard and catching my breath when I looked in the rear view mirror...

Oh shit, that's just that f'ing wing!!! WHEW!!! (that took about a week to get used to back there, not going to lie).



In his garage, drilling, under 60 miles on the vehicle and already putting parts on it. The traction bars and HBrace installed, gauge set up in the car. Taking it out later that night to head for home.

Same night, my first stoplight pull!!! Sorry Pontiac Grand Prix GTP, you never really had a chance :grin:

Driving cross country to California, wife was still stationed at Camp Pendleton...

On that trip, my first photobucket picture:



Among others:





Spent three months in San Diego. Discovered that every idiot Marine out there seemed to own a Toyota or Nissan pickup truck, and all they ever wanted to do was street race... and lose. Found out about Fontana, went up there several times. Met up with the Southern Cal San Diego SRT-4 crowd at one of the meets, great time! Then found out she was getting out, headed back early with a car load of stuff to Nebraska





Nebraska weather was considerably different than California weather in January



Discovered that KDW2 tires + snow = potential death... stopped driving in the snow.

Started the Commemorative Edition Register page here:



Moved into a small apartment, moved into a bigger apartment six months later. Moved into a house one year later. Realized I couldn't keep daily driving the SRT in the winter if I wanted it to stay nice, so got another Neon.



Installed factory cruise control on my SRT-4. Figure there are probably less than maybe a dozen people who have ever done it?



Found out that purchasing an SRT new allows you to attend the SRT Drive experience. Drove to Jolliet Illinois to participate in that event, had a blast :clap:



On the way back, imagined that I ran the car to 155 mph against a Pontiac Grand Prix GXP on the interstate in Iowa, because of course, if I really did that, putting that here could potentially get me into some hot water ;) This situation is the only time I "imagined" the car going that fast in all the time I have owned it.

Got personalized plates. Drove up to Cleveland Ohio to the SRT-4 Nationals, met ERabbit and a bunch of other great guys. Ran the car completely out of gas and coasted to a stop in the gas station parking lot, had to push the car to the pump to fuel it:





Got my personalized plates, then picked up a Mopar Borla exhaust and waste gate assembly cheap from a guy going through a divorce:



Went through a divorce myself :frown: Kept the car! :clap:



Moved away for my job. Moved back a couple of years later. Drove up and took part in the Woodward Cruise in Detroit:





Realized while I was there... there are starting to be fewer and fewer of us left, only saw 2 other SRT-4's the entire time, out of more than 40,000 cars.

Attending countless Mopar events in the Midwest





70k miles, replaced the shifter/tranny bushings.



Also replaced the transmission fluid...

For the first time (I KNOW I KNOW, WTF ARE YOU DOING RT???)



I could talk about a host of other things, the other cars I've owned, from the pickup, to her Buick, to the Cruz, now to the Ecodiesel. The SRT-4 however has been amazing. I've beaten up on cars I didn't think I could. I've been beaten by cars that surprised me, the Honda Civic turbo guy who bought me lunch just so he could talk about cars. The state patrolman who pulled me over doing 130 mph but couldn't ticket me because "I couldn't get a radar lock on you, you were going too fast". The skunk that bonked his head on my oil pan, then let loose with his cologne all along the underside of the car (the only time I've ever gone to the car wash at 3 in the morning, and it STILL STUNK FOR 3 MONTHS AFTER!).

She has been incredibly reliable, check engine light on once, only once, after installing the Mopar exhaust, to let me know "uh, hey man, no downside O2 sensor reading" (because this set up doesn't have it). Cleared it, never came back, never seen another one. I don't want to hear from you Chevy guys... my Cruz was in the shop EIGHT times, check engine light came on God knows how many times, and that was my daily and didn't get driven near as hard as the SRT. Up and down the track, did a 13.9 once (just once, sadness) rodding the piss out of her, but just goes to show, you keep track of engine oil, coolant, don't do stupid mods, this car can go on, and on, and on....

Everything has been so fun. Yes she shifts hard, yes the interior is literally stepping back into last century. Yes people ask me "Dude, you have CD's in here???". Yes, I have the last BF Goodrich KDW2 tires that were available for this car (from 3 different places all around the USA), because I guess I like originality more than performance (I'm sure stowaway would confirm that about the stock tires haha).

So this is today:



10 years, 75,351 miles, lived in 7 different places, 5 daily driver vehicles, a wife, 2 kids, a divorce, this car and I have been through a lot. I still come across old posts from other forums from back in the day, laughing it up that Dodge would even consider making this vehicle. "A turbo neon? haha that will blow up before it is even a year old" "Won't touch my WRX, hell it won't even beat a honda". It brings a warm fuzzy feeling. I've watched so many people come and go here at the forums but I cherish all the information I've gained, the crazy fights we had here, the friendships I've made, and even though there aren't near as many people, I hope the forum continues to go on. After all, I have a stage 3 package that I need to install, and I may need some more information. It's only been sitting in the box for SIX YEARS now.

I will buy other cars, maybe even other SRT's, certainly other daily drivers, but I will never sell this car. I've grown to "love the hate" that it gets, I don't expect it to ever be worth anything, but it is worth its weight in gold to me, and that is honestly all that matters.

So here is a big cheers to these cars, and to all of us who own them now, have owned them in the past, and who purchase them in the future, may they continue to make your heart race, and bring a smile to your face.
 

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Really enjoyed the story PVO! Brought a tear to my eye… no homo… but it is stories like that, that bring me joy. The bond between man and machine that cannot be replaced. Im a new owner of an 04 that I have had for about a year and it was always a dream car of mine ever since they first came out when I was in high school. I am in the process of replacing the old parts with new OEM parts ( aside from a few goodies) and intend to keep this car as long as I can still find parts. I have driven Big Red a lot. Racked up 30000 miles since purchase and has never left me stranded or broken down. It is amazing to me how a car can make you feel… almost like a relationship with ups and downs. Hybrid kid has a great story also that I read not that long ago. His story was amazing as well… these stories to me are the true enthusiast stories with tons of great and no so great memories but something really special to each individual none the less. Dam I sound emotional! lol
 

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Nice write-up and journey. :thumbsup:

Very classy ride :thumbsup:
RIP HemiDakota.
Why, have you heard something I haven't? Steve (Hemi) did have some health problems he talked about and dropped off most of the auto forums but was doing well last I saw him at the end of last year (we worked at the same facility and I've known him since the late '90s). He did finally part out the last of his SRT-4 but I haven't heard anything contrary about him since moving. Did a quick search and his Facebook page is here and looks like he's still posting on a few sites.
 

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Nice write-up and journey. :thumbsup:


Why, have you heard something I haven't? Steve (Hemi) did have some health problems he talked about and dropped off most of the auto forums but was doing well last I saw him at the end of last year (we worked at the same facility and I've known him since the late '90s). He did finally part out the last of his SRT-4 but I haven't heard anything contrary about him since moving. Did a quick search and his Facebook page is here and looks like he's still posting on a few sites.
Eric, my "RIP" comment was precipitated by my memory of this thready:
http://www.srtforums.com/forums/f106/behalf-srtforums-thank-you-hemidakota-426642/
and the related link contained therin:
http://chryslercorporationllc.blogspot.com/2008/03/soon-farewell-to-our-friend.html

I am glad to learn from you now that he is doing well.
He was always extremely helpful to my SRT-4 enthusiasm.

No harm to him or anyone else was intended by my previous RIP comment.
 

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Great write up! And I know that feeling! I sold my black SRT4 when we had our first kid, and regretted it for almost 9 years! Just picked up an 04 Silver in July with 100,000 kms. Mint condition, and will never sell again!
 

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:thumbsup:

I too will never be without an SRT-4 in my life. Mine's in hibernation, waiting out the winter.

Not many of us old timers / original owners left here. :(
 

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Very well written!!! This was a pleasure to read, I love hearing stories like this from original/long-term owners. Wait until you get that stage 3 kit installed, it'll feel like a brand new car all over again.

I owned a bone stock 04 SRT-4 years ago that I traded in since I thought I needed something more "mature", so I tried the a WRX for a while, followed by a Volvo S60, followed by another WRX and finally I'm now back into another SRT-4. I've said it before but this car has this rawness to it that the other cars didn't bring to the table for me. Don't get me wrong, they are great at what they're built to do but I wanted a more visceral experience.
 

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Add me to the list of long-term original owners with factory cruise. Though I don't have it completely working yet, because I have S2 w/toys. It says "CRUISE" in the instrument cluster when I turn it on, but you can't set a speed. I have a DiabloSport inTune, so in the spring I'll probably stick the stock ECU back in and get it re-scaled for the S2 injectors and sensors. My wife has been doing a lot of highway driving with the car, and having cruise will be great.
 

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Great story RT! I'll never get rid of mine, especially since my oldest helps me wrench on her now. He wants the car when he can drive lol (he's 9). I bought mine with 16k in 2007, so I'm a little late to the party haha. Now she has 96k on her and has been an incredibly fun car to own
 

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Balls to the walls fun

Good reading RT. I have only had mine for 7 years, the 03, and it is still a blast to drive. It is fast and has beat the Mustang GT's on a regular basis.
 

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Although I rarely drive mine anymore (400 miles last year) I considered parting ways with it. My wife and I just had our first kid a month ago. I asked the wife if she wanted me to sell it. Her response was a very shocked and appalled HELL NO. It's not a daily, it's just a garage queen that I beat up on every other weekend. haha
 
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