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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I always wanted to do the Hot Rod Power Tour. I left the house last Sunday with one of my best freinds who I've known since 1st grade (1980) in my 2019 Challenger T/A. I was a little nervous having never done the Power Tour before. The looming cost of fuel and leaving my car parked outside at a hotel overnight in Memphis, East Arkansas (we don't consider West TN as part of Tennessee) didn't make me feel good.

Despite the fuel cost ($363.24), sweltering heat, and the threat of stolen cars, it was well worth it. I think I heard 5 or 6 Hellcats were stolen along with a 1987 Cadillac in Memphis alone. An older couple from Louisianna had their Challenger Hellcat broken into at our hotel. They had "security" which I think could have been involved. I walked outside and saw the broken passenger window on the ground next to it and my heart sank. I immediately checked my car and it was fine. He had the Chrysler anti theft fix. I believe it would have been stolen otherwise. They were ready to go home, but a few of us encouraged them to get it fixed and continue on. They told me in Atlanta that they appreciated me and would have left if I hadn't encouraged them to stay. I felt much better when we crossed the Tennessee river back into real Tennessee. I met some cool people from all over the country. We hung with some guys from Denver, CO and San Antonio, TX. I saw Canadian license plates and some from Maine and Oregon. I believe there were participants from 47 states. My favorite venue was Atlanta Motor Speedway, but the best town we visited was Pensacola, FL.

Like I said, I met some cool folks. One of the coolest was Ralph Gilles from Dodge. He was driving his Hellucination Charger. That car was absolutely spectacular. If I ever come into stupid money, I'm going to have Speekore build one for me. Anyway, I went out to check on my car early on Tuesday morning when we were staying in Smyrna, TN below Nashville. I was parked two spaces over from Ralph's car. There was a guy putting stuff in the trunk and I asked him if it was his car. He told he it was his buddy Ralphs's. Ralph came out and started talking to me. I asked him about the Charger. It has a full carbon fiber body. That isn't a wrap. He said it has no real Charger parts and rides and drives great. I asked him if it creaked and moaned going down the road and he said it didn't. I then told him not to let me hold them up. He then asked me what year my car was and if I was always a Mopar guy. He asked about my cars/trucks. I told him a little and he acted super interested in what I had to say. He seems like a genuinely super person. I asked him if Direct Connection was going to have any 392 parts and he said they were coming in the fall.

I have a ton of pictures, but here are a few. I will probably post a few of the Mopars if I can get my slow internet to do it.

If you've ever thought the Power Tour would be fun, don't hesitate or let the cost of fuel deter you. It is a really fun experience that I have sorely missed the last two days.
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Great story! Please add more pics to this thread! We all love pics!
 
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....I think I heard 5 or 6 Hellcats were stolen along with a 1987 Cadillac in Memphis alone. An older couple from Louisianna had their Challenger Hellcat broken into at our hotel. They had "security" which I think could have been involved. .... If you've ever thought the Power Tour would be fun, don't hesitate....
I have thought about it. But you just deterred me right there. That is a planned half million dollar heist, not random crooks.

I am already worried about any hotel I stay at overnight. I guess Power Tour does make a juicy target for thieves. Scout the hotels along the route in advance. Scout the cars on the road the first day. Strike at the right opportunity. I always thought Power Tour would end up with a lot of car guys watching out for each other, I never considered it an opportunity for thieves. Participating in Power Tour is a much bigger risk for a planned theft versus an opportunistic theft at a random hotel.

Being a West coaster, Power Tour has been on my long term bucket list if I ever get enough time to go cross-country and join. You just took it off the list. Seriously.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, emichael, I hate that. I'm sorry I ruinied an idea for you.

I don't know what Hot Rod/Motortrend can do. They have to advertise the event. Of course, in doing so, the thieves know about it and can steal some nice cars and trucks. I did hear people were taking turns watching the cars at night. I don't know how I feel about that. I sure ain't going to confront someone stealing a car. The only smart thing to do is call the cops, but how long will it take for them to show up? As you said, you worry about staying at a hotel. It's not just a car event thing. Car theft is up everywhere.

I wasn't too excited about starting in Memphis, because frankly, Memphis is a cesspool of crime and it just plain sucks as a city. I know quite a few people from Memphis who state they never want to go back. I don't think I will do Power Tour if it ever involves an overnight stay in Memphis. I was worried about my car. I pulled my fuel pump relay every night. A Scat Pack owner I talked to told me I was just wasting my time because the professional thieves know what people do to disable Mopars and probably have spares. My hope was that if thieves struck, they'd go for the Hellcats and leave my car alone and that's what happened. I sure would hate to lose my car to a thief, but that's one reason I have insurance. I own two vehicles that, if I lost them, I'd cry and mourn their loss. My Challenger isn't one of them.
 

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Well, emichael, I hate that. I'm sorry I ruinied an idea for you...
Thank you, but no apology needed on your part. Thanks for opening my eyes. You are right, that is what insurance is for. But I like to employ a bit of prudence too.

I have heard about Hot August Nights where hotels provided dedicated show car parking along with paid security. I guess I assumed HRPT arranged similar stuff, my bad. Staying up all night on guard duty doesn't sound like a fun vacation to me.

Related....

A few years ago I drove a classic car from OR to MN & back. I used Google Street View to find hotels with good parking outside the room. I made reservations for rooms with a close parking lot view.

The only incident was the first night. Middle of eastern WA, small town. Sleeping light, I awoke to a bright light in the room window. I jumped up, grabbing the personal protection necessities, and spotted the local Officer Friendly. His service vehicle had the spotlights focused on my car. He was standing outside of his car....taking a picture with his phone. o_O
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
All that said, my 392 T/A is a wonderful highway car. I put nearly 2000 miles on it last week and it rode so nice. I could take my hands off the steering wheel and it'd go straight. I could put the cruise control on 80 mph and it does a little over 1800 rpms. It knocked down a little over 24 mpg with the air conditioner on 68 degrees. The seats are great too. I could drive 200 miles, step out of the car, and not feel any pain in my back. Some people feel like I was cheating driving a "new" car. I'll pass on the 100 degree heat and no AC doing 3500 rpms down the highway at 65 mph. Oh, we also had the Platinum package. Call me a poser if you want. :) Maybe I can do a 392/8 speed swap in my 1980 D150 for next time. It will have AC!
 

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... It knocked down a little over 24 mpg with the air conditioner on 68 degrees. ... I'll pass on the 100 degree heat and no AC doing 3500 rpms down the highway at 65 mph...
I got almost 22mpg running to the Black Hills last September. Set the cruise at 10% over, so 88mph across eastern Montana & Wyoming. VERY impressive for a car with this kind of horsepower on tap. I probably could have gotten to 24mpg, but I may have succumbed to temptation occasionally regularly. :sneaky:

The 2018 road trip in a classic car had no air conditioning. The air flow in old cars is much more conducive toward maintaining passenger comfort without active cooling. Wing windows, outside air vents, etc. The only time we felt uncomfortable was a 95 degree day where we were stuck in city traffic. 100+ degree heat at highway speed didn't bother us.

3500rpm was around 90mph though. Without lengthy details, this was in what was my dad's car. Listening to the SBC 'singing' on wide open roads brought some closure.
 
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