This SRT Manifesto Makes Me Weak in the Knees
So a new video came out from SRT that amounts to an awesome manifesto of motorsport and performance. There are certainly more epic car videos out there, but when I see this particular video it gets me all emotional. Maybe because the Viper was the first American performance car that people could get behind since the Corvette. Maybe it's because when they say they are all about..whatever it is they are all about, you actually believe them. All we know is, SRT is probably the single-most exciting American brand right now, and we want more.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5n0GqP_Hnco I was at the 2012 New York Auto Show, albeit working at a previous post. It was rumored that the Viper would be there, and knowing that, I kept an eye out for CEO of SRT, Ralph Gilles. Gilles is the man behind the Charger, Challenger and Chrysler 300. He owns several classic MOPAR products, and is a true car guy in every sense of the word. You can pretty much trace the resurgence in Chrysler back to two men, Fiat boss and Chrysler owner, Sergio Marchionne, and the man he tapped to head up SRT, Ralph Gilles.
I had just finished reading "Car Guys vs. Bean Counters," the most recent book from former General Motors chairman and uber-car-guy Bob Lutz. In it, Lutz points out that having accountants and suits are great, but at the end of the day, a decission on a car comes down to the man at the top. When that 'man' is financial holding firm Cerebrus, as it was for Chrysler in the 2000's, you end up with the shitful Caliber. When you put Gilles in charge, you get the Charger.
It was a very breif encounter that I had with Gilles, and I was legit nervious- something that seldom happens to yours truly. With a sweaty palm, I shook his hand and told him that he was one of the "good guys" that Lutz refered to in his book. I told him that the fact that Marichionne appointed him to the head of SRT was the biggest sign that Chrysler was on its way back.
When you see how little has changed over at another bailed-out American automaker that will go unnamed, compared to how Chrysler cleaned house, putting the right people in charge, you really want to root for Chrysler. They have never been the biggest of the Big Three, but its always seemed like they have had the highest rate of entheusiasts in their pocket, relative to their entire sales volume.
When you see a video like this you want to believe. You want them to kick heaps of ass.