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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Avoidable Contact #126: How the Hellcat became the only car that matters

The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity. Yeats wrote those lines in 1919, perhaps against the mood of the times.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/avoidable-contact/avoidable-contact-126-how-the-hellcat-became...
177 REPLIES 177
SS396
Intermediate Driver

Amen!!!
Ragster
Detailer

Well written.... and something we all fear , all us who love the internal combustion engine and what it means to our driving soul ! The EV is NOT the answer.....if it was TOYOTA would have had the world flooded with them by now !
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

It's worth nothing how conservative Toyota has been on this topic, largely because they have a culture of shipping products, not promises. 

BMD4800
Gearhead

They aren’t sold on LiIon either. Long game, much like Honda, though the new Toyota twin-turbo V6 Tundra may impact quality, much like turbos knock Honda for a bit.

No free lunch, I’m just happy there are many Challengers and Chargers on the road for future folks to enjoy.
BeatCancer
Intermediate Driver

Hopefully they can stockpile a lot of 'frames' with VINs so these can be garage-made, continuation cars for decades to come.
fueledbymetal
Advanced Driver

Well said, chapeau!
BMD4800
Gearhead

The Hellcat is indeed the iconic second coming of MOPAR muscle, initially ushered in by the return of the Hemi.

The passing isn’t sad, it is a canary. Today it is 700 HP vehicles that are cleaner, more efficient, and more reliable than an 80s Tempo.
Tomorrow, your truck that you don’t “need”. We’ve all read the comments, folks all up in arms about trucks they don’t see towing anything.
Soon, your SUV, your minivan, your UTV, even your barbecue. Some states already took the gas trimmer and lawnmower. Charge those batteries. At least trimming the property has become a 3 beer job. Not enough batteries to do all of it. They say it is better than gas… They say a lot of things.

That $4/ gallon fuel price got you down? Go Galt. Stop buying useless garbage and grind the machine down until it stops.

Easy low APR financing? Pay cash, no debt. For me, fuel can hit $12 a gallon before it makes sense to buy something more efficient. The ROI is too long and the economy cannot sustain inflated energy prices.

The answer, the unifier? It isn’t one man (or woman, or non-binary, whatever) it is US, the people, who collectively say “nah, I’m just not going to participate.” When we all stand up and can say ‘Let’s Go Brandon’, not because of politics, rather as a unified voice against the ineptitude of the ruling class, we can make actual progress, while allowing our free market to once again thrive and make money solving problems we create.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

Amen.

Tsaxman
Advanced Driver

Who is John Galt?
Billthecat707
Instructor

And " Let's Go Donald ", since Let's be honest, no politician has your well being as their top priority. It's their and their friends wallets.
OldCarMan
Instructor

Can you say XL pipeline to Alberta?
How about an energy EXPORTER?
How about little inflation and $2 gas?
Put the bong down...
Worldrider
Intermediate Driver

The haunting whine of the supercharger is our soundtrack to the slow but inevitable end of the automobile as we know it, just as the band played on the tilting deck of the Titanic. The Hellcats, GT4 Rss, MX-5s and Blackwings are the lifeboats — sanctuaries for those of us with fire & gasoline in our veins and the desire to LIVE — but there are far too few for too many, and only the wealthy or wiley will take advantage of the horsepower and clutch pedals before the rest are lost to the clutching numbness of the ICEy waters…
buellerdan
Instructor

Somewhere in here is a lesson about the futility of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
mechimike
Intermediate Driver

A neighbor of mine was helping a friend cut up some trees for firewood, and borrowed my gas-powered wood splitter for the day. When he returned the splitter, I asked him how it went. Apparently his friend works for a major outdoor equipment manufacturer and had brought a battery-powered chainsaw. So while my 20-year old wood splitter consumed approximately 1 gallon of gasoline throughout the day, said "chainsaw" required a dozen batteries, multiple chargers, a place to plug it all in, and the requisite downtime. I know from experience that a good day's logging with my Stihl will burn through about 1/2 a gallon of fuel-oil mix, which weighs roughly 4 pounds and can be carried conveniently in a jug about the size of an ammo can.

That tells you all you need to know about battery powered equipment.
OldBird
Intermediate Driver

Actually, no, it doesn't. Horses for courses, as they say. Sure, for large all-day projects, or contractors, gas is the way. No arguments from me, but one size doesn't fit all. For the average homeowner doing weekly tasks, cordless electrics are perfect. No stink, no mixing gas, no cantankerous engines and perfectly adequate runtime. I've been maintaining my acre for 20+ years. First with gas, more recently with 36v electric. I have a lot of fence & trimming - never have run out of battery. Sometimes in the fall I have to change out my blower packs once. No big deal - takes the same amount of time as it did to fill the gas tank. Oh, and I mowed the property for probably a decade with an Apollo-era GE Elec-trak mower that I restored. That, too was perfect for the average homeowner.

I still love my ICE cars. That doesn't mean there isn't a place for electrics. It really isn't an either-or.
mechimike
Intermediate Driver

I don't disagree with you entirely.  I love my rechargeable tools- drills, impacts, saws, etc.  I bought my dad an electric push mower for father's day this year and it's perfect for what he needs- a trim mower for his property, that doesn't require him to maintain it or pull start it all the time.  Like you said, though, and as I implied, there are situations where gas makes more sense.  Trimming around a dozen trees and a few shrubs?  Sure, pop in that battery.  Cutting and splitting a few cords of oak firewood?  Gas is the way.  Likewise with cars- a 50 mile commute makes some sense in a Bolt.  But that car would require some logistical somersaults for a 1,000 mile family vacation.  And seeing as how most US families don't apply 4 or 5 cars to their stable, owning one gas vehicle that does everything pretty well makes more sense.  For a lot of reasons, electric vehicles in their current format won't ever be a solution for more than perhaps 5-10% of the population. 

OldCarMan
Instructor

Just remember, there are a lot of people that have trouble affording used cars now. EVs will NOT be better or more affordable for them. In many urban areas, parking is at a premium and you can't afford multiple cars. Chicago has areas that people are happy to take out a mortgage for a garage!
Cornbinder
Detailer

I've said it once and I'll keep saying it: When John Deere perfects the electric combine, I'll start considering EV's.
mechimike
Intermediate Driver

There are several companies out there right now that have electric compact tractors.  A former coworker of mine is working for one of them.  They're more expensive than diesels, for now, but the main benefit is they allow nearly-silent running, which is ideal for use in residential areas and/or during nighttime use.  I'm sure the green leaping deer company is working on one, too. 

TacoSueno
Intermediate Driver

so sad to see ev dweeb machines and their soy boy drivers getting atytention
OldFordMan
Advanced Driver

Thank you again, JB, for being MY mouthpiece.
We (real car nuts) thank you!
The EV guvment will fail trying to silence my 550 HP Mustang Cobra!
Iso_Grifo
Instructor

Dark days ahead.
OldCarMan
Instructor

Because we ran out of electricity, batteries, wind, & sunlight!!!
buellerdan
Instructor

I'm thankful for automotive enthusiasts like Jack that write articles like this.
Oh, don't bother applying for a job at Car & Driver. They're all-in on EVs and autonomous crap.
77GL
Detailer

Good riddance to the unworthy PT Cruiser of Challengers. Proof positive that Chrysler hasn't had a fresh idea in 50 years.
Tsaxman
Advanced Driver

Yeats' version of Nostradamus has nothing on you, Jack:

"Cars will be cheaply built from ecologically catastrophic materials by slave labor in a manner calculated to primarily benefit a Communist dictatorship, but they’ll also be massively expensive and about as long-lived as a BIRD scooter."

I would never consider swapping spouses, but my friends and I will occasionally swap vehicles for a fun drive somewhere, and I have driven a Hellcat. It was a seriously rewarding visceral experience.

Hopefully, there will be those of us who, like Max Rockatansky, will follow our own path and refuse to bow to the mass-marketing of the corporate world.
gyashko
Intermediate Driver

For me, this is the real core issue. We (and the rest of the world) are insane to go all-in on a technology primarily produced by China.
SVT
New Driver

Well, the author briefly touches on the EV but let's be accurate here. The EV can stomp on all thing Hellcat and every other gas engine for that matter. I get its sentimental the waning years of the gas engine but Yee have faith. The real HP is right around the corner.
drhino
Technician

Fast is not everything. One could stick a rocket in their behind and go fast; but not sure about the overall experience being positive.
JimE
Pit Crew

Some EVs might be able to stomp on ICE vehicles right up to the time that they need to recharged. How many stops will an EV require on a 1000 mile road trip? And how long is each recharge? Reliability and battery life have a long ways to go. I can get 480 miles on a tank of fuel.
ed
Advanced Driver

...and stop for a fill up and a cheeseburger and be on the road again in 20 minutes.
Oldroad1
Technician

And a recharge for ICE, just 5 minutes.
Flashman
Technician

I am in awe of you and your insight, and not just because you started the article with a quotation from Yeats. Sometimes it seems you adopt a stance just to provoke a response, but getting people to think or, more accurately, reassess, is not such a bad thing. Mostly it is your sense of justifiable outrage that impresses me. Adrian Clarke writes well. By all means convince him to expand his comment into an article.
mfp4073
Advanced Driver

If you try hard enough, a person can anger everyone at once with a column like that. In this case, the lines between fact and fiction were smeared like a peanut butter sandwich on a hot summer day.  The Passion though!

fdo
New Driver

We'll all miss the ICE, but let's not forget, there's no PLANET B . . . .
brians356
Advanced Driver

You need to start questioning the so-called settled science. On Planet A, much of North America was covered by sheets of ice only 15,000 years ago. Planet A has been slowly warming ever since, thank God. We are technically STILL now in an ice age, the Quaternary Ice Age. Planet A's "normal" climate has been ice-free (no glaciers or sea ice) for most of Planet A's history. It's all out there for you to verify.

CitationMan
Gearhead

Wait, do you mean that science isn’t consensus LOL?

And a message for all humans: Planet A doesn’t care what you think or do, and has proven it millions of times over that it has the final say.

Oldroad1
Technician

The world will still be turning when your gone, long when your gone. OZZY.
RG440
Instructor

I don’t miss the ICE but then again I live in Michigan and yes your correct there’s no planet B……yet
70Gt500
Pit Crew

The authors comments regarding supply chain manufacturing and those other issues offer an insight into where most of the manufacturing and commerce has gone to date. I for one certainly question where my gas powered vehicles will end up in the future…..What will their legacy be….?
Will they be something of value for my kids? will they be a boat anchor? I believe EV‘s have a place but they are not the answer….I wish I had a crystal ball. I can tell you that I wonder if it is worth restoring the bronco, the 240 Z Datsun’s, the Mustangs, the Shelby’s that I do..,.,is it worth it?
Change is constant is it good or bad I don’t know.
Reinhold_Weege
Instructor

I have the money and means to buy a brand new HellKitty and mothball it (or drive it). But it's hard to imagine it being "useful" for anything but a road-warrior-type vehicle in the future, and I don't think they care about well-preserved paint. 

petersalt
Advanced Driver

Carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere - recombined with hydrogen generated from a low-investment electric power source can produce a lovely gasoline-equivalent liquid fuel which can power your 240Z until we run out of atmospheric CO2 (probably won't happen..). The lovely old cars will still be lovely in 100 yrs, and liquid fuels will be reasonably available even then, when battery-EVs are a quaint memory.
ratsheadcheese
Pit Crew

I couldn't have written it better, and I've done quite a bit of writing. It reminds me of a book I read while in High School. I can't remember the title. The premise was, It was sometime in the future and all internal combustion vehicles had been banned by the government. Sound familiar ? An older gentlemen had put away a very fast sportscar in his basement garage. He had also put away several gallons of gasoline which was verboten at the time. He threw all caution to the wind in his aging years and filled the car with gas, pulled it out and proceeded to terrorize the roadways. He was chased by drones, (long before they were invented) but kept speeding well in excess of 120mph. He was captured. Sentenced. He was then exiled to a planet where such vehicles were still tolerated. Never to return to his home planet. He was sent to Earth....... If only....
Kudos to the author of this article !
win59
Advanced Driver

Quite brazen Jack, to call a shovel a shovel (See what I did there. Don't want to get us all cancelled here...) great writing and thought provoking - on several levels - I always like what you bring.
And you DO speak for me, I am not that clever but I suspect I am not alone.

Thanks again!
ratsheadcheese
Pit Crew

Thank you so much ! Someone is still out there with the bravery and integrity to say what we all think and know. I am proud of you. Some automotive journalists still exist.
Tony Cole
EdRock
New Driver

You're column continues to remind me of the tug-o-war between over enthused planet savers and freedom. Do these people know where most of electricity comes from? Not from wind and solar. Way too many negative details are overlooked when the EV conversation vs cleaner burning fossil fuel vehicles are mentioned.... maybe it's the almost one sided media congloms.
Most gas powered vehicles actually sit parked up to 95% of the time! I keep thinking Cuba when they were cut off from America and the 70 year old cars they keep on the road with black market parts and all kinds of mechanical ingenuity. I guarantee if I bought a Hellcat, it would be driven.
MAXTHEAX
Intermediate Driver

Mean while in a small village in the middle of nowhere horsepower craved lunatics were stock piling large quantities of insanely powerful crate motors. Last time they did this was R-12. That is how they got the cubic money to buy the small village and invest in this latest venture.
drhino
Technician

Well said. That’s all, just “well said”.
ratsheadcheese
Pit Crew

I would enjoy having a pint with you at the local pub. We would raise our glasses and toast the real world with a resounding " CHEERS " !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Highwatermark
Pit Crew

I couldn't finish the article. The first 3 paragraphs were plenty to tell me this was nothing more than a regurgitation of Fox News doom-and-gloom laments for a world that never was for most people, with a dead poet tossed into give some faux legitimacy. EV's didn't kill the Hellcat. EV's aren't a liberal hoax. If companies are moving towards them, it's based on pure business decisions. It's the free market, acting freely. They're not bowing to some liberal do-gooder, environmentalist idol. They're praying to the only god they know - money. And if they're wrong, the market will fix it, right? I'm old enough to remember the last time muscle cars died. And while I still love those old ones, my daily driver is a hybrid. And my next daily driver may be an EV. I have all the infrastructure I need to charge it here in my home already, as do most of us. Batteries are more and more likely to come from the US as Elon Musk builds capacity here. And unlike oil, my energy is provided by a cooperative utility that I have some control over, not a multi-national, near monopoly corporation that has shown time and again that they have no qualms about artificially raising prices to gouge consumers. True, one state has decided to model their electric production after the national oil network, and we saw how well that fared during the cold spell, when their senator was forced to flee to Mexico. But outside of Texas, most people get electricity from a public utility, under local control, resulting in much less volatility than the oil market. People chose electric for a reason - it's affordable and reliable. Not to be a do-gooder. The car industry simply sees that. And responds to it. It's the way the world works.