Limos, Barbecue, and Drifting at the Seventh Annual Spring Festival of LXs
The 7th Annual Spring Festival of LXs is a huge gathering of LX owners (LX is the code name for the chassis for the 300, Charger, and Magnum) from 25 states and 5 countries, which started out as a small forum meet. The Chrysler group eventually made it official, this time bringing out their executives to meet and greet their fellow LX enthusiasts, and unveiling their new Challenger model. Needless to say, it was a great time, with hundreds of amazing cars, chill vibes, drifting, and good music.
When I first walked into the event, I felt pretty lost. Originally being from the import/euro scene, I wasn't exactly sure what I was seeing as I walked across the initial set of cars. When the new retro vehicles started coming from Chrysler and Dodge, I was excited by the new design direction starting from the 300. Then came the arrival of the Charger, Magnum, and the Challenger, which I was also very excited to see. However, on the rare occasion I did see them on the street, most of them weren't modified. This was very disappointing for me because a car like the Challenger has a lot of potential.
With this in mind, I started to notice the little intricacies that made each car unique. Some of the modifications were quite noticeable…
…such as this murdered out, scissor doored Charger
…and this suicide-scissor doored Charger with a surprise under the hood. With a Vortech centrifugal supercharger powering the red accented engine, that scary painting is justified. This car means business.
Then there were some subtle examples…
…like this KITT-inspired Charger. The LEDs in front were moving side to side, just like the real thing.
…and this Challenger, which had minimal modifications done to it, but it stopped me right in my tracks.
It was sporting a black T/A hood scoop which was a perfect complement…
…to the black louvers seen on the rear window. The look of the car was finished with the chrome lipped gunmetal Boss wheels. The combination of these mods enhanced the retro muscle car feel of the vehicle, and looked like it came straight from the factory, which is not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all…
The simplest cars always stood out to me the most. This debadged 300 was very clean…
…wearing what looks to be 22” Viper wheels. Look at that fitment!
Then I came across this beauty… The combination of the 22” Forgiato Andata 3-pc. wheels and the airbag drop made for a menacing yet composed stance, making the car look like it’s barely floating above the ground.
You can really see how low the car is here.
…and here. I love how the wheel color matches the body, but with a brushed aluminum texture.
It’s hard to tell by this picture, but the car was sitting on staggered wheels. 9.5” in the front and 11” in the rear. Considering that the stock wheels on a Challenger are 8.5”, this is a big upgrade. The fenders needed to be slightly rolled to fit the gigantic wheel in the rear.
It's funny — even with those humongous wheels and tons of custom work gone into the car, it still shows a sense of restraint, as if it were all meticulously planned beforehand. The result is a surprisingly classy Challenger. All that hard work didn't go unnoticed, either; it was featured in Young Jeezy's "Sittin' Low" music video.
Ralph (the owner) told me this thing was an external gauge reminiscent of old muscle cars such as the GTO. I’ve never seen anything like it before in my life, but it sure looked awesome.
The frontal view clearly shows the custom grille work that covers the headlights. Ralph is working on a solution to make the lights flip out like the old Chargers. That’s just rad, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
As I talked more with Ralph, I discovered that he lived less than a mile away from me! What are the chances? I hope I see more of this car rolling around in my neighborhood.
While we’re on the subject of custom jobs, check out this 300 convertible. I’m not a fan of how it looks, but still, I’ve got to give credit for having the guts to chop off a roof on a sedan.
…and to put 8 screens in the car.
Another convertible 300 appears! This we can fully get behind, a functional looking convertible, looking almost like it came like this out of the production line. It might be a bit too bland for some folks, but the functional side of it outweighs the form for us.
However, this car was built purely to perform. It boasts over 1000 HP…
…powered by a 426 Hemi with a centrifugal supercharger, probably running at very high boost. The strut bar keeps the car from splitting in half on hard launches.
Underinflated rear tires to attain maximum grip.
Sick 426 indeed.
Probably my favorite car of this event: a flat black Challenger owned by none other than Jon Sibal of JONSIBAL Designworks.
The car had an interesting history behind it; Jon had won the grand prize of a design contest, which was an ’09 Challenger painted exactly the way he designed it. He promptly had it wrapped with Wraptivo by Meguiar, and dropped it on air suspension to achieve the look he wanted.
The presence of this car was overwhelming. 20×9 and 20×10 SSR SP1’s looked amazing in gold, and is attached to the Air Runner air suspension system. Jon told me that he controls the ride height from his iPhone… How f*cking awesome is that?!
It actually turns out Jon designed some Rauh Welt Begriff Porsches for Nakai San in the past. You can definitely see some cues from Nakai San’s Stella Artois 930.
A closer view of the 3 piece SSR. The matte gold finish gave it a distinctive motorsport look and set it apart from the crowd. The Toyo logo sprayed onto the sidewall sealed the deal for me. Sometimes, it's the details that count.
It was great to see the domestic car market and the import tuning culture come together in perfect harmony.
Two different tuning scenes collide again on this 300C | Magnum hybrid. Notice the Illest sticker on the wheels.
…and the luxurious VIP curtains.
For the first hour or so of the event, cars were constantly rolling in.
Some even came in limos.
Some came from hundreds of miles away. This particular group drove all the way from Dallas, Texas just for the meet.
The owner of this car came from Canada in time for the meet. Check out the custom hood. I had no idea it was an aftermarket part at first glance.
The scoop bolts directly onto the engine block, rerouting the air towards the intake. Since it is mounted on the engine, one can often see the scoop vibrate under load, hence the name “Shaker.” I personally LOVE the look of it.
The SMS 570 by Steve Saleen.
The SMS makeover is simply beautiful. It makes the stock Challenger look like a plebeian Kia in comparison.
The LX Festival wasn’t only comprised of private owners, though. Many different companies came and set up booths and their showcars.
Take, for example, this custom Factory Five hot rod from the folks at Show & Performance.
This engine was a work of art. Lots of custom milling going on here.
Also note the air filter being directly attached to the throttle body. Should give the engine a lot more breathing room for some extra high end power.
There was a vendor called “Killerglass,” who sold heat treated glass inserts for the coolant. They also lit up, which really livened up the engine bay.
The vault haulin’ Fast Five Charger also made an appearance.
NOS on NOS on NOS.
Here is Ralph Gilles and the team, all the way from Michigan, introducing the brand new Challenger Rallye Redline.
Here it is: it comes with a Pentastar 3.6L V-6 engine and widened tracks, firmer shocks, larger sway bars, bigger brakes, and 25% quicker handling.
It also includes visual upgrades, like the 3 racing stripes and the 20 inch wheels. It looks great.
The Chrysler group brought out their fleet, including the 500, Charger, 300, and 200. The Fiat was getting a lot of attention.
I haven’t been paying much attention to Chrysler until that day… They really upped their game since they merged with Fiat. The leather was silky smooth and the build quality was surprisingly solid.
That sentiment was reinforced when I signed up for the SRT track day experience.
I was lucky enough to get the SRT8 Charger, and the overall quality was exceptional. Unfortunately, I didn't have any time to snap pictures or review all the features of the car because there must have been at least 50 more people in line behind me. Fortunately, we've already done a review of the car. You can check it out here!
They set up a short autocross track, which was exhilarating to drive. The SRT8 had so much low end grunt, which made it enjoyable to navigate around the course. While I was beating the hell out of that thing, much of it didn't translate into the interior. It was dead quiet and surprisingly comfortable- it felt like I was taking an afternoon cruise in a Lexus or a Mercedes.
As I was still jittery from all the adrenaline, I noticed the tire tracks in front of the SRT booth. I suppose Hubinette’s been having some fun before we got here.
Yep. Samuel Hubinette was taking people out for drift rides on the SHR (Samuel Hubinette Racing) drift taxi.
He also put on a little demo for us in his official drift car.
He swung the tail into a full 360 and casually resumed drifting a couple of times. No biggie…
As I was leaving, I was seriously startled by this lion in the leopard themed car.
All in all, it was a great time. Props to all the attendees and Chrysler for supporting the community!