It was May 2001. I had to leave my Chevy truck at home when I departed for Air Force Basic Military Training. My dad gave me that truck while I was in high school and I loved that thing. So many memories that I was leaving behind. I was so excited to get it back once I finished my training and settled into my first permanent duty station. I found out my brother had taken it over and suddenly, I needed a car – the first car that officially marked my independence, my official separation from living with my parents. It was a ’97 Chrysler Cirrus LX, already modded up with 17″ chrome Limited Alloy Wheels, with a not-too-loud exhaust note from its V6 motor, tinted windows, and Pioneer stereo. I was in love with the car and I had a new appreciation of Chrysler ….. then, I caught wind of the beautiful 2004 Chrysler 300M Special. After I deployed overseas a couple of times, I knew that had to be my car.

It was May 2003, and drove off the lot in Wichita, KS, in its Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl model, and as that was officially my first brand new ride, it also officially made me a MOPAR fan for life. Its stout 255 horsepower 3.5L V6 pulled that front wheel drive thing of beauty through all kinds of roads ….. but after the HEMI was announced to be released in a newer style of MOPAR the very next year, I craved more muscle and growl – I new what my next set of wheels was going to be at the first sight of this gorgeous 300C in 50 Cent’s music video.

It was May 2005. I had just returned from overseas and was eager to head over to a dealership in Augusta, KS and test drive a brand new Chrysler 300C ….. but when I got there, I saw something – a wagon, a grocery-getter, also in Brilliant Black, and sitting with so much potential, just screaming for me to get in there and floor that gas pedal.

I drove home in a 2005 Dodge Magnum RT, with its potent 345-bhp HEMI V8, and I knew this beast was here to stay. The looks I got everywhere I drove this thing were amazing. I had the car for 6 months and started the never-ending modifications that changed this wagon into MY wagon, My MOPAR – with the help of some good friends, I installed the first modification that completely altered the look of my Magnum. The Eibach Sportlines set the styling cues that I have carried out throughout my build. It had to sound mean, so the Flowmasters went on. It had to be sleek, so I tinted my taillights and added menacing “eyelids” to its headlights. Before I knew it, three years later, and out of the military, my drive for full out customizations continued and grew when I searched for “Modern Mopar Car Club in Dallas, TX” on Google and stumbled upon the DFW LX CLUB. From the first meet and greet I attended, I was hooked, and this Modern MOPAR enthusiasm was fueled each time a member of The Club introduced a new modification, showed off a set of wheels, bombarded a thread full of pictures of our rides and their custom tweeks and styling, and provied insight and assistance whenever fellow gear heads needed help. Now, as the Club’s Lead Graphics Designer and Videographer, I have the opportunity to help portray a unique vision and originality that represents DFWLX to the nation’s Modern MOPAR enthusiasts.

After learning that the Magnum was to be discontinued, although shocking and pretty disappointing, it made me love my MOPAR even more – I never want this baby-hauler to leave my sight, it’s unique, it’ll become rare years from now, and it STILL turns heads to this day, especially since I installed Inertia Motorsports’ Spartan Max Camshaft and coupled that with a roar through some SLP Loudmouth pipes that has actually made little kids cry (I’m not really all that proud of that one, but ….. it is what it is). Each time I have driven through a parking garage and started up car alarms by, well, idling on through; each time I cruise around town; every day I drive to and from work; and every time I turn heads at my kids’ school because I don’t drive a minivan or quiet, little good-for-the-economy kid-transporter, I can’t help but smile at Chrysler/Dodge’s ingenuity.

The Dodge Magnum, although discontinued in the MOPAR lineup, will be around for years and years due to the fact that they are no longer available for new purchase, yet tons of them can be seen driving around and showing up at events such as Spring Fest’ and a majority of car shows around the country. I have put over 133,000 original miles on this 5.7L and will continue its use as my daily driver for as long as it runs; then, a new motor and drivetrain will carry it on several more years, repeat cycle as necessary.

This is and always will be my grocery-getter that hauls precious cargo, stands out in a crowd, and draws attention wherever it sits – which means I am officially Modern MOPAR for life.

Performance …..
-Inertia Motorsports Spartan MAX Camshaft
-Inertia Custom Forged Pushrods
-SRT Valve Springs
-Frankentake III Intake
-ExaTorq Ported Throttle Body
-180º Thermostat
-JBA Shorty Headers
-Gutted Catalytic Converters
-SLP Loudmouth I Catback
-Billet Technology Satin Oil Catch Can

Sex Appeal …..
-Tinted Windows (15% all around)
-All emblems removed except Brilliant Black “HEMI” emblems
-Door moldings removed
-Eibach Sportline Lowering Springs
-Tinted/Painted (Brilliant Black) Taillights [for car show purposes only]
-20″ Boss 335 Black/Machined Wheels
-Painted Calipers (Red) with “GONZO” decals
-Brilliant Black painted “eyelids” on headlights
-Headlights with black housings and AAC dual-color LED halos (white/red)
-Shaved and painted intake manifold (Brilliant Black)
-Fiberglass engine half covers (Brilliant Black)
-Taylor Shorty Spark Plug Wires (Red)
-ABS Cover (Brilliant Black)
-“DFW LX CLUB” decals
-Shaved rear wiper with Brilliant Black Chrysler Wing Emblem
-Custom-Designed (by me) Front Fascia fabricated by Rob Medellin
-Custom-Fabricated iPad-in-dash on passenger side

David Gonzales “GONZO”