Kerry Nowell Gave His 2000 R/T A Cross-Country Break-In
Measures: You may remember the old ad line for Camel cigarettes: "I'd walk a mile for a Camel." Well, how about this? Kerry Nowell of Garland, Texas, drove 1,100 miles for a new Dakota R/T.

In August 1999 Kerry had his heart set on a Solar Yellow regular cab R/T pickup, but all he could find were red and black extended-cab models. He settled for a red R/T, yet less than a month later got wind of a buy-back offer from DaimlerChrysler and opted for a 2000 model year production R/T.

To make an incredibly long story short, Kerry decided he would have his Solar Yellow regular cab R/T one way or another. Since there were none available locally, he logged onto the Dakota R/T Club mail group and made an inquiry. Within an hour another member told Kerry that the truck he was looking for was sitting on the Chicago-area Schaumberg Dodge lot. Kerry called the dealer, placed a non-refundable deposit for the truck on his credit card, and in December flew to Chicago to pick up the Dakota.

Two blocks from the dealer, Kerry dubbed the truck "Lucy."

"I noticed that on rain-slick streets it was extremely traction-impaired . . . loosey goosey, if you will. Hence the name Lucy. It has stuck since."

Today "Lucy" is a sunny-day-only driver that regularly takes Kerry to the drag strip.

Rapid Facts
Owner: Kerry Nowell - Garland, Texas
Model: 2000 Dakota R/T Regular Cab
Color: Solar Yellow
Engine/Mods: 5.9L, MP heads (ported, 1.97 intake/1.625 exhaust), MP 1.6 roller rockers, Kammer & Kammer camshaft (.513 lift, 107-degree centerline), MP headers (PN 5007434), 2.5-inch dual Summit Racing mufflers, underhood ram air
Transmission/Mods: 46RE four-speed, MP 2400 stall converter, TransGo shift kit
Driveline/Mods: factory 3.92 rear, 17x9 wheels, 255/55/17 tires
Suspension/Mods: Stock
Body/Mods: Stock
Interior/Mods: Stock

Play Time
Michael Thomas Points His Dakota Towards FunThe prized vehicles of most auto enthusiasts enjoy a somewhat pampered lifestyle. With all of the hard work and money that goes into building a pet project car or truck, it's easy to understand why some rides are treated with the proverbial kid gloves. Just don't count Michael Thomas, of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, among this set. He has owned his '98 Dakota R/T for over three years and has put well over 70,000 miles on the clock. Yes, it's a daily driver, but there's more to it than that.

"I enjoy taking winter break trips to Vermont every year with my truck," says Michael. "I also travel to the South Jersey dunes with my four-wheeler in the back to get some play time in. Otherwise, I use my truck all school year to commute to college in New Jersey. During the summer time I am either using it to travel to work every day, or I drive it to Long Beach Island to catch some rays."

Easy cruising, you say? Perhaps. But it's not all fun and games.