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.
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
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.
"This past year during my winter break in Vermont," says Michael, "the truck had to battle through over 12 inches of snow."
With the R/T's dropped suspension and performance tires, we can only imagine what that trip must have been like.
Owner: Michael Thomas - Franklin Lakes, New Jersey
Model: 1998 Dakota R/T Extended Cab
Color: Intense Blue
Engine/Mods: 5.9L, Flowmaster muffler, 3-inch exhaust pipes, Accel 8mm plug wires, Autolite Platinum plugs, JBA headers and downpipe, dual 4x24-inch tips, MP cold air intake, ECU, valve covers, 180-degree thermostat, F&B throttle body
Transmission/Mods: Four-speed auto, Precision Industries torque converter, custom shift kit
Suspension Mods: Ground Force 2-inch drop coils, 2-inch Western Chassis lower control arms, C-section, 5-inch shackles, Monroe Reflex shocks, Energy Suspension front and rear sway-bar bushings, 17x9 stock wheels, 275/40/17 BFGoodrich G-Force tires, total drop: 4 inches front/5 inches rear
Body Mods: Stillen front fascia, Street Scene roll pan, PIAA Super White bulbs, Auto Syndicate clear corner lenses, painted rear lamp bezels, painted mirrors, door handles, rain runners, third brake light, wiper cowl, shaved V8 emblems, R/T badges removed, custom grille inserts, Quality Custom tonneau cover
Interior/Mods: Painted dash trim, electronic control, center console, 4x50-watt Precision power amp, JL Audio 8-inch W6 subwoofer, Polk Audio 5.24-inch components, Razo pedals, APC white-face gauges, Clifford alarm system, Bedrug bedliner, Cannon floor mat
Ryan Schebo Went For The Viper Look
Inspired: Dodge's sizzling V10 sports car may be the envy of every Mopar head without the means to own one, but that doesn't mean the spirit of America's premier roadster can't be assimilated onto other platforms. Ryan Schebo of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, has a serious fondness for the Viper's attributes; however, living on a young man's budget doesn't offer the discretionary income demanded of most Viper buyers. So, Ryan settled for the next best thing-he "Viperized" his '99 Dakota R/T in looks, if not in total performance.
Although Ryan's Dakota sports a Flame Red topcoat, he prefers to call the truck's overall color scheme "ketchup and mustard." It's a saucy mix inspired, he says, from a '96 Viper.
Wherever it came from, this all-American muscle truck looks pretty tasty to us.
Owner: Ryan Schebo - Coon Rapids, Minnesota
Model: '99 Dakota R/T Extended Cab
Color: Flame Red
Engine/Mods: 5.9L, MSD ignition, MP headers, 3-inch tailpipe
Transmission/Mods: Four-speed automatic
Suspension/Mods: Western Chassis lower control arms and shackles, Doetsche front and rear shocks, front and rear Kenny Brown X-Brace, 17x9 wheels, 255/55/17 tires
Body/Mods:" Street Scene front spoiler, Viper and "RT/8" decals
Interior/Mods: Black leather Dodge Viper seats ('98 GTS), Wheel Skinz red leather wheel cover, Lloyds Dakota floor mats, dual 10-inch MTX subwoofers, MTX amp, Bedrug, Checkmate CheckerPro flush-mount tonneau cover