2,500 Late-Model Challengers, Chargers, 300 and SRT Machines Converge at Auto Club Raceway for the Biggest Chrysler and Dodge Event in Southern California
For Southern California Mopar enthusiasts, the beginning of the spring season means the annual gathering of late-model Chrysler and Dodge vehicles known as the Spring Festival of LX in Pomona, CA. Every third week during the month of March, swarms of killer Challengers, Chargers, 300s, Durangos, Jeep Grand Cherokees and every other form of SRT variant imaginable converge on the Inland Empire quarter-mile known as Auto Club Speedway, home of the NHRA Winternationals and Finals. Thanks to its devout following of enthusiasts, this show has grown from a small local meet to a huge show that attracts thousands of participants from all corners of the country and even abroad.
The Spring Festival of LX is a custom car show and drag race that has been deeply rooted in Southern California soil since 2004 when the first meetup of LX aficionados totaled a mere four cars. The event grew steadily over the past 14 years and now exceeds the 2,000 mark in total registrations. A good sign that this growing trend will continue is that nearly half of the people who registered for the 2019 show were first-timers. And while the majority of entries this year were Southern California locals, Nevada and Arizona were well represented along with our Canadian neighbors to the north with nine entries and even four coming from across the Pacific Ocean from the city of Fukuyama in the Hiroshima Prefecture of Japan.
Corporate support from Dodge parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has been a big part of Spring Fest in the past and this year was no different. Ralph Gilles and Mark Trostle from the FCA design department were in attendance once again keeping everyone apprised of what we can expect to see from the manufacturer while checking out the trends that might fuel some ideas for future models. The Mayor of Muscleville, Goldberg, was busy taking selfies with the fans, but the real star attraction this year was the Hellephant-powered widebody Dodge Super Charger concept with its 1,000-horsepower crate engine under the hood that made its way onto the Auto Club tarmac to kick off the Modern Street Hemi Shootout drag racing festivities.
Those of you who were fortunate enough to cruise during the ‘60s and ‘70s may miss the bygone era of factory pony cars and the fierce horsepower rivalry between the big four American automakers to have the best and fastest. Thanks to shows like Spring Fest, though, we can all get a feel of the good old days and what the muscle car era was all about. But then again, judging by the caliber of cars that are coming out every year with more power, better handling and superior brakes, and seeing what owners are doing to them with aftermarket upgrades, some might argue that this is the best muscle car era yet.