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Drunkonunleaded
Drunkonunleaded HalfDork
2/1/21 3:54 p.m.

Up for sale is one of the 1995 Dodge Neon ACRs owned by the then-Chrysler Corporation for use during the Neon Celebrity Challenge races from 1995-1998 (specifically, car #19). 

More information on the history of the series (including race results and driver lineups) can be found here: https://forums.neons.org/viewtopic.php?t=266966.  Additionally, there is a GREAT album of photos from the 1998 Grand Prix of Minnesota weekend located here: http://www.comicozzie.com/gallery2/v/1998/USRRCTA/Neon/.

This car has only 7673 miles at the time of writing and is in impeccable shape.  As evidenced by the photos, under the hood it spotless, and the red paint shines well.  Despite being a race car for its entire life, there is no apparent body damage.  Even the rocker pinch welds are in excellent shape.  In various places, one can see evidence of the previous liveries as dictated by Chrysler; the engine bay/interior still show the car’s original black paint from the 1995 season, with some places still having yellow over spray from 1996.

By ~2003 the car was in private hands and issued an SCCA logbook, where it began its life racing in Showroom Stock C.  In 04, the car changed hands and continued to be campaigned at venues such as Grattan and Waterford Hills until 2009.  During this time, the car received a number of upgrades and was later campaigned in (I believe) ITA.  Major upgrades are as follows:

  • Quaife Limited Slip Differential
  • Moroso road race oil pan with trap doors/baffles and windage tray
  • Performance Driven LLC “XX-High” springs (380# F/276# R)
  • Koni “Sport” (Yellow) struts
  • Energy Suspension polyurethane suspension bushings
  • Energy Suspension polyurethane motor/trans mounts
  • Mopar Performance Parts bobble strut/engine torque damper
  • Mopar Performance Parts front motor mount
  • Mopar Performance Parts 22mm rear sway bar
  • Mopar Performance Parts short throw shifter
  • Mopar Performance Parts ECU
  • Mopar Performance Parts (Iceman) Cold Air Intake
  • Modern Performance Underdrive Pulley
  • Crower “Stage 4” Cams
  • Crower Valve Springs
  • Crower Ti. Valve Spring Retainers
  • PT Cruiser 2.4L lash adjusters
  • PT Cruiser 2.4L cam followers
  • AEM adjustable cam gears
  • High Flow Exhaust (Custom by Previous Owner)
  • MSD Ignition Coil
  • Mopar Performance Parts spark plug wires
  • Mopar Performance Parts Wheel Studs
  • Hawk Blue Pads
  • Duralast “Gold Rotors”

In addition, the following safety equipment has been installed in the car:

  • Cage upgraded to double door bars
  • Kirkey seat with tweed cover
  • Momo steering wheel with quick release
  • Window net (Expired)
  • G-Force harnesses (Expired)
  • Fire suppression system (Expired)

Also included is a spares package that includes (but not limited to):

  • NOS Mopar Performance Parts front hubs (10mm flange as OE on ACRs)
  • NOS Mopar Performance Parts Wheel Studs
  • NOS Mopar rear control arm bolts
  • NOS Mopar brake pads
  • NOS Mopar fuel pump
  • Mopar Performance Parts “X-High” springs (310# F/230# R)
  • Howell Automotive A/FX “Race” ECU
  • Spare Hawk Blue Pads.
  • OEM 1995 ACR DOHC ECU
  • OEM ACR springs
  • OEM ACR rear sway bar
  • OEM Passenger Seat
  • OEM 1995 Neon “Sport” wheels with tires
  • Full 1995 Chrysler Factory Shop Manual
  • Original SCCA Logbook
  • Other misc. documentation (purchase invoice(s) for aftermarket parts, cam gear instructions, cam card, etc.)
  • Specialty tools include Darrel Cox Racing Cam Fixture Tool
  • Brookfield Collector’s Guild 1995 and 1996 Neon Challenge model cars

Car is mechanically sound and nearly ready for your local HPDE or track event.  That said, I would highly recommend that the next caretaker of this car perform basic maintenance and “nut and bolt” the car.  Tires would most certainly require replacement prior to any performance driving.  While safety equipment is in place, the belt/window net/fire bottle have aged out and would require replacement prior to passing any sort of tech inspection.

The only negatives that I can think of are the lack of the original Neon Challenge graphics, and the fact that the PO added bed liner to the rockers and lip of hood to ward off rock chips.  The shop who originally produced the graphics for this car is still in operation and I was told it would be possible to recreate the original graphics if the files did not still exist.

I purchased the car from the second (third, counting Chrysler) owner in Spring of 2019.  During that time, the car has been driven sparingly on the street.  Car is street legal and has a clean Michigan title. 

There are not many Neon ACRs left these days, let alone one of this condition, mileage and provenance.  I am asking $9,995 for the car, but am open to offers.  Car is located 30 minutes south of Detroit.

 

Edit - Some have requested pictures of the rocker panel pinch welds.  I am adding these pictures below, six in total (3 per side).  If anyone desires, I should be able to get the car on a lift to obtain undercarriage pictures with a few days notice.

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
2/1/21 4:05 p.m.

Not saying it's not worth it- I don't know race cars for squat and I'm sure it's a bargain, but a 10k neon hurts my brain. 

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
2/1/21 4:26 p.m.

My dick can only get so erect. 

Drunkonunleaded
Drunkonunleaded HalfDork
2/1/21 4:34 p.m.
Mndsm said:

Not saying it's not worth it- I don't know race cars for squat and I'm sure it's a bargain, but a 10k neon hurts my brain. 

I don't disagree with you.  Without the provenance of being a Chrysler built/owned race car originally, it's probably worth whatever a clean ITA car is these days.  To my knowledge, there has not been a challenge car coupe trade hands publicly for some time.  The last private sale was very likely car #18, which I owned and sold back in September.

That said, there have been some other clean Neons sold within the past few years: This one was on R&T, and was previously listed on Hemmings for $8,000.  The last public challenge car listed for sale was a sedan in (arguably) worse shape and posted for a similar price.

In the age of the $50,000 Civic Si and $82,00 Integra Type R, this Neon a bargain.  laugh

 

johndej
johndej Dork
2/1/21 4:40 p.m.

I'd be tempted to see if bring a trailer might take it...

Drunkonunleaded
Drunkonunleaded HalfDork
2/1/21 4:54 p.m.
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) said:

My dick can only get so erect. 

I'll take that as a compliment coming from the GRM Neon Whisperer.

johndej said:

I'd be tempted to see if bring a trailer might take it...

That's not a terrible idea.  Thank you for the vote of confidence.

mdshaw
mdshaw Reader
2/1/21 4:55 p.m.

I would send BAT  an inquiry. They love cars with stories & history. The right buyer might see it. 

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
2/1/21 5:01 p.m.

If I didn't have 6 neon and a bunch of turbo dodges it would be setting here. 

BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter)
BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
2/1/21 5:16 p.m.

Wow. I remember when I was a kid and these were the new hot stuff in showroom stock racing.

Now it’s come back around and it’s old enough to be a bit collectable.

I guess that means I’m getting old or something.

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
2/1/21 5:26 p.m.
BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter) said:

Wow. I remember when I was a kid and these were the new hot stuff in showroom stock racing.

Now it’s come back around and it’s old enough to be a bit collectable.

I guess that means I’m getting old or something.

I own a neon that is older than me. Unsure how that makes me feel. 

Drunkonunleaded
Drunkonunleaded HalfDork
2/1/21 8:42 p.m.
BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter) said:

Wow. I remember when I was a kid and these were the new hot stuff in showroom stock racing.

Now it’s come back around and it’s old enough to be a bit collectable.

I guess that means I’m getting old or something.

I remember the challenge cars being displayed locally.  It was the white sedan from the 1994 season (before the went to coupes).  One was in Frenchtown Mall in Monroe, MI and the other it was a now-shuttered dealer called "MotorQuest" in Southgate, MI.  They might've been the same car for all I know.  All that I did know is that I would own a "Challenge" car one day.

A Neon (99 SOHC Automatic Sedan) was my first car.  The second (98 ACR) was my first "sporty" car.  It was how I found GRM and was actually sold on this site around 10 years ago:

Some 25 years after seeing that first Neon in the mall, I ended up owning two Challenge cars (this and #18, which I owned up until last fall):

I've owned these cars, I've enjoyed them.  I literally learned to drive on them, both in traffic school and Auto-X school.  I know that I'll be kicking myself in a year or two for selling, but that's something I'll have to live with.  My only hope is that #19 finds as good of a caretaker as #18 did so that it may be preserved for another 26 years.

 

Drunkonunleaded
Drunkonunleaded HalfDork
2/2/21 11:46 a.m.

Apologies in advance for the double post.  Someone last night had asked for pictures of the rocker pinch welds and I updated this post with those pictures, six in total (three per side).

Additionally, I should be able to get the car on a lift for undercarriage photos at potential buyer's request.  All that I ask is that you please give me a few days notice to make arrangements for a shop bay and to get the trailer out of storage.

Thanks!

alldave
alldave
2/3/21 3:52 p.m.

Just to confirm, it can be licensed for street driving? Mainly asking because my plan would be to drive it home - though that'll raise the miles by a goodly amount.

Drunkonunleaded
Drunkonunleaded HalfDork
2/3/21 6:07 p.m.
alldave said:

Just to confirm, it can be licensed for street driving? Mainly asking because my plan would be to drive it home - though that'll raise the miles by a goodly amount.

Yes.  Clean (green) Michigan title in hand.  All of the original run of 20 Challenge cars were built at the Belvedere plant as production models, albeit as "stripped" ACRs (no rear defrost, no radio, no A/C, etc.).  The VINs for these cars are sequential, which coincides with the production code "Special Scheduling Condition" on the build sheet.  So as far as legal paperwork is concerned, this is a 1995 Dodge Neon coupe.

 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/3/21 6:31 p.m.

In reply to alldave :

I'm gonna guess you're not in the north.

I don't want to queer the sale but here up north in the snow/salt/rust season, driving anything pristine on the street (or on an uncovered trailer) is something I wouldn't recommend doing until late March. 

Drunkonunleaded
Drunkonunleaded HalfDork
2/3/21 7:32 p.m.
John Welsh said:

In reply to alldave :

I'm gonna guess you're not in the north.

I don't want to queer the sale but here up north in the snow/salt/rust season, driving anything pristine on the street (or on an uncovered trailer) is something I wouldn't recommend doing until late March. 

Or April.  It is Michigan after all...

You actually bring up a good point that I did not really address as I provided my original response.  While this car is street legal in that it can be registered, plated, and insured for the road, it is a full-on race car.  I cannot in good conscious recommend driving this car on public roads due to it's current configuration.  At the very least, I would recommend changing out to a street pad and DOT tire, as Hawk blues and old Hankook slicks do not make for a suitable street configuration.  That's ignoring the potential for serious injury in a crash due to the presence of the cage, Kirkey seat, or 5-point harnesses.

While I will not lie and say that I have not driven this vehicle on the street in a limited capacity (58 miles in total), that was in conditions where risk was minimized (desolate country roads in northern MI, never pushing the limit of the vehicle's performance).  Aside from the ~20 mile transit from the PO's home to mine, my main purpose for regularly driving the car were to ensure that the mechanical systems remain in a healthy state.

With regards to shipping, I have the luxury of being flexible with my work schedule and thus can work with regards to picking up the car.  In the past, I have assisted out of state buyers in identifying suitable Uhaul locations for truck and/or trailer rental.  As a point of reference, I am roughly 15 minutes away Southeast of Detroit Metro Airport (DTW).

While I hesitate to recommend shipping companies for a multitude of reasons, I will say that I am located only 30 minutes from Reliable Carriers' Canton Headquarters.

alldave
alldave New Reader
2/4/21 12:34 p.m.

In reply to Drunkonunleaded :

Thanks for your honesty. I was looking over the equipment and wondering about that, not to mention whether it could pass the physical NJ inspection. I am coming from way out east. I'll look up trailer rentals. Yes, I'd probably ask if I could put down a deposit and pick up later if not using Reliable.

Drunkonunleaded
Drunkonunleaded HalfDork
2/4/21 1:49 p.m.

In reply to alldave :

My pleasure.  I do not want to misrepresent things by any means.  Here in MI we do not have state inspections or emissions testing.  I cannot speak to what NJ requires, but all of the "street car" systems (functional head/tail/brake lights, turn signals, wipers, mirrors) are functional with the exception of the changes in driver safety equipment.

That said, I put a decent chunk of miles on car #18 between cruise nights and transits to/from Auto-X events without issue.  That car was a bit more streetable with between the R888s and Hawk HP+ pads, but was otherwise nearly identical in specifications. 

I am not saying that the car is undriveable on the street, but its current configuration makes it less than ideal to say the least.

wae
wae UberDork
2/5/21 9:35 a.m.

PM sent

bluescooby
bluescooby Reader
2/6/21 9:27 p.m.

This is pretty awesome...

Drunkonunleaded
Drunkonunleaded HalfDork
2/6/21 9:53 p.m.
bluescooby said:

This is pretty awesome...

Thank you, I appreciate the kind words.  There's not many nice ACRs left out there these days, let alone one with this kind of history.

bluescooby
bluescooby Reader
2/7/21 7:54 p.m.

In reply to Drunkonunleaded :

Yeah they're getting pretty rare, and these pedigreed ones almost never turn up.  I bought a low-mileage ACR years ago and it was a blast, but I sold it for some stupid reason.  Best of luck with your sale!

Drunkonunleaded
Drunkonunleaded HalfDork
2/7/21 8:36 p.m.

In reply to bluescooby :

Thanks!  Should've held onto the black one.  Sold it like an idiot when I bought the C5Z and the next owner trashed it.  Was a 60k mile car that had been an Auto-X/weekend car since new and he proceeded to turn it into a year-round DD after stripping the good parts off of it.  By the time he tried to sell it back 4-5 years later, it was pretty rusty.

RacingComputers
RacingComputers Reader
2/20/21 11:11 a.m.

Interested if still for sale.

 

Racingcomputers@yahoo.com

 

Regards

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
2/20/21 12:06 p.m.

If it weren't winter and in Michigan, I'd love for our host to be able to send JG up to get some seat time with it on track to review. There's history with showroom stock and neons have been a staple of the community for decades, this would be one of the last chances to review a factory prepared effort for what it was and to compare it to what's available today and what one could build for themselves if starting from scratch. 

 

Put me in the camp of thinking that it's worth every dollar. You're not getting a clean neon in that condition for $2000, let alone an ACR. Then factor in the cage, The limited slip, the suspension. You quickly get to that number before even factoring in the history and that it was developed and put together by the factory. 

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