This past weekend thousands of Mopar fanatics descended upon Angels Stadium in Anaheim, California for the Spring Festival of LXs. Now in its twelfth year running, LX Fest is open to owners of Dodge Chargers, Challengers, Magnums and Chrysler 300s, all of which share a common “LX” architecture that underpins FCA’s full size, rear wheel drive cars. “This is not a car show,” said festival organizer John Fortuno while addressing the massive crowd. “This is a mega-meet.” You don’t need to have a wildly tweaked and tuned car to join in on the fun – all LX owners are welcome whether their cars are modified or not. Starting with about a hundred cars “parked in the back of a strip mall” in 2005, according to Fortuno, this year saw the biggest showing in the festival’s history; 1430 cars registered, with folks coming from 22 different states and as far away as Alberta, Canada. But Fortuno says next year is going to take the party to another level, as they have a goal of 3000 registered cars for the 2018 event.
FCA has a strong presence at each year’s LX Fest. Mark Trostle, the head honcho for Dodge and SRT design, says that he has a team of Dodge reps scouring the festival checking out the latest trends in the mod scene. “The folks from the design studio are constantly getting inspiration from owner mods,” he explained. “There’s a lot more exciting stuff on the way.”
Festivities got underway Friday night at the Double Tree hotel in Irvine, where many LX owners from out of town converged to socialize and BBQ in the parking lot the day before the show. Dodge also showed up to the party and brought along the new Charger Daytona and Challenger T/A models.
Though it doesn’t share the LX platform with the Charger, 300, Magnum and Challenger, the Jeep Grand Cherokee gets the mod from the Mopar faithful regardless, especially in SRT trim.
This Sox and Martin inspired livery looks killer on a modern Challenger.
Along with a number of other Dodge and Chrysler models on display was this limited production Challenger Drag Pak. It’s powered by a 354ci Hemi that’s topped with a Whipple blower that makes more than 1000 horsepower right out of the box.
Though FCA stopped making SRT-flavored Chrysler 300s for the American market back in 2014, that hasn’t stopped owners from creating high performance versions of Chrysler’s full-sized luxury sedan on their own.
Also on display was the Mopar 2017 Dodge Challenger, which debuted at the Chicago Auto Show earlier this year. 80 of these limited edition Challengers will be built, and they showcase some of Mopar Performance’s latest hardware, like new strut braces that are designed specifically for use with the Shaker scoop.
This widebody Challenger really stood out to us, not just due to the Plum Crazy paint and fender flares, but because Super Stock-style hood scoop is just plain cool.
Discontinued after 2008, the Dodge Magnum remains one of the coolest production wagons ever conceived, and clean examples like this SRT model are getting rarer by the day.
Dodge hasn’t been shy about celebrating its muscle car heritage since the LX platform debuted in 2005, paying homage to old school paint hues with modernized versions of vintage favorites like B5 Blue and Go Mango along the way.
Food for thought, we know folks love doing this, leaving the splitter covers on their new cars, but it makes the designers wince when they see it. “Those are meant for shipping protection. Leaving them on is likely to damage the finish, plus it looks like you left the tag on,” one disgruntled Dodge employee told us.
We also ran into “Mad” Matt Leischer and his DIY dystopian 300C at the show too. Since we last spoke to him, Matt has rebuilt the 6.1-liter Hemi with a stout bottom end and a new intake setup that uses a pair of OEM Hellcat throttle bodies. The primary throttle body is controlled electronically while the secondary is mechanical. “Next up is a multi-port methanol injection setup,” says Matt.
It’s great to see that the scene for new cars can be as supportive and full of customization and performance as the classic car shows, sometimes even more! Here’s a big gallery of LX-inspiration for you.