Here’s something amazing: I was driving along the other day, just cruising down the highway in Southern California and minding my own business — by which I mean I was thinking about how it would be weird if fog was different colors — and then I saw it. The last stock, unmodified Dodge Neon SRT-4 in existence.
For those of you who don’t know the SRT-4, allow me to explain. This was a high-performance version of the Dodge Neon that was sold from 2003 to 2005, until the Neon was canceled. The SRT-4 used a turbocharged 4-cylinder, and it initially had 215 horses before it was upped to 230 in 2004. This may not seem like much, but it was more than the Subaru WRX of its day — and the Neon was pretty light, weighing in at around 2,900 pounds.
Of course, it didn’t matter how much horsepower it made from the factory, because no one kept their SRT-4s in factory condition. I remember seeing many SRT-4s on the road in between 2003 and 2005, and then some in 2006, but by 2007 they were gone. Everyone had tried to get 600 hp out of them and they blew the engines; there’s a famous YouTube video of a person blowing their SRT-4 engine from revving it too much.
SRT-4s also disappeared because they crashed, as they were truly cheap speed: they were so cheap that Dodge put power windows in front and crank windows in back in order to keep costs down. The SRT-4 started around $21,000.
Anyway, all this means that I was really surprised to see this stock one. I saw it on the 610 freeway just crossing into Cerritos, California, for those of you who want to keep a vigil on the side of the road in case you see it again. The Carfax report shows that it’s always been in California, and that it had just 37,000 miles on it until the current owner bought it in 2012, suggesting it was, indeed, preserved — although the last Carfax report event showed 111,000 miles in 2017, meaning the current owner is driving it.
Is it really the last stock one in existence? A quick search on Autotrader reveals this clean example listed for $8,500 at AutoNation Ford near Dallas, but it’s an outlier. There certainly aren’t many left — and seeing the white one was certainly a shock. Find a Dodge Neon for sale
Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.
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