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Automotive Traveler Magazine: 2011 03 2011 Festival Of LXs Page 1

Event Coverage: 2011 Festival of Chrysler LXs

Bill Basore takes a look at some of the highlights of the sixth annual celebration of the Chrysler 300, the Dodge Magnum, the Dodge Charger, and the Dodge Challenger.

They came from more than 20 states and several Canadian provinces to celebrate rear-wheel-drive performance at the Sixth Annual Festival of LXs. For those not in the know, LX is the platform code for Chrysler's 2005 return to rear-wheel-drive performance: the Chrysler 300, the Dodge Magnum, the Dodge Charger, and the Dodge Challenger. Organizers set up at the former El Toro Marine Air Station in Tustin, California on Saturday 26 March for a full day of fun, food, and tire-smoking action, networked through almost a dozen LX-focused online forums.

From Auburn Hills, Michigan came Dodge CEO and Chrysler vice president of styling Ralph Gilles, along with more than 20 Chrysler Group executives, who saw first hand the diversity of the LX owner body. From pure stock to wildly outrageous, there was some flavor of LX to satisfy every whim.

For more details and photographs, visit the national LX Forum and the Automotive Traveler/Fotki Image Gallery.

Captions

Formula Drift Champion and stunt driver Samuel Hübinette gave 11-year-old Cody Held the ride of a lifetime from the passenger seat of the Samuel Hübinette Racing Dodge Challenger.

About a dozen Chrysler and Dodge owners woke up early to attend the sunrise Cars and Coffee gathering at the Ford/Mazda campus in nearby Irvine, California. Those attending got a sneak peek at LX Festival founder John Fortuno's "Fatchance 2.0," one of the first privately built 2011 Chrysler 300s. It was constructed in just a week's time.

Dodge CEO Ralph Gilles, one of the designers responsible for the groundbreaking 2005 Chrysler 300, signs an engine cover for a member of the 30-plus-strong Canadian contingent that drove more than 1,000 miles to attend the 2011 Festival of LXs.

This Chrysler 300 benefitted from the removal of its roof, transforming it into a DUB-style four-door convertible.

Ever wonder what a Chrysler 300 would look like as a two-door station wagon? One imaginative owner started with a Dodge Magnum four-door grocery getter, eliminated two doors, and grafted on the front clip from a first-generation Chrysler 300, adding a custom grille.

Not quite sure what to make of this Mad Max-inspired Dodge Magnum wagon, but it sure gets an "A" for creativity and uniqueness.

This road race-inspired Dodge Challenger is sure to appeal most to the purists among those attending the 2011 Festival of LXs.

Team Mopar brought out the 2011 Dodge Charger RedLine, first displayed at the 2010 SEMA Show. With its Sixties-style R/T side scoops, it is the perfect blend of vintage and contemporary Charger design cues.

Although more than a dozen models were "imported" from Southern California for the event, that didn't stop them from modeling items from Chrysler's "Imported from Detroit" sportswear collection, the proceeds from which are being donated to charity.

The Tulsa Rib Company, from nearby Orange, California, served up more than 3,000 helpings of BBQ chicken and ribs. No one went home hungry.

One of the highlights of the day was when the models peeled back the cover on John Fortuno's new Chrysler 300. Dubbed "Fatchance 2.0," it was finished with just hours to spare--as 2011 Chrysler 300s are just now reaching Chrysler showrooms.

Samuel Hübinette and Ralph Gilles flank a smiling Cody Held, on wobbly legs after he completed three laps in the Dodge Challenger drift car (see opening image).

Chrysler and Dodge owners attending the 2011 Festival of LXs got the chance to test drive many of the all-new Chrysler and Dodge models. Here, one owner driving a 2011 Chrysler 300 negotiates the autocross course set up on one of the former runways of the El Toro Marine Air Station.

At a focus group of current LX owners, the Chrysler design team showed off a number of concepts being considered for future production. Seen here is the 2011 Chrysler 300 getting the S treatment, in this case a semi-matte silver re-spray.