Contributors

Dodgegarage.com is a digital content hub and premier destination for muscle car and race enthusiasts to hang out to get the latest on all things Dodge, SRT®, Mopar and anything automotive related worth talking about! Just as we look for a wide variety of enthusiast stories and events, we have editorial contributors with diverse backgrounds and experiences to help craft stories from their own unique perspectives. Meet our current contributors.

David Hakim

David Hakim, a lifelong Motor City resident, runs on high-octane fuel and with a fast crowd. He’s worn many hats during his quick-moving automotive career that has included marketing, PR/social media and consulting positions for both the automotive OEM and aftermarket industry.

Additionally, David has spent time as a racing photojournalist, covering IndyCar, IMSA and NHRA events for various media outlets. He’s also a regular contributor to Hot Rod Magazine, Car Craft and Mopar Muscle. When David’s not behind the lens of his Nikon and hammering out features for dodgegarage.com, he can be found in the staging lanes getting ready to make a pass in his Sublime Challenger Scat Pack 392 Shaker.

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Steve "Scat Pack" Magnante

Steve is a life-long Dodge fan who was born in July of 1964; the same month and year the first cross-rammed 426 Race HEMI®s appeared on drag strips from coast to coast. Though Steve was too young to own any of the legendary 1960s Dodge muscle cars when they were brand new, in 1987, he made up for lost time and bought an original 1968 HEMI Charger R/T. That potent 426 Street HEMI led to a string of vintage Dodge muscle cars powered by 340s, 383s, 440s, a Max Wedge and another HEMI. Along the way, Steve has been a devoted student of Dodge corporate history, vehicle trivia, and Dodge’s many successful factory-supported racing and high-performance vehicle development programs.

In 1992, Steve turned his passion into a career and began writing for Chrysler Power magazine. Since then, he has been a full-time automotive journalist, joining the staff of Hot Rod Magazine from 1997 through 2004 and also contributing regular freelance magazine articles to Mopar Action, Mopar Muscle, Muscle Car Review, Car Craft and Hemmings Muscle Machines. Steve has also authored several books on automotive subjects.

Steve is deeply involved in automotive television programs, serving as the host of Motor Trend on Demand’s new hit series Junkyard Gold. Since 2005, he has also been a part of the on-air vehicle commentary team for the Barrett-Jackson collector car auctions on Velocity Channel.

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Todd "SRTMush"

Have you ever heard the saying: Leave well enough alone? Most people have and make the wise choice to follow that motto. There are, however, a select group of people out there in the world who chose to hear that saying and work every waking hour to go against the grain of sticking to the path of least resistance. Mush is one of those types who would rather spend countless hours trying to change something just to see if it is possible only to find out it isn’t, rather than just leaving it alone to begin with. An avid automotive and racing enthusiast, he caught the bug early on in life. “I never really had much interest in cars, until I got my first car,” he says, “and I instantly realized that my car was my ticket to freedom and to be a means of expression of my personality.”

The passion for Dodge was born from an unlikely period: the late-’80s turbo 4-cylinder cars a la Dodge Daytona, Shelby Daytona, Omni GLH. Mush got into drag racing in the late ’90s right out of high school. Every car purchased got faster and faster. Fast forward from the turbo 4 cars on through the twin turbo Stealths, through the first-generation SRT8 cars to the SRT® Hellcats and you end up with the ultimate horsepower…the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.

Since 2016, Mush has documented his automotive journey via YouTube, from taking delivery of his 2016 Charger SRT Hellcat and now his 2018 Dodge SRT Demon, which he wasted no time modifying and racing. “We do all the work ourselves because it is the best way to learn, not to mention, I don’t want to blame someone else if something were to go wrong, I would only have to blame myself,” says Mush. “And there is an amazing satisfaction knowing that YOU made this what it is. YOU had the vision, YOU put in the hours, blood, sweat and tears. YOU left your skin on various pieces of the car. Between the sense of accomplishment and learning, mixed in with using it as my own way of creative expression, it is just something that I seem to enjoy doing most out of all my interests and hobbies.”

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John Hammer

Hammer was born and raised in Detroit and has been a car guy his whole life, owning such gems as a 1965 Corvair (that caught fire, TWICE!), a Saab 900 (that rusted so badly the frame broke in half) and a 2001 Dodge Viper GTS (that he says he never should have sold!). Ironically, it wasn't until he moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, that he started working for Dodge as a pro driver with the SRT® Track Experience.

Hammer has been racing for 25 years; won the One Lap of America in a factory-backed SRT entry and has taught high-performance driving to tens of thousands of enthusiasts. These days, he represents the brand online, on TV and at events all over the country. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, travel and hosting The Driving Show, his nationally syndicated radio program. Follow @TheJohnHammer on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

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Josh Welton

Josh Welton believes life is too short to drive boring cars. He’s a lover/creator of art and also enjoys welding, talking his way out of speeding tickets, smoky burnouts, and dogs. A former Chrysler millwright, Josh learned his trade in Detroit, where he still lives with his wife Darla. Currently Josh fabricates and wrenches on military vehicles at General Dynamics Land Systems’ prototype shop, sculpts metal through his business Brown Dog Welding, and travels the world as much as possible.

In the midst of a series of severe arm surgeries that sidelined him on and off for several years, Josh turned to writing as a creative outlet. A passionate supporter of blue collar trades, this led him to pen several popular recurring columns for TheFabricator.com and The Welder magazine.

He’s done a wheelie in an SRT Demon, was the first person to pilot a 5th gen Viper ACR cross country, and has a license to drive Abrams tanks. One time, Jalopnik called him the Horacio Pagani of welding. Current vehicles include a multi-colored SRT4 swapped 2001 Neon, a Destroyer Grey 2009 “widebody” Ram R/T, a 1970 Buick Electra 225 convertible (in many pieces), and a Maximum Steel 2018 Dodge SRT Demon. Follow his adventures at @welderassassin on Instagram and @browndogwelding on Instagram and Twitter.

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Bud Kleppe

Bud became a Dodge fan while in high school, working at Great Cars Great Trucks – a showcase storefront at the Mall of America. This place allowed the public to get a no-pressure look at all of the cars and trucks that made up Chrysler Corporation at that time. From the Viper to the Prowler and a steady rotation of concept vehicles, there was always something to study and admire (and keep dust-free).

Bud has owned a handful of Mopar® vehicles over the years, from a Chrysler Conquest TSi, to a Jeep® Wrangler Sport, to a Chrysler 300M. In 2007, he got a taste for the speed and power of the HEMI® engine with the purchase of a Dodge Magnum R/T. This single car relaunched his passion for Dodge and got Bud involved online at LxForums.com. In 2013, he took an amazing road trip with friends and purchased his prized Dodge Charger in Oklahoma. This started him down the path of social media, creating the White Ops R/T and Scat Pack Club accounts on Instagram.

Now, Bud can be found all over social media, including his latest venture with friends, Muscle Underground.

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