The bets were cast early. Various forums were buzzing with posts guessing when the first 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat would be written off. Now, if you’re asking yourself what a Challenger Hellcat is, that’s easy. It’s Dodge’s much anticipated flagship car for 2015. A 707 horsepower supercharged beast to put it in simple terms. The way history shows with all high performance cars, is that somewhere down the line they always end up in the hands of an unskilled or hot shot driver. Somebody who thinks they can handle the full potential their car has when in reality, they probably can’t.
Sadly, it didn’t take long before the internet was lighting up with rumors of the first written-off production Hellcat. Right before this past Christmas, a blurry picture popped up on an SRT fan Facebook page. It showed a frontal shot of what used to be a Sublime Green Hellcat. As the details slowly started coming in, we learned the incident took place on a stretch of Riverdale Road outside of Henderson, Colorado.
Reports state the owner had taken possession of the car only an hour or so before the accident took place. It was later released that the driver was 34-year-old Lance Utley and he was traveling with two passengers when he lost control of the car and crashed head-on into a tree. Authorities confirmed that there were no injuries and that careless driving charges were laid against the driver.
Over the next few days following the crash, more and more pictures started coming to light. Anthony Borders posted on Facebook that he spotted a green Hellcat on the showroom floor at a Colorado Dodge dealer and believes it was the same car in question. Not too long after that, the Sublime wreckage was spotted in a tow company’s holding yard where Bradley Nagel was kind enough to snap a bunch of pictures of it.
From those pictures, it was pretty easy to see that the car was indeed a write-off and would not be rebuilt. The front end was very badly bent and torn apart. The front core support was almost non-existent and the front air bags had deployed. The car eventually disappeared for a while before turning up on Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc’s salvage website. It was then learned the odometer reading at the time of the accident was only 64 miles!
Unfortunately, this incident will not be the last. I’m sure plenty more Hellcats will be wrecked before getting to fully experience life. Some won’t even make it to their first oil change interval. At the time of this writing, I’m already aware of another three being totaled or seriously damaged. Here’s to hoping that nobody gets seriously injured or loses their life in the process. At the end of the day, cars are just objects and can be replaced. People can not. However, it still isn’t easy to see once beautiful pieces of automobile art get turned into crunched and destroyed piles of metal, glass and plastic.