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Fast Lane

Creed’s Apostle

Nothing like bombing around in an Inferno red Dodge Magnum powered by the 5.7L Hemi V-8 with all-wheeldrive to make one a believer in the latest reincarnation of Chrysler.

Tooling through some heavy traffic and mild snow, streaking out of toll booths in north New Jersey and lower New York for several days, this car is a crazy-quick, responsive dream. The navigation system is a thing of intuitive wonder.

No car I’ve driven in recent years has brought me into so many conversations with strangers. And it isn’t because I’m driving a red car in blue states either. “Hey, buddy, what is that thing?” And relatives, well, they simply all have to have a trip down the block in this sleek machine.

The performance aspect of this vehicle is not to be denied, but it is awfully stirring just sitting at the curb with the V-6 or the Hemi V-8. That doesn’t matter as much as the exciting way the Magnum fills space and demands one’s attention.

It’s really all about the styling of this, the ultimate grocery getter for Mrs. Batman. It’s just amazing that a station wagon can pack so much sizzle and excitement in its look and stance.

Much as I admire the Chrysler 300, the Magnum is a more stunning achievement to my mind. It’s a wagon, people, really. I’m an unabashed Jeep lover but abhor wagons. Yet I can’t take my eye off of this one. And calling the Magnum a sport wagon really doesn’t get me off the hook.

I credit Trevor Creed, this year’s winner of Automotive Industries’ Career Achievement Award, and his staff of creative designers and stylists. It is evident that he draws the best from his rather small design staff. Staffers clearly understand that under his tutelage they will work on exciting projects that make their talents flourish.

It’s been said that Chrysler wins people over with styling, but loses them because of quality. Creed’s steadfast embracement of craftsmanship is closing that gap, so look for Chrysler to hold onto more of its conquest sales.

The event at any auto show that every press person I know never skips is a Trevor Creed reveal. He raises these events to the level of an art form. The word “passion” is sadly overworked at most auto shows, but in Trevor’s case it is right on the money.

Over the years he has built up this following because of the cars he has had the pleasure of introducing of course, but also because of the wonderful way he talks over the design thrust and mission and how the car we are looking at fulfills the objectives.

As he concludes his introductions, Trevor typically introduces the key designers involved with the vehicle or concept exercise at hand. But he is just the perfect master at titrating shapes and forms and colors and textures into a splendidly evocative narrative that speaks from the very soul of the machine. And his subjects are so broad ranging, too, from the sublime to the nearly absurd.

From the subtle curves of a vehicle like the Pacifica to a jumpin’ Jeep hair-on-fire concept vehicle like the twin Hemi Hurricane, it’s all in a day’s work for Trevor Creed.

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Thu. February 2nd, 2023

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