Jo’s 1998 Dodge Avenger. Once A Tuner, Always A Tuner.
In the world of tuners most of us Car Guys know of two main types. Imports, and Domestics, and in today’s segment we are going to visit a Domestic Tuner that was bought, destroyed, resurrected, and then skillfully maintained in a way that none of you great readers are even going to believe. Let’s get going.
Now I have been to quite a few Car Club driven car shows, and have seen many different types of cars. There’s been imports that are dressed to kill wearing their stretched lip tires, and sporting HID headlights that’ll blind you from 100 yards away. Then you have the older guys who just so happen to have that “Barn Find”, 1930’s Ford 3 window that seems to just draw the attention away from those who younger cars that happen to be sitting across from it. Poor choice in your viewing spot Sonny. But just last month I cam across this small framed woman who was talking to another gentleman about car parts, and her conversation with him seemed to have drew me in. Her name was Jo, and she doesn’t mind me saying that she’s 64 years old, and owns what looks like a stretched, Mitsubishi Eclipse Coupe. Yes, I said 64 years old. She’s a sprite little woman who knows “HER” car, and knows it well. I approached her, and after one question was asked, I was given a magazine spread’s worth of information on her Red Beauty. It’s a little unheard of to find a woman of this age speaking with such love, whilst running down the list of mods, and tweaks that were done to her car, a 1998 Dodge Avenger ES. I know, an Avenger?!?!
Jo’s Avenger was a stock 163hp, 2.5L V6 two door coupe that was fairly popular back in the day. She came across her car by means of a auto dealer who brought it to her as an offering for her to buy something a little better than what she was driving at the time. It was clean, red, smoke free, and in very good condition. Unfortunately is was an automatic, and she was stuck with it. Now being a Car Gal, Jo, took it upon herself to begin to modify her baby. Rims, power upgrades, stereo mods, interior work, were all coming along swimmingly until she was dealt a blow by some driver who going way to fast for their own good. In the blink of an eye, her ride was completely totaled, and she was faced with either taking the loss, or doing something about it. Now you see, this is where being a tuner at heart comes into play. Jo, took her wrecked Avenger, got with her body man, found another Avenger, and then started a new chapter with her project car.
This time around Jo’s ride was going to look fabulous, sound awesome, and slap the piss out of any wannabe who pulled up to her in their loud Civic hatchback. The new ride would receive a Viper hood, a custom molded Blitz front fascia, (That Eclipse look right there), Razzi side skirts, TC-1 lower rear valance, and a JSP Grand Touring wing to bring the look of the Avenger up to speed. Completing the exterior are Zinik Adrienne 18” Chrome wheels, Street Glow LED under body kit, and JDM Black Diamond headlights. Under the hood, the mods you’ll find are a Eibach pro lowering kit, Neuspeed strut bar, XERD stainless steel headers, a color matched Iceman cold air intake with KCN filter, an Aerospeed 4” tipped exhaust, and a ZEX Nitrous, 75 Shot wet system good for more power on tap. In the cabin, is pure Jo. Red carpeting , with diamond cut steel floor mats, matching seat covers, custom embroidered “DIVA” on the dash/airbag housing, and a fiery Red custom matched dash board kit. Wrapping up the interior is the ICE, (In Car Entertainment) she wanted to have for all to see. An Alpine Touchscreen head unit holds the place where the stock radio used to be, and all of the sound can be heard through the Memphis Belle speakers that have been placed throughout the cabin. One more last bit of flair Jo added to her ride, was the custom hair dryers that double as tweeters in the truck, add that to a digital photo screen, and some premium work provided by Becker Audio Fiberglass & Carpet, her ride was complete.
As you can see this sounded like a true labor of love, and believe me when I tell you, it was. The way Jo goes on about her car, and how she reveals the story line about her, “Diva” is simply incredible. I’ve come across women who love their 1966 Cadillac, or kind of gush over their 1957 Buick, but none of them can really hold a candle to Jo, and her Avenger. This is a car that seemed to bring out the best in a person, and unlike most cars where the owner needs to change the look every few years, this one will remain the same. For you see Jo, isn’t the average tuner, she’s the person who knows what she wants, and knows what it’ll do for in the long run, and not in the short scheme of things. I can understand her love for cars, and I do respect what she has done with her’s. After it was all said, and done, she gave me a hug, and said, “Thanks for the interview.” So if you see Jo, and her car remember two things. One, ask questions, but listen well, and two, Don’t Touch The Car!!