Monday, July 27, 2015

Welcome to Steel Curtain Challenger!


I hope to use this venue as a chronicle of my ongoing love affair with the Pittsburgh Steelers and American Muscle cars, specifically Mopars.

I will post pictures of my car and other fine examples of the modern muscle cars, Mopars and others, I come across, and recount my experiences with my car at shows, meet-ups and just driving it around.

I will also write about my following of the Steelers, a team I have followed since my early years growing up in Western Pennsylvania.  But be warned, I'm not a homer; many of the things I write may be critical of the team, its coaches or its players.  I don't believe in just writing about rainbows and unicorns, so if you can't stomach constructive criticisms or the occasional WTF!, this site may not be for you.

Allow me to introduce you to "Renny", my 2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack.   “Renny” is short for “Renegade”, the 1979 hit song by the rock band Styx.  As Steelers fans know, “Renegade” has been the anthem for the Pittsburgh Steelers defense since 2002 when it was first played at Heinz Field during a playoff game against the Cleveland Browns .  The song, and the video montage of Steelers defensive hits that accompanies it has become as iconic to Steeler Nation as the Terrible Towel.

I wanted to create a theme that captured the essence of my two great passions in a way that emphasized both without one being overpowered by the other.  The masculine lines and powerful retro appearance of the 2015 Dodge Challenger had to be complimented by anything Steelers related, not merely be the canvas for a Steelers' theme.  Likewise, I didn't want the Steelers component to appear like an after-thought, or merely a team sticker put on the car.

Thus, the "Steel Curtain Challenger" theme was born.

As shown in the picture above, the words "Steel Curtain" are written in GunPlay, the font used in the Steelers' name, while "Challenger" is in a script; while there is no "challenger script", legend has it this "font" was someone's actual handwriting that Dodge has used as a badge since the late '60s.

The three hypocycloids of the Steelers logo are universally recognized, so in keeping with traditions of fender badges, I added the engine size call-outs often found on the fender (in cubic inches, not litres).

The 2015 Challenger takes design cues from the 1971 Challenger (note the front grill), and it was in 1971 that the name "Steel Curtain" was first attached to the Steelers' defense (honestly, this car practically designed itself!).  However, even today when the average football fan is asked about the Steel Curtain defense of the 1970's Steelers, by far the most common response will be "...Mean Joe Greene".  I decided to replicate this Hall of Fame player's uniform stripes from his 1974 home jersey; 1974 was the year the Steelers' won the first of four Super Bowls that decade, and most importantly, ended four decades of ineptitude.  The hood stripes are the exact color, and proportionate size to the stripes on MJG's sleeves.

From there, it has become a progression of ideas brought to life.  I chose a diamond-plate pattern for use in Renny's engine bay, door sills and rear badge.

I will continue this introduction in a later post, as well as recount my thoughts and experiences in the car shows I've attended so far this year.  In addition, with training camp now underway, I will begin posting about the Steelers as well.

I hope you enjoyed this opening article, and hope you'll come along for the ride!


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