During the week of Christmas 2023, a story spread across the modern Mopar social network of a dealership that had sold a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 out from under the person who had initially ordered it. While there were variations to the story which was originally shared by YouTuber Butter Da Insider, it was a situation where an individual had ordered a Demon 170 at an agreed upon price, but when the car arrived at the dealership, the dealership decided to sell it for a higher price to a different buyer. Sadly, this story has become somewhat common, but there was an aspect of this particularly story that made it stand out – the buyer was an active duty American soldier. The anger over this being done to a member of the military caused the story to go viral and since then, I have spoken with the soldier, the person who unknowingly bought the soldier’s car and Dodge boss Tim Kuniskis about the whole story.
Before getting into this story, I want to explain that I will not be using the soldier’s name out of concerns of privacy for him and his family. With that in mind, I will only refer to him as the soldier. I will not be using the name of the person who bought the car from the dealership, since he was not at fault in any way. Also, because this piece is about him getting the car that he ordered more than him being done dirty by a dealership, I will not get into badmouthing the dealership or any of the dealership employees who let this happen – social media has and will continue to do that.
When I spoke with the soldier, I learned that he had agreed upon a price with additional markup when he ordered the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 earlier this year in F8 Green, similar to the Dodge image above. He could not come pick the car up on the day that it was delivered because he was (and still is) stationed overseas, and although the dealership knew that his wife and father-in-law were coming to pick the car up in early January, the dealership decided to sell it to a different customer who paid a higher markup. That buyer had no idea that it was ordered by anyone, let alone a member of the military, and for those wondering, he has arranged to return to the car originally intended for the soldier to the dealership, but only after it had been driven more miles than a new car buyer would want to see from a brand new car.
After his Demon 170 was sold out from under him, the soldier went back and forth with the dealership to try to come to a resolution, but none of those resolutions were acceptable. I don’t want to get into every step of the negotiation process, but the soldier explained it all to me and I am confident that no new car buyers would agree to any of the replacement options presented by the dealership.
Fortunately, Tim Kuniskis was in communication with the soldier while he was working with the dealership, so when the dealership couldn’t come up with a reasonable solution, Tim Kuniskis and the Dodge team stepped up to make it right. On New Year’s Day, I spoke with Kuniskis and got the full details on how he made sure that this American serviceman got his Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170.
The Brotherhood Springs to Action
Like most people, Kuniskis first learned of this issue when posts began showing up on his social media feed, but many members of the community reached out to the head of the brand to make sure that he was aware of the story, including Bill Goldberg. While every customer is important, he was especially concerned about seeing to it that the soldier got his Demon 170, so regional dealership representatives checked with the dealership at fault here and they were told that things were made right with the soldier. Kuniskis wanted to make sure of that firsthand, so he had his team get contact information for the soldier, and he was glad that he did. Upon speaking with the soldier, Kuniskis learned that things had not been made right – but he aimed to fix that.
Unfortunately, Tim Kuniskis and his team learned about this after production had ended, so they couldn’t just have the Brampton Assembly Plant build another Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 in the exact specifications that the soldier had ordered. He then began checking dealership inventory, looking for a car that matched the car that the soldier had ordered, but of all of the available inventory units around the country, none of the cars were F8 Green with the full list of features that the soldier had ordered.
During this time, Kuniskis explains that he saw the full force of the Brotherhood of Muscle, as many dealerships and private owners reached out to the company to offer to help. Some dealerships offered cars that they had in inventory and some private owners – people who had already taken delivery of a Challenger SRT Demon 170 – offered to sell their cars to the soldier. However, the dealerships cars didn’t match what was ordered and Kuniskis wanted to sell him a proper, brand new car and not a lightly used car.
Luckily, Dodge had held back a small batch of Demon 170 allocations which had been released late to the top-performing dealerships as a sales contest of sorts. The plan was to award 40 new allocations over a given number of days, but instead, Kuniskis shortened that sales contest to 39 vehicles and the last available allocation became the car that will become the soldier’s F8 Green Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170.
Since production is already finished, that Demon 170 had already been built and painted Pitch Black, but through the process of the Jailbreak package, the car will be shipped to an upfitter and the it will be fully repainted F8 Green (see the update below) with factory quality. In the end, the Demon 170 will perfectly match the car that the soldier ordered and he will pay MSRP this time (without the dealer markup) as Dodge will not be charging him for the Jailbreak paint job.
Update – When we first spoke with the company, it seemed that the soldier would pick F8 Green car but we have now confirmed with the company that he can also pick a custom color under the Jailbreak program. Just to be clear, even if he chooses a custom color other than F8, he will not be charged the $30,000 Jailbreak price. When coupled with the fact that he isn’t paying any markup, he is getting about $80,000 in value compared to his original deal.
As a special perk, when the soldier returns from deployment later this year, he won’t be picking it up from a dealership. When members of the Brotherhood of Muscle were reaching out to Tim Kuniskis to ask if they could help, one of the people on this list was Jay Leno. Leno asked if he could help, so Kuniskis asked if the legendary comedian and car collector could host the delivery at his sprawling garage facility. Being a huge supporter of the military, Leno happily agreed, so his garage will serve as the point of delivery for this American soldier and his F8 Green Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170.
While this story upset a great many people across the Mopar community, highlighting the ugly greed that has had a massive impact on the sales and delivery process of the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170, Tim Kuniskis did what he could to make sure that this soldier got the muscle car that he had ordered, all without dealership markup.
The soldier provided this quote about the situation and how it was resolved in the end.
“Many other owners and the guy who purchased my original vehicle have reached out and offered their own solutions. I’ve had many people offer up their own cars to me for purchase. The guy who purchased mine even offered to spend more money to buy another one if I wanted to buy mine from him. The brotherhood is real. All those options were well received, and I was grateful for everyone’s willingness to help but it wasn’t on them to fix. It should have been on the dealership to fix. I only ever spoke to two people from Dodge with one being Tim himself. Both have been overly helpful and responsive throughout the entire situation.”