$3500 Hellcat

You can buy a new muscle car or truck for as little as $3500! That’s assuming you don’t mind buying a stolen vehicle. Thieves are using locksmith’s pro-pads to clone key fobs and drive off with Hellcat Chargers, Challengers, and Ford Raptors and then sell them for between $3500 and $15,000. They even turn up at East Coast ports for shipment overseas. These thefts are typically from auto manufacturers parking lots while the cars await shipment to dealers. The solution is to use boot immobilizes to make thefts more difficult. Hey, I want a new C8 but I don’t want to wait 2 years for delivery. Maybe I’ll get someone to swipe one at the Bowling Green factory and sell it to me for $10,000. Bonus! Of course, I might have to store it in Nigeria.

1 Like

Just for info… that is GM’s first car to get a hardened communications and controller network to prevent such things as theft, “tuning” and hacking.

Based on the link below, that might not prevent at least opening the car based on UK crooks using the equivalent of a “range extender”.

Makes the “old fashioned” physical KEY seem pretty smart!

The old fashioned physical key was NOT that secure.

1 Like

The story is from AP News. I read it n the Baltimore Sun and I’m not posting subscription only links. I tried to find it on apnews.com and it isn’t there anymore. Here’s the AP News link, I finally found it. BTW, I’m not really interested in a C8. It’s not just the 2 year wait. Weak valve springs and transmission problems are also big detractions for me. I am thinking about a C7 Grand Sport though.

But it required the thief to at least strip the column and bust the lock…

The thief doesn’t even get their hands dirty with this theft system! :grin:

You can find videos of thieves doing it in less then 20 seconds.

1 Like

They should some of the cars in the lot with a quart of gasoline in the tank!

Digital keys can be more secure and if this stuff continues, they probably will be. As with most digital systems, they can be much more robust as well as faster and cheaper to alter. Just using a rolling code where the car and FOB know the primer would be a step up. If you suspect your key has been compromised, to change key codes, just change the primer between them and the process goes on from there. Could be a periodic thing to do just like your computer passcodes.

But like anything, it’s a cat and mouse game. Any system can be compromised by a sufficiently knowledgeable and determined individual. The key (see what I did there) is to make it sufficiently difficult for the vast majority of thieves. If someone really wants your car, they will get it…

1 Like

I found this out about the challenger I ordered.

1 Like

I’m not fooled. It’s really a DWI test. :wink:

Why not just use two factor authentication as referenced by @weekend-warrior? Then there’s no reason to change codes periodically. We did that at work and in three years, I never changed my codes. I put my PIV card in a slot and then entered an easy to remember code. I didn’t have to change my code for three years. It would have been longer but I retired. I know you are familiar with this @TwinTurbo but others probably aren’t. BTW, IT Security rolled out the program advertising that we could send out passwords to Mars. IT Security has a sense of humor? Who knew?

1 Like

Because I don’t believe people would accept 2FA in a car door lock situation. Not everyone (hard to believe) has a smartphone or might be carrying a separate method of authentication. It would certainly be more secure to do that but it comes down to what inconvenience people will accept versus the risk involved. I would call it the “good enough” solution. :slight_smile:

I was thinking of a keypad on the door along with the key fob. Some cars used a key pad instead of a key entry. I’m not a fan of it, only suggesting it could be done. It might be worth it for an expensive car like a Hellcat Charger.

Whatever. The only “sports cars” I would ever want are nothing like the “muscle cars” of today. My ideal “sports car” would be something like a Dodge Shadow, Ford Probe, Honda Prelude, Chevrolet Beretta, Toyota Celica, Toyota Paseo, etc. Automatic transmission and a NA engine, of course. Even in today’s crazy used car market, I could certainly buy one which runs for $3500, and it won’t be stolen.

Sport cars ???


That would be going backward. Those were eliminated to reduce cost and I would think to improve reliability long term. Going to a “dumb” keyfob increased vulnerability. The PIN pads were pretty secure to begin with but costly to include. Over time, they can wear out in more ways than one. The often pressed numbers are more worn than the others, lessening the number of variations to guess if trying to break in.

Features could be added to the existing FOB scheme with little to no additional cost that would make it more secure and eliminate someone from stealing transmitted codes.

But I do agree, there are many ways to slice the egg. If it was my car, I would certainly have some extra protection above and beyond the manufacturer installed gizmos - should I ever be so fortunate to have such a luxury of owning a car like this…

1 Like

The Probe was once car of the year actually. A friend used to own one and always pointed this out. Apparently there was talk of replacing the Mustang with this design but there was a huge backlash with it not being a RWD V8 among the Mustang enthusiasts. Perhaps it could have been a “Mustang II” like they had before. Either way, my friend thought it was a great car for the money and was fun and sporty to drive. Ford Probe GT named Motor Trend Car of the Year - UPI Archives

As for the theft, I thought MOPAR had solved their theft issues with a firmware flash. Remember that selling cars like this can only be gotten away with in other countries. You could buy a stolen one here but could never try to register it in the US. Now I guess Kia/Hyundai are the two brands that are easy to rip off.

You have a very different views as to “sports car “ well, to each their own.

I still own a few muscle cars from the golden era and I wouldn’t hesitate to trade them off for a modern muscle car. The new cars are head and shoulders above them in every way. The newer styling is just as good IMO and for overall performance, usability and maintainability, the old cars are no match. Even I get sentimental over the old cars but then I get in one of mine and drive it and the cloud of memory is lifted…still fun don’t get me wrong :wink: