The Dodge Demon has arguably been one of the most talked about vehicles in recent years. Hard work, determination, impressive engineering and probably a little bit of craziness on part of Dodge engineers resulted in a nine-second car off the showroom floor with a full warranty. With all the buzz surrounding the car combined with being limited to 3300 units (3000 for the U.S and 300 for Canada) allocations were snapped up almost right away when ordering opened. Due to these circumstances, the Demon is a car that most people won’t be able to experience, that is until now.
I recently found out about Dave Hayes through a Facebook post advertising a Mopar themed event and track rental later this month at Grand Bend Motorplex during the weekend of May 25th and 26th. What instantly stood out to me about this event is that Dave Hayes, who is putting on the event is offering up thrill rides in his 2018 Dodge Demon. It was then that I reached out to him for more information about the event and why he had decided to allow people to experience a quarter-mile pass in his Demon. Almost immediately Dave got back to me and said he has a story to tell, this is it in his own words:
My dad’s first car was a 1969 AMC AMX 390 V8 automatic with Go package. I was brought home from the hospital in a basket on the floor – my dad bolted a baby seat to the back behind the seats of the two-seater. That car sat in my parents’ garage for over 10 years until I went to high school and learned how to do auto body work. I started stripping down the AMX with my dad, restored it and took it to the track. I was hooked and bought a couple of AMC Cars (1969 Javelin 390v / 1971 Hornet 360v) hoping to restore them as well, to get them on to the drag strip. I then started making parts for the Javelin and AMX. I was making the 68-69 javelin Grill and 70 AMX Grill + the back window trims and a few other odds and ends. I made parts for years but sadly didn’t have time to work on restoring my cars b/c of my full-time job and family commitments. My cars are still waiting to be restored….and I’m hoping to finish them one day.
Since I didn’t have time to restore my AMC cars, I ended up buying a 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT392 6-speed manual and fell in love with it. Two months later, Dodge released the Demon video of a one-time production Drag Car, with limited allocations. I knew right away that I had to get one of these Demons no matter what it took. I started calling around to every Dodge dealership in Ontario to see which locations would be getting allocations. I put down deposits with different dealers in Ontario and even had my dad and girlfriend do the same. I wanted to be number one on each Dealer’s list. None of the dealers would give me a firm commitment for a Demon allocation so I started calling Dodge Head Office asking for details on how the Demons were going to be allocated. Dodge Head Office would not/could not specify which dealers were getting the Demon allocations. They told me to work with my dealers directly.
Dodge Head Office called me the day that orders were allowed to be entered into their system for Demon allocations in Canada and said get your order in, so I immediately called all 3 of the dealers I had deposits with. They all got back to me the next day and said that they did not get any allocations. I was so devastated because I wanted this Demon so bad… I didn’t know what to do… I started calling every dealer in every city in Ontario, asking if they got a Demon allocation… I didn’t have any luck… all of the Demons were reserved for other people, or I would have to pay an extra $50K above MSRP if they could even get me an allocation, which they could not guarantee. Despite all of the roadblocks, I never gave up hope and kept searching and praying that a miracle would happen for me to get a Dodge Demon… I even started searching for a Demon on Kijji! That’s when my miracle came true… an ad came up on Kijiji from a dealership in Alberta who had a Demon allocation! I called the Alberta dealer up right away and said I would take it as long as I could order it with the options that I wanted. After verifying that this Demon allocation and this dealer were legitimate, I gave my deposit and locked in my order for a Demon! The next few months were even harder as I waited for my Demon to be built. I was checking the Hellcat Forum several times a day to see how the progress was for the Demon production. Soon after production started at the Chrysler Brampton plant, I couldn’t wait any longer and started making trips to the plant to see if I could catch a glimpse of a Demon. I started making spy videos on the Demons coming out the back door, even at -22 degrees celsius, with chilling winter winds. I stood outside for over an hour just to catch one Dodge Demon coming out the back door of the assembly plant. As I was driving back and forth to the Brampton plant (which is 45 minutes away from my house), I was racking my brain trying to figure out how I could get a tour of the plant and watch my Demon get built. I started asking around and found out that a friend of mine worked at the plant! He got special permission for me, my dad, and my girlfriend to watch my Demon get built (starting from trim to finish) on the assembly line.
Getting a tour of the Brampton assembly plant was an amazing experience; Managers were all very welcoming and the assembly line crew were also very friendly and excited to learn that I was buying the Demon that they were building. I asked everybody on the assembly line and everybody who was working that day to sign the trunk lid of my Demon. I wanted to share the love of the Demon with these employees who actually had a hand in building this car. Employees were congratulating me on getting this Demon and it seemed like everyone was in a party mood. The morale in the plant was boosted and people were coming from all over to represent their departments and sign the back of my trunk lid.
I even got to sit in the Demon while it was going down the line and started the engine for the first time. When the Demon was near the end of the assembly line, I got to drive it 15 ft off the line and then sat in the passenger seat as it was being parked. We stayed with the car for about 20 minutes and took pictures, all still in awe, gawking at it… It was such an Awesome day which proved to me that Dreams do come true!
I was asking people at the plant that were so proud of this car if they had ever had the chance or opportunity to experience these cars on the track and the majority of them said no. That’s why I started doing my Demon events at the drag strip in Grand Bend, ON. A few of the Brampton plant workers and their kids came to the track and got to ride the Demon down the dragstrip – to experience the power of the Demon the way it should be felt… and we all had a blast. My buddy Rob (who got me the plant tour) did an 11-second pass his first time ever on the drag strip! What an amazing product they build… and to think that the average guy can do this.
I want more people to fall in love with Dodge and Mopar. The best way to experience the Dodge Demon is on the drag strip when they put the glue down and the tires hook up properly. The g-force of this Demon is amazing for a production street legal car! The only way to fully experience the g-force with a passenger is to get permission to rent the track privately.
I have more big dreams ahead…I would love to get sponsors to fund my getting different Vehicles like the 1320 / REDEYE’S / HELLCAT’S / Viper / Durangos / Trackhawks and give people the experience of driving them (or getting thrill rides) down the track… so they will fall in love with them, buy them, and go back to the track. I would love to get more people to the track with their Mopars. I want to make the Mopar family proud, and eventually, expand into Jeeps and Ram trucks and do mud and snow events… so people will see how great Mopar is.
My events consist of thrill rides where you can experience being in a Dodge Demon while it goes down the track, and head-to-head competitions with other Demons or Mopars as well as a test and tune. If you own a Mopar bring it to Grand Bend, Ontario, on the weekend of May 25th and 26th to show it off in the parking lot and get $25 off admission to the SRTHAYES DEMON event if you pre-register before May 22nd. Cost is $5 a day or $10 for 2 days for a spectator pass for Mopar owners… my way of giving back to Mopar lovers. Spectators pay full price for tickets bought at the door on event days.
SRTHAYES is a pretty rare car. This is the only TorRed Demon with red seats I know in Canada and has the Graphic package that did not get the trunk lid underside painted. It has all the signatures of the Chrysler Brampton assembly plant workers that had a hand building my car. A one-of-a-kind DEMON.
SRTHAYES DEMON weekend with Mass Traction Assisting, Grand Bend Motorplex, ON
May 25th/26th, 2019
9 AM – 5 PM
2 day Pass – Car, Driver & One Crew = $420
Thrill Ride in the SRTHAYES DEMON = $50 (under 11sec or you get a second pass free)
Spectators – one day = $30 / two days = $50
SRTHAYES DEMON EVENT track rental – limited spots available (maximum 24 cars)
June 23rd / September 22nd 2019 Events:
private track rental event, 9am – 5pm: car / guests 1 event = $150, 2 events = $250
Thrill rides in the SRTHAYES DEMON (under 11 sec. or you get second pass free) = $50
Moparinsiders will be covering the event on the weekend of May 25th and 26th, if you are local to the track come on out for an exciting day of drag racing, the opportunity to ride in a Dodge Demon and more! We plan on having a lot of photos and video from the event in the following weeks. Dave Hayes also has a YouTube channel “Big Bad American Motors” that you should definitely check out for more Demon content.