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Rear-drive revelers: Spring Fest draws LX devotees to California love-in

Fri, 03 Jun 2011

Long before Eminem boosted the image of Detroit and the Chrysler 200, Fatchance was getting the West Coast party started for Chrysler's rear-drive LX cars.

Fatchance is the Internet handle of John Fortuno, a man who--like many others we met at the Sixth Annual Spring Fest for LX owners--claims his car, a 2005 Chrysler 300C, changed his life. It introduced him to, a worldwide virtual car club that has more than 38,000 members dedicated to the Chrysler LX rear-drive platform used by the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Charger, Challenger and Magnum.

Six years ago, Fortuno arranged a gathering so that local Southern California members could meet and show off their cars. More than 130 cars showed up, including out-of-towners. Each year since, the festival has expanded, picking up vendors and support from Chrysler along the way.

This year's event, on the runways of the old El Toro airbase, drew about 900 cars from all parts of the United States and Canada. The 2,000 or so attendees included families, people from a wide range of ages and visitors from Europe.

Rab McLarnon of Chrysler's Brampton, Ontario, assembly plant drove his car cross-country to present organizers with an engine cover signed by plant employees. Drift champion Sam H

By Patrick C. Paternie