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Get a Grip
By Larry Edsall

Get a Grip Get a Grip: Aerodynamic enhancement for Neons, and more
With Chrysler Group ending production of the Neon, it figured there will be a lot of the spunky little compacts available as used cars or simply being handed down to a teenaged generation.

"That's kind of what we hope happens," said Chuck Wilson of Grip Tuning, which hoped that people who got their Neons inexpensively, if not for free, would be able and eager to dress their cars in Grip's new body kit.

The kit includes the usual front and rear fascias, and Grip also makes a wing and offers vinyl graphics to further customize the Neon's look.

But what makes Grip's design on the Neon or higher-performance SRT4 palate different is an optional perforated stainless steel hood. By perforating the metal, Grip's hood is strong, yet allows people to see the Neon's engine without having to open the hood. Chrysler's own Mopar specialty parts division and a variety of aftermarket companies produce lots of parts that not only make the Neon's engine more powerful, but also pretty nice looking.

"We tested the mesh hood at some shows and people liked it so much we actually sold a couple of the prototypes," Wilson said.

Wilson added that to show off the perforated hood, Grip installed lighting in the engine compartment, so that when the car is displayed at night, the glow of the lights also shows through the perforations. "It's pretty cool," he added.

To enhance the hood even more, it can be painted to match the rest of the car's body, or it can be left in a metallic finish.

Grip is a division of Guardian Automotive, a supplier of automotive glass and exterior trim. Grip officially launched in November, 2005. In addition to late model Neons, it does body kits for the Chrysler 300 – including a stainless steel roof appliqué – as well as for the Chevrolet Cobalt and the Ford F-150 pickup truck.

The price of the Neon body kit was $1,299 and the perforated hood was $750.

For more information, visit Grip's website at www.griptuning.com or call (800) 435-1197.

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