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AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Jan. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Following the world introduction of the all-new 2006 Dodge Charger this month in Detroit, Chrysler Group is auctioning the NASCAR body shell used in the press reveal along with first volume production Dodge Charger to roll off the line at its Brampton, Ont. (Canada) Assembly Plant.

"The King," Richard Petty, seven-time NASCAR Cup Series title winner and legendary Dodge Charger driver will personally deliver the keys to the top bidder at the May 7, 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway. The auction proceeds will benefit Victory Junction Gang Camp and the Salvation Army.

The mock race car shell is a replica of NASCAR Rookie-of-the-Year driver Kasey Kahne's No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger. The shell covered the production version of the all-new 2006 Dodge Charger as it was revealed to more than 3,500 international media in a press conference at the 2005 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Petty and Kahne took part in the introduction of the vehicle representing the past and present of Dodge dominance in NASCAR racing. The NASCAR shell has been autographed by Petty, Kahne and Chrysler Group President and CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche.

"The reveal of both the production Dodge Charger and Charger race car struck an emotional chord with NASCAR fans and Charger enthusiasts alike," said Zetsche. "In fact, during the first week following the press conference, the Dodge Web site received more than 300,000 'Charger hits' and more than 50,000 handraisers requesting more information on the car.

"We thought, what better way to support two worthy charitable organizations than by
g both items and offering the chance to meet the King himself, Richard Petty," said Zetsche.

Bidding will begin at on February 1. Proceeds from the winning bid will be shared between Victory Junction Gang Camp and the Salvation Army. The auction will close on February 11, 2005.

Victory Junction Gang Camp is a not-for-profit organization founded by actor Paul Newman and Kyle and Pattie Petty with the goal of enriching the lives of children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses.

Salvation Army, also a not-for-profit organization, is dedicated to caring for the poor, feeding the hungry and clothing the naked world wide.

With an available 340-horsepower HEMI(R) engine powering large 18-inch wheels, the all-new 2006 Dodge Charger races into the car market later this year with bold, provocative styling and 21st century performance, safety and technology.

Richard Petty's 36 NASCAR Cup Series victories in a Dodge Charger rank as more than any other Dodge Charger driver in history. Petty drove a Dodge Charger during three of his NASCAR driver championships (1972, 1974, 1975).
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