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Buckle up, Mopar enthusiasts! The thrill of roaring engines, the smell of burnt rubber, and the camaraderie of fellow gearheads are back in full force as the Holley MoParty 2023 gears up for an electrifying year of high-octane excitement. Hosted at the iconic Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, the MoParty has become a mecca for anyone with a passion for Mopar performance.
In its fourth consecutive year, the Holley MoParty promises an adrenaline-fueled extravaganza like no other. Drawing inspiration from the Mopar faithful, this event caters to the diverse spectrum of Mopar vehicles, spanning from classic Dodge, Chrysler, and Plymouth to the enduring spirit of AMC. Whether your heart beats for the iconic Hemi engines of yesteryear or the modern muscle of Hellcats and Demons, this gathering has something to rev every Mopar enthusiast's engine.
One thing that makes MoParty truly special is the diverse lineup of Mopar machines on display. Whether it's a vintage Challenger, a modern Hellcat, or a customized Charger, this event has it all. It's a testament to the enduring appeal of Mopar across generations.
At the heart of the MoParty's allure is its diverse array of activities, which go far beyond your typical car show. Imagine strolling through a swap meet where rare parts and Mopar memorabilia await discovery. Picture hundreds of magnificent Mopar cars and trucks spanning all generations on display at the car show. Envision the asphalt sizzling beneath the tires as drivers tackle the challenging autocross course, featuring hairpin turns, chicanes, sweepers, and slaloms. And that's just the beginning.
For those who crave the rush of the drag strip, the historic quarter-mile track at Beech Bend Raceway Park delivers thrilling action over three heart-pounding days. With classes like Hemi Super Stock, Street King, Nostalgia Super Stock, and the Hellcat, Redeye, and Demon Challenge, the drag racing competition is fierce and unforgettable.
The Grand Champion competition, presented by Scoggin Dicky Parts Center and Mopar Connection, is this ultimate test of Mopar's prowess. Competitors must excel in drag racing, autocross, and the 3S Challenge, showcasing their speed, handling, and stopping power. With classes for Late Model, Vintage, and Trucks, the Grand Champion battle is an exhilarating showdown for supremacy.
Stay tuned as we dive deeper into the heart-pounding action, the remarkable rides, and the unforgettable moments that make Holley's MoParty an annual automotive pilgrimage. Whether you're a seasoned Mopar veteran or just dipping your toes into the world of Mopar madness, MoParty 2023 promises to be an automotive spectacle you won't want to miss. Get ready to celebrate all things Mopar, Bowling Green-style!
Mel Major's Mopar Survivors is a highlight of MoParty. An eclectic collection of unmolested original Mopars.
Mel passed away in 2022, but his sons Gregg and Ken continue the dream. "It's basically a group of like-minded people. A display to show what an original car looks like, not a restored car," said Gregg. "Not as nice as a restored car, but a representation of what these cars were."
Another term is a Referenced Original. A car that restorers look to when building an original Mopar.
This year's display featured a few familiar members and some new ones. Le Hodge of Hodge Restoration brought a beautiful 1970 Roadrunner. It's hard to believe this thing has original paint and only 55,000 original miles.
The 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T on display is a steep exception to the survivor rules, but for good reason. It belongs to long-time member and Mopar expert Ted Stephens of Stephens Performance. Ted secured the movie cars for the production of Vanishing Point 2. This particular car was used for the close-ups in the movie. It's said to be an anomaly in Ted's collection, being only one of his restored Mopars (the rest are unrestored survivors).
He kept all five cars used in the movie's production. It's a rare car, but didn't have a Hemi during filming. It now features a 426 Hemi Ted had purchased from a pawn shop. ABM Restorations restored the car to movie quality.
Bob Jennings of Jennings Wing Cars got his first wing car about 14 years ago. They claim the best way to obtain a Wing Car is to have one... Finding one available for sale is difficult, but other owners started seeking out Jennings once he got his first one.
This '69 Dodge Daytona came from a two-car garage in Texas--an unbelievable find. There were only 503 made in 1969 (unofficial claim), and around 46 (unofficial claim) of those featured 426 Hemi engines (all others have 440 ci engines), and only 21 had automatic transmissions. This one only has 39,000 original miles.
Grand Champion competition tests the limits of you and your car. Accelerating, stopping, and steering. But don't let the rules fool you. You don't need a nice car to compete. You don't need a well-handling vehicle to compete. You don't even need a car with power steering or all of its original sheet metal—case in point: Charles Wittenmyer of West Unity, Ohio, and his '66 Charger.
This Mopar had been slumbering behind a neighbor's property since 2012, patiently waiting for its moment to shine again. Charles managed to secure it earlier this year. In the lead-up to MoParty, Charles was on a mission. He took four days off from work to complete it in time, "It gets a little worse the more you look at it, but it's pretty solid for a '66," said Charles.
It's like something from a barn-rescue episode on your favorite YouTube channel. Under the hood is a layer of patina accompanied by a fresh battery, distributor cap, wires, and a cleaned carburetor. One valve cover got a good scrub, but alas, time was the enemy for the other.
The Charger got parked over a decade ago due to a bad transmission. Charles rebuilt the 727 with an A&A stall converter, TransGo shift kit, and other internal upgrades.
The original 383in powerhouse features a Comp Cam, aluminum intake, and Edelbrock carb. To complete the picture, Charles added a set of Torque Thrust wheels – "nothing fancy," he says.
After getting it running, he hadn't driven it much. "I made one lap, and then did a burnout in front of my house, did a 180, swapped tires, and put it in the trailer."
A friend encouraged Charles to sign up for the Grand Champion event at MoParty. But it wasn't just about the competition. Charles had a heartfelt reason driving him. "My dad had one when he was a kid, and he's 80 now, so I put this one together so he could see it," Charles shared. Both his son and father attended with him, making for three generations in one ride.
His goal at the event was simple yet challenging: "Not to blow it up or break anything... I have no idea what it'll run in the 1/4 mile; it was a handful with the 14-inch tires."