OCCUPY COLUMBUS – Mopar Action Article Extra

OCCUPY COLUMBUS – Mopar Action Article Extra

The 31st running of the Mopar Nationals in Columbus, OH was just like the 30th annual running of the Mopar Nationals in Columbus—only wetter. But the raindrops did manage to hold off until the very end of the drag race program. Mopar Action’s booth was a big draw despite the absence of rubber chickens for Mo’fans signing up for the best Mo’mag on the planet. Our lookalike stand-in for Rick Ehrenberg fooled most of show goers, but many walked away from the booth shaking their heads after a load of double-talk in answer to their tech questions. Hey, you want real tech? Buy the magazine. But the stand-in was pretty good at guessing people’s weight (within 100 lbs. most of the time).

‘Course there was more to the Nats than the Mopar Action booth (hard to believe, we know) with its cast of characters. Take the drag racing, for instance. Or take the car show. How about the Survivors tent or the swapmeet or car corral. The list goes on and on and on. Attendance overall was pretty strong although down slightly from last year. Hey what isn’t down from last year?

Todd Werner and Denny guest of South Oak Dodge fielded displays of historically significant vintage race cars–preservers of the Mopar heritage. The honored marque this year wasn’t Ehrenberg as he had been expecting, but the Plymouth Duster. All incarnations of the Duster were well represented from the ’70 A-body all through the alphabet to F (Volare) and L (Tourismo) to P (Sundance). Appropriately, the top-scoring Mope in OE Certification (a Gold winner) and Best of Show was a 1970 318 Duster (much to the consternation of the judged six-packs and Hemis) meticulously restored by Mike Mancini of American Muscle Car Restorations.

Words can’t do the Nats justice as photos, which make it a lot easier on our vocabulary-challenged staff. So here you go (now, if they didn’t have to write captions…)

Several private collections were trotted out for display. Todd Werner’s historic race cars are seen at the bottom of the photo. Moving up are Mr. Norm’s late-model interpretations of historic race cars. At the top of the photo is the Denny Guest (South Oak Dodge) display of race cars and Max Wedges.

Mike Mancini of Muscle Car Restorations took the top-scoring Gold in OE certification and Best of Show with his ’70 318 Duster. Way to go, Mike.

Barry Wilson showed a sleeper 2005 Chrysler Crossfire into which he dropped a Gen 3 5.7 Hemi. A Hot Wire harness (hotwireauto.com) made it all possible.

Tim Holifield had his ’70 ‘Cuda packed with a late model Hemi drivetrain and his ’08 Challenger painted to match in eyeball popping graphics.

Mike and Valerie Wintgens’ one-year (’71) option Feather Duster came with a number of lightweight aluminum components including: hood and decklid frame, intake manifold, transmission case and front and rear Viagra bumper stiffeners. The slant-six is backed by a 4-speed overdrive automatic.

This ’67 340 5-speed Barracuda was up for sale for $21,500.

For something a little more nostalgic, this ’46 Dodge was touted as a “great driver,” equipped with power steering, power disc brakes and a tilt wheel. No mention of engine or price.

The Duster tribute display featured Bob Kovaleski’s ’71 Duster—the actual car used for the 1/64-scale Johnny Lighting model that was released in 2001.

Check out the hood ornament on this survivor Michigan State Police car. Flip a switch on the dash and the sign changes to “Go.”

The crowded Survivors tent showed this rare option Dodge “True Spirit” D-150 pickup. It’s owned by Dwight McCauley.

While his car was being judged, this owner had his hands full trying to keep his pants up.

Panther Pink 6-pack Challenger convertible anyone? Asking price was 65 grand.

A late-model Duster (1992-1/2) fit right into the tribute display. It even showed the original sales brochure.

Underhood sign says it all and saved our caption writer the chore of writing a caption with his company-issued pencil.

Swapmeet was swarming with big spenders loaded with cash and gold bullion.

Quarter-mile action was hot and heavy. Car in far lane lifted the wheels just so he could get into our photo.

Packed staging lanes. Only area more crowded was the Mopar Action booth.

Tim Barth, piloted the Mr. Norm’s “Loco Challenger” to an 8.65 @ 174.84 mph.
the 406-cube Gen 3 Hemi puts out 1521 hp and 1000 lbs.-ft. tq.

You want late-model Challengers? The Nats had late-model Challengers.

Tire smoke addicts weren’t disappointed with the rubber vaporizing burn-out contests.

An unusual rod choice—a ’39 Plymouth sedan delivery.

A nice tribute to our founding father.

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