Ennis Texas | May 19, 2012
By: Kalem Romero
As you roll into the event you know you’re in for a Mopar treat. Passing by the swap meet you see those old nostalgia parts you used to see laying around your farther or grandfather’s garage and it brings you back to a time when you were a child watching as he worked for hours on end getting his old hot rod running. Also lying around you could see old crinkled up slicks, hub caps, modern parts and old collectables, a treasure chest of goodies waiting to be searched over and picked through. As we pull forward finding a parking place amongst the sea of beautiful rides, it is as much a step back in time as the swap meet. A historical timeline in the making. I find a nice little spot next to an old 1967 Plymouth Barracuda and as I look back you start to see the years of heritage taking form. Cars decades apart all coming together to enjoy something they love.
I start my journey like a moth to a light as I hear the roaring and screeching of tires from a distance. The quarter mile racing has begun and I couldn’t wait to see what was ripping up the track. Walking through the pit area you know it’s going to be an amazing day of racing. As I glance over and see all the old school Mopar muscle with pin striping and the names of the cars in bright colors big as day with people draped over their cars adjusting carburetors and checking timing. And not but 3 feet away you have the Modern Mopar guys sitting in the driver seat in the traditional stance door open one leg hanging out plugging away at their tuners and laptops. As I make my way to the stands, I see everyone’s faces cheerful and glued to the track. I find a spot and watch as the cars pull into the staging beams followed by a huge cloud of white smoke, a grudge match is evident. With 40 years between the two cars lined up, it’s anyone’s guess which one will come out on top. Technology versus brute force, but both have the heart and souls of true Mopar enthusiasts so it is truly anyone’s game. Their brakes lock in, engines rev and as the third light drops it’s almost magical to see these beasts take off the line. To see the slicks wrinkle up and their front ends rise to the sky as they take off down the track. Neck and neck it’s a battle all the way down, to the surprise of the crowd Modern Mopar comes out the victor. A moment of silence and then the crowd cheers as the new breed of Mopar earns its stripes and continues to carry on the great heritage that came before it. Many similar matches follow with a nice mix of old versus new, old versus old, new versus new and quite a few surprise endings.
After a good bit of racing action an announcement comes through the intercom system “Ok folks we are going to take a brief intermission don’t forget to check out those show cars.” As the crowd makes its way down from the bleachers and we all disperse into the parking lot to see what the show car crowd was up too. We see laid out before us was everything Dodge, Chrysler and Plymouth had to offer. From the oldest rusted out rat rod to a 2012 Chrysler 300c SRT8. There was so much to take in, with every car being just as unique as the last. New school muscle in old school frames, true fire paint jobs, cd cover murals and a whole lot more were all put on a platter for spectators to enjoy. As you walked around you could see the pride shining off the cars. Engine bays so clean you could eat off them with not one speck of dust to be found on them. With show car posters giving you the history of the cars showing you just how far they have come and a sign that anything is possible when you set your mind to it. Some of these cars were twenty years in the making and someone have traveled just as far in the brief few years they have been in production.
It’s events like these that give you an opportunity to see just how far we have advanced but also lets us know we truly never left that heritage behind. Because new schooler’s and old schooler’s will always have something in common, the pride they have in their cars. With a rich heritage and the stories of what got them there. But sadly as the day unwinds and the cars start to pack into their trailers and people collect their chairs and coolers, the same look can be seen across the parking lot. A sigh of relief that the long hot day is over but also that look of knowing that it will be another year before we can all get together and yet again experience a piece of history.