The 33rd annual Mopar® Nationals was the happening place for lovers of all things Pentastar-powered this past weekend at National Trail Raceway. Located just east of Columbus, gearheads from all four corners of the country embarked on the small hamlet of Hebron, Ohio to get their high-octane fix of speed and horsepower.
Once we arrived, we witnessed a blend of old and new school muscle cars that represented iconic vehicles from Chrysler’s illustrious past. The Mopar Nationals offers just about anything anyone could want as there was the show field packed with a kaleidoscope of high-impact colored Chargers, Challengers, Super Bees, Darts along with their orphaned Plymouth cousins. We even saw some gorgeous “Fin Cars” from the late 50s, early 60’s era.
We were tempted to put the pedal to the metal and get in the quarter-mile fun, however we just watch. The staging lanes at National Trail Raceway were always packed with an assortment of full-blown race cars to current production HEMI®-powered Challengers and Chargers. The Nostalgia Max Wedge class is always a fan favorite as 1962-65 Big-Block B-Bodies go head-to-head down the 1320 just like in the old Super Stock days. Another Mopar Nationals fan favorite is the burnout contest that really gets the folks in the stands cheering. Anyone can enter but beware it’s not just the rear tires that take a beating. A few overzealous participants buzzed their engines into the stratosphere causing collateral damage and had the dubious honor of being pushed off the track as their motor spewed its vital fluids all over the starting line.
Attendees looking for parts or technical support to complete their projects were not disappointed as the manufacturer’s midway had many companies displaying their go-fast goodies and restoration parts along with providing technical seminars. However, when we ventured out to the “Back 40” of the track, the swap meet was jammed with many oddities of the Mopar hobby. You pick up a used front fender for a ’62 Dodge Dart or some dealer training filmstrips introducing the new 1970 Dodge Challenger. It’s amazing what you’ll find in the endless rows of vendors. There was also the car corral that had vehicles for sale in varying conditions. From rusted out “basket cases” to fully restored “turnkey” and drive it home this weekend, there was quite the selection and prices were all over the map. We weren’t players either way but still enjoyed looking.
When the sun went down, we headed over to the cruising action in nearby Heath as the locals got to see and hear the ground-pounding 440 Magnums and high-winding 340 small-blocks strut their stuff along the avenue. We also had a chance to meet up with fellow Dodge enthusiasts and swap stories, do some bench racing and make new friends. To say there’s a common bond and shared passion between all of us is an understatement.
With the Mopar Nationals behind us, we head back to the Motor City for the Woodward Dream Cruise. We’ll be hooking up with our good friend, fellow gearhead and road warrior Steve Magnante to bring you more great stories about our fans, their rides and the passion that drives them.
See you soon and don’t bounce it off the rev limiter!