The Original Scat Pack Auto Show Debut

The Original Scat Pack Auto Show Debut

Ken Bowser / Hamtramck Historical

 

Old-school enthusiasts first fell in love with the original and iconic Dodge Scat Pack vehicles at auto shows across the country during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Today, a new generation of car lovers is being initiated to the reborn Dodge Scat Pack at events such as the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Mich., open to the public January 18 – 26.

 

The Dodge brand display at Detroit’s COBO Center will host a special 2014 Dodge Challenger — a member of the revived “hive,” which also includes a 2014 Dodge Charger and 2014 Dodge Dart, all modified with new Scat Package Performance Upgrade kits that will soon be available for Dodge owners who want to flex a little muscle. The COBO venue is fitting: It was at just such events as the 1968 Detroit Auto Show at COBO that the famed inaugural Dodge Scat Pack vehicles — the Dodge Charger R/T, Dodge Coronet R/T, Dodge Dart GTS and Super Bee — first wowed crowds.

 

Those original Dodge Scat Pack vehicles traveled the circuit from 1968 to 1971, hitting auto shows not only in Detroit but also other major cities, like Chicago, New York and L.A., as well as many state fairs. Collectors would likely give their right arms for one stunning vehicle that traveled the circuit: a 1968 Coronet R/T convertible, yellow with a blacked-out hood — the original Super Bee car.

 

“The crowds were so excited,” recalled Andy Agosta, a retired Dodge marketing executive who worked for the brand during the Dodge Scat Pack’s birth. “We displayed Scat Pack vehicles in all the hot colors — HEMI® Orange, Top Banana, Go Mango and Plum Crazy. All the cars had the Bumble Bee stripes. The displays were a big hit and played an important role in the popularity and reputation of the Dodge Scat Pack program.”

 

Another highlight of early Dodge Scat Pack auto show displays was the presence of the Dodge Safety Sheriff, Joe Higgins, who advised Dodge owners in TV and print ads, “Ya’ll drive careful now, hear?”

 

“We featured the safety sheriff at the 1969 Chicago Auto Show, with cutouts of his face that fans could wear,” remembered Agosta. “Joe signed so many autographs his hand went numb.”

 

Dodge Girls

 

Dodge spokesmodels also traveled the auto show circuit, answering questions about the Dodge Scat Pack vehicles while garbed in the latest fashions — adorned prominently with the Dodge Scat Pack logo, of course. Marketing materials such as “Run with the Dodge Scat Pack” bumper stickers were produced, rapidly becoming mementos much sought after by clamoring show attendees.

 

One exceedingly rare marketing knickknack was the Dodge Scat Pack Mini-Tickler, a unique piece of costume jewelry that was produced in numbers of fewer than 1,000 and distributed to Dodge spokesmodels and female members of the Dodge Scat Pack club (“For all the scat kittens who swing with the Scat Packers …” began the oh-so-1960s marketing copy).  An original piece was recently valued at $800.

 

Scat Pack Pin

 

The modern-day Dodge Scat Pack is getting much the same treatment as its acclaimed predecessors. Dodge spokesmodels, outfitted in retro attire — emblazoned with the Scat Pack logo, and specially reproduced versions of the Mini-Tickler — will be a fixture at auto shows throughout 2014, providing information about the new Dodge Scat Package vehicles and performance upgrade kits on display.

 

The reincarnated Dodge Scat Pack vehicles and display will be coming soon to an auto show near you — ready to quicken the pulse of fans of the original lineup and to fuel the passion of a new generation of enthusiasts.

 

For more information on the Dodge Scat Pack, visit www.scatpackforums.com.

 

 

 

 

 Photo Credit: Ken Bowser / Hamtramck Historical