Florida is appropriately called The Sunshine State. Lets face it, theyve earned it.
But Florida could be easily called The Mopar State, as well. No matter where we went, communities in Florida rolled out the red carpet for us and our two HEMI-powered cars. We couldnt have felt more at home.
Tucked away in the small town of Inverness about 90 minutes north of Tampa we visited a group appropriately titled Citrus Mopars. Founded by Ken McNally and Mike Bonadonna, the club just got its start back in February of 2010.
Partnered with a local dealership (Crystal Chrysler), Citrus Mopars was formed in response to a need for a Mopar-specific club in the area. Mopars deserved a better rep around here, said Ken, the Clubs Vice President. Many of these cars are rare and attract a lot of attention. We are trying to preserve that here, he added.
The Citrus crew started with just three members back in February, but has grown by 60 members in just 10 months. It seems like were picking up a few new members every week, quipped Mike.
Bill Scanny, General Sales Manager of Crystal Chrysler, saw promise in this club. When he turned to Citrus Mopars to put on a car show, he knew they would come through. With just six weeks of preparation, Citrus was able to gather 55 cars in an all-Mopar display. Pretty impressive if you ask us.
As a result, Bill paid for a new Citrus Mopars banner (shown below) that graced the front of the dealership when we arrived. He truly appreciates their passion.
But whats great about joining Citrus Mopars is the relaxed, laid back atmosphere that they put forth. While some clubs are like parliamentary rule, we take quite a different approach, Ken told us. This is very informal. No politics. No dues. And we like to keep it that way.
In addition, Mike drove home a very important fact about Citrus Mopars. You dont even have to own a Mopar to join our club. You just have to like them. Its all about the cars.
When we asked, Why Mopar? Ken gave us a very simple answer. Chrysler has always been a company that has brought new things to the market that others are simply too afraid to try. He continued, Theyve always been very dependable cars for me. I have to have the letters D-O-D-G-E on my cars.
We thank Citrus Mopars and Crystal Chrysler for their hospitality. Love the stuff were seeing with you all. Keep the membership list growing. Its a worthy cause.
On a side note, Heather made the save of the day on our way to visit with Citrus Mopars. While cruising down the highway, we both caught a glimpse of good size turtle attempting to cross the road. We narrowly missed him by inches.
Instead of just continuing on leaving the reptiles life to chance, we doubled back at warp speed to extend his stay here on Earth. We both gladly hit triple digit speeds to save this turtle who we proudly named, Sublimey. Please be careful next time.