Hot, Humid Horsepower
High temps couldn’t keep the hot cars from Carlisle
As a heat-wave slid east over the heartland of the nation, Mopar enthusiasts packed their things in preparation for another great Carlisle All-Chrysler Nationals in Carlisle PA.
They came with their hearts set on enjoying their cars for the weekend, flowing through the gates early on Friday morning as the temps rose and the ice eventually, began to flow like water. Using every color available on their palate, they spread out a mosaic of all things Mopar. Cudas, Challengers, winged cars and Hemi engines stole the show while each and every model of Mopar was welcomed into the Pentastar family.
Enthusiasts brought their shimmering rides, works in progress or even their parts to sell in hopes that by the end of the event, their expectations would be met. Those expectations ranged from simply sharing their enthusiasm with like-minded Mopar-ites or participating in some scheduled events that the show has to offer. While doing so, they might even brush up against a famous personality or two that Carlisle attracts on a daily basis. Attendees had opportunity to meet Ben Jones (Cooter) and Catherine Bach (Daisy Duke) from the Dukes of Hazzard TV show or Dan Woods from the automotive-themed Chop, Cut, Rebuild. Sunday was the King’s day as Richard Petty himself was on hand, signing autographs and greeting enthusiasts. History-makers like the Ramchargers were also available throughout the weekend, describing the evolution of racing Mopars and sharing some tidbits of history.
There was no shortage of things to see and do during this year’s event as the to-do list described events held both on, and off the fairgrounds. Speed freaks could quench their thirst, one 1/8th-mile at a time, during the All-Mopar Drag Races at nearby Quarter-Aces Drag-O-Way. Meanwhile, the spit-and-polish crowd secured their spots on the showfield in preparation for the judges critical eye. There were scheduled seminars ranging from getting the most from your EFI-equipped Mopar to properly caring for its finish, a seminar sponsored by Meguiar’s. There were events scheduled for the ladies and they could take in the sights and sounds of the Ladie’s Oasis or, don their best pair of Daisy Dukes and compete for the title in the Daisy Dukes Contest, with Kaylia Cassandra taking home the crown.
Ma Mopar understands the benefit of being amongst the enthusiasts and their presence not only included a broad spread of new models, including the SRT brand, but also they provided test drives and seminars of their own. To help showcase their products, Hotchkis Sport Suspension provided thrill rides in their Challenger so that enthusiasts can appreciate the benefits to be had by upgrading their suspensions.
History was celebrated in the 1972 Retro-dealership, as well as among the displays featuring everything from some of the King, Richard Petty’s rides, to those crazy and oh-so-70s Mod Tops offered as vinyl masterpieces adorning the lids of several models. If a more traditional work of art is to your liking, artist Dave Snyder was on hand with some of his latest work. If you prefer bright lights to brush strokes, you could even get a neon sign denoting your affection for your auto.
Saturday’s schedule of events awaited attendees with everything from free Bingo for the ladies and a magic show for the kids. For car nuts, the displays remained as a backdrop for various seminars and events throughout the day. But, as the day moved on, the focus became more intent on the grandstands. That’s where those in attendance were treated to such activities and antics like the ever-popular burn out competition and the Ms. Carlisle contest. Ron Bloszinsky wowed the crowd in his 1973 Roadrunner as he shredded both rear tires in a shroud of smoke. Click HERE for a video of his twin-tire turmoil.
There was also a walk-around of the new Dodge Dart and one lucky enthusiast walked away with a free 392ci late-model hemi engine! There were also some well-earned awards in the Club Challenge and the Mopar Top Eliminator program. Winners of the Top Eliminator program will be honored with having their car grace Mopar’s space at the 2012 SEMA Show in Las Vegas NV. Rich Gengo of Piscataway, New Jersey won the title at the event with his 1951 Dodge pickup and is headed to Vegas!
As the show wound down during Sunday’s festivities, there were still some highlights to keep the enthusiasm running high. One lucky enthusiast carried home his new iPad while others were finding space to carry their own awards that were given away during Sunday’s awards ceremony. Speaking of awards, Sunday was also the day that an enthusiastic crowd could meet and greet one of NASCAR’s most highly-renouned racers, the King himself, as Richard Petty was on hand signing autographs. As the event wound down and attendees pointed their Pentastars homeward, it was obvious that despite the hot temps and hustle of the event, there was still enough energy for another weekend of fun. One that is already scheduled to occur on July 12-14, 2013.