AUGUST 25, 2014: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF THE PENTA-STAR HAVE AN ANNUAL MEETING?

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Chrysler Corporation has some of the most dedicated fans in the automotive world.

 

Chrysler was the smallest of the Big Three, but they punched well above their weight when it came to race tracks and drag strips.

 

The Elephant Hemi changed the game in the 60s for Mopar and set their place among the big dogs as one of the baddest mutts on the street.

 

 

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The Mopar past is worthy of celebration. This is the company that hired legendary designer Virgil Exner to help put his stamp on the finned warriors of the late 50s.

 

This is the company that used push buttons for their automatics until the practice was banned because the bureaucrats wanted a standard column-mounted shift selector, unless you ordered a console model with a stick shift automatic.

 

 

Mopar fans have always been influenced by race legends that raced under the Penta-star banner. Names like Sox, Martin and Garlits ran straight into the NHRA Hall of Fame with Chrysler, while royalty like King Richard Petty won most of his unreachable NASCAR record of 200 wins in Dodges or Plymouths.

 

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The net result was a large collection of Mopar devotees and most of them have an annual car show where membership is limited to the Chrysler family. The Mopar family has been extended in recent years with the inclusion of American Motors at many shows.

 

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AMC was absorbed by Chrysler in 1987 and their iconic Jeep brand (purchased from Kaiser in 1970) remains the last vestige of the defunct company. However, car shows are places to celebrate the glorious automotive past and the twists and turns of corporate histories mean Ramblers can fly under the same common Mopar flag as Plymouths at many shows.

 

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Our area has hosted an annual Mopar show for many years and the Central Alberta Mopar show ranks among the best in the area. This year, the show was moved across town to a new, more scenic location and the result was a home run with us.

 

The organizers had plenty of room to showcase their Mopar family, plus they were able to categorize their participants into better rows. The first thing we noticed was the long row of brightly colored 60s and 70s muscle because it is pretty hard to miss that much horsepower in one place.

 

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We were also drawn to a bright red 1964 Fargo A-100 pickup truck because these trucks are like Bigfoot sightings for us. The Canadian-built Fargo truck was offered at Plymouth dealerships and was the equivalent of the Dodge pickup offered to Dodge dealers.

 

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The owner was aware of the entire history behind the truck and he was able to fill in the blanks on this very rare Canuck truck. Look for the full story in a future MSCC piece.

 

We also discovered a rusty-looking 1938 Dodge truck at the Mopar meet.

 

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This resto-mod pickup has a very interesting story which we will discuss in a future MSCC story, including its owner’s controversial engine choice.

 

We had to get the story behind a 1979 AMC Pacer at the Mopar meet because the car is too cool not to deserve an MSCC story. Its colorful and well-informed owner will explain the history behind the wild-looking Pacer.

 

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The annual Central Alberta Mopar Meet is a well-run show with an enthusiastic membership and interesting rides.

 

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We at MSCC look forward to their yearly show and we have always been impressed with it.

 

See you next year at this one.

 

Jim Sutherland

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