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story and photos by Gene Yetter
It was a once-in-a-lifetime win! In 2003, Dan Gloger and his wife Jackie bought a block of five tickets in a raffle held by the Alzheimer's Foundation of Brevard County, Florida. The prize was a "Plum Crazy" purple 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T convertible donated by the Boniface-Hiers Chrysler-Dodge dealership of Merritt Island, FL. It was the fifth time in as many years that the Glogers had anted up $100 to buy tickets in the annual Alzheimer's drawing.
On the day of the drawing, Dan and Jackie, residents of a gated community in Satellite Beach, Florida, decided to attend the barbecue event held in connection with the drawing. It was the first time they would show up over the five years that they had bought tickets. As they arrived, Dan remarked to Jackie, “How do we know they even entered our tickets?”
In his professional career, Dan worked as a voting machine technician. He actually testified as an expert witness in hearings in Florida on the 2000 federal elections. It's not hard to understand why he might be skeptical!
Nevertheless, Dan and Jackie were stunned to hear Dan's name announced as winner by Alzheimer's Foundation director, Joseph Steckler, when one of their tickets was drawn. "We couldn't believe it when they called our name," Dan said. The car is powered by a 440 Six-Pack with 4-speed transmission.
The win launched the Glogers as a Mopar couple. Soon afterwards they joined the local club, Mopars of Brevard (“the MOB”), and they have been cruising with the group ever since. Although they have had many inquiries about selling the car, Dan said he will never sell it. "I get offers all the time. I want to put a sign on the front of the car: Don't Even Ask!" Jackie Gloger added, "We really enjoy it!"
"1EZWin" -- An offer to buy the car came from a custom wine label vendor. He was politely turned down but graciously sent the Glogers this personalized bottle of white zinfandel. The commemorative "brand" on the label became the car's vanity license plate ID. Dan's email address is also a take-off on his musclecar.
Boniface-Hiers has donated classic Mopar cars to the Foundation for the annual drawing going back several years. Since 2003 when the Glogers won the prize, the dealership has donated a '69 Road Runner convertible, a Dodge custom street rod, a '66 Charger, a '69 Road Runner Hemi Convertible, a '70 Hemi 'Cuda, and, just this year, another '70 Challenger convertible.
Winners have usually been Floridians, but the 2006 winner was from Spokane, Washington, and the 2008 winner was from Coudersport, Pennsylvania. The drawing is advertised locally, on the Internet and in the automotive press. The most recent Alzheimer's drawing, May 30th, 2009 was the 16th.
There were car donations by the dealership going further back than 2003 but records are not consistent. Boniface-Hiers owner A.J. Hiers explained that he has been seeking out restorable Mopars each year wherever he can find them. The restorations are done in his shop by his mechanics and other technicians.
Seems like everyone's a winner in the classic car raffle. First, there are the prize winners like Dan and Jackie Gloger. Then there's the Alzheimer's Foundation. In 2003 it sold over 4,000 tickets ($25 each, or 5 for $100), profiting by $97,500. Boniface-Hiers gets the publicity for its business. The guys in the shop get to work on a classic. And the world is bequeathed another antique Mopar to dote on!
The Dodge Challenger first came to market in the 1970 model year, not succeeding any prior Mopar car lines. Its E-body chassis was created to compete with 2-door "pony" cars like the Mustang, Camaro and Mercury Cougar, with a 110-inch wheelbase and a full range of Mopar engine options beginning with the Slant-6 and ending with the 426 Hemi. Besides "standard" models, the line included performance R/T's, and a T/A Series designed to Trans-Am racing specs. About 94,000 Challengers were produced in 1970.
V-8 powered Challenger R/Ts had front and rear Rallye Suspension and heavy-duty drum brakes. One source puts factory production of the R/T convertible in 1970 at 1070; 61 of those coming, like Dan Gloger's car, with the 440 Six-Pack and 4-speed transmission. In comparison, only 9 convertibles were built with the street Hemi fueled by twin 4-bbl Carter carburetors: 5 with 4-speed transmission, and 4, automatic.
The Six-Pack is fueled by three Holley 2-bbl carburetors. The 440 CID motor produced 390 horsepower, but was known to beat Hemis rated at 425 hp. The Challenger came with a twin-scooped "power bulge" hood, with a "Shaker" scoop — called that because it shakes when the engine is idling. The Shaker scoop openings can be shut during wet weather by means of an interior cable on the dash; and air is then supplied through the grill.
The Challenger body style is distinctive in the curvy fore and aft lines of the car's rear fender -- it seems slightly curvier than on earlier Dodge models like the Charger and Coronet. In the front, streamlining is embodied in a sloping windshield; a thin, deeply recessed grill; slightly pointed bumper; and, low hood which bends upward at the rear edge to cover windshield wipers. Wide, narrow rear escutcheon, filled end to end with taillights and back light, echoes the outline of the grill. Other detail includes pop-up gas cap on the passenger side and flush door handles. A beltline crease complementing the fender line extends the length of the car.
The interior features woodgrain-trimmed door panel and instrument cluster.
Read Allpar's presentation of some recollections by corporate insiders on the development of the Challenger in the late Sixties. The memories are not always positive, but the craze today over Challenger survivors may be sweet revenge!
As much as they love their Challenger, Dan and Jackie Gloger do not go on about being over-the-edge car enthusiasts. In fact, Dan turned down the keys that day of the drawing to drive it home until he could confirm his auto insurance. They have attended one drag race event in Orlando, as spectators, since they won the car. They laugh recalling how they were asked if they were going to register the car to race. "I'm smarter than that!" Dan insists.
At first there were moments of intimidation owning a musclecar. Dan tells how he was at a local sandwich shop, early on, having driven up in his daily driver, not the Challenger. "A guy walked by me, and looked at me and blurted: 'You!' I turned to him and he said, 'You're the one that won the car, damn it!' But for the most part people recognize the car and they congratulate me." The Glogers do have a taste for interesting cars and tell how they used to run around in a Triumph TR-3 before they were married.
In a surprising coincidence, the director of Brevard Alzheimer's, Mr. Joseph Steckler, who announced the winner (and a retired Navy commander), is a neighbor and friend of the Glogers in the same community in Satellite Beach. During several weeks prior to the drawing, Dan reports, Steckler was in possession of the car in order to give it public exposure around the county. But the Glogers never saw him coming and going in it and didn't know he had it.
The Brevard Alzheimer's Foundation is a non-profit organization established in Florida. Through three "Joe's Club" centers in Brevard, it helps elders with Alzheimer’s, dementia and related disorders to remain in their homes and in the community. The group emphasizes assistance to caregivers to delay institutionalization through adult daycare, respite, education and support.
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