On July 11-13, 2008, tens of thousands of Mopar enthusiasts from all over the United States, Canada, and beyond gathered for the 18th Annual All-Chrysler Nationals. More than 2,300 show cars were registered, possibly setting a record for the event.
Competition to take home prizes from Carlisle (145 classes with 434 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and “Celebrity Pick” winners receiving trophies or plaques) was at the top a long list of activities over the weekend that began with a cruise-in on Thursday night. On Friday night, drag racing was held at the 1/8th mile Quarter Aces Drag-O-Way, a short drive (8 miles) from the 82-acre Carlisle Fairgrounds.
Special attractions included appearances by car culture celebrities, giveaways, themed car exhibits, a benefit auction, club challenges, dynamometer tests for car owners, a burnout contest, a museum-like exhibit recreating a 1968 Mopar dealership, and the “Miss All-Chrysler Nationals Beauty Contest” (won by a Mechanicsburg girl, Kelly Foster).
1,200 vendors took part this year in the swap meet and Manufacturer’s Midway, ranging from national companies (Meguiars, Year One, Mancini Racing, etc.), to independent sellers of salvage parts, tools, and clothing; they took up 3,150 10-by-30 foot spaces.
Among the impressions of the new visitor is the surprising panorama of show quality Mopar cars arrayed in long rows across several show fields, each show field dedicated to similar vehicles. The beautiful Mopar vehicles really come out of the woodwork! Cars and trucks, stock and modified, recent and vintage, different body types, the special editions: Chryslers, Dodge, Plymouth, Jeep, Imperial, Prowlers, PT Cruisers, Barracudas, Chargers, Coronets, Superbees, Dusters, Roadrunners and more, all in no end of different paint schemes and unique touches. One club, Mopar Madness of Lehigh Valley, had 32 members entering cars in the judging this year, with 14 winning prizes (Allpar entered at leats 33 cars but won fewer prizes).
The streets and parking areas in the vicinity also crawled with cars or trucks that might have faired well in the show competition.
Endless flows of spectators came to get ideas for their own projects, to look for a car to buy, to shop for parts, to sit in on instructive seminar presentations. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of campers took up temporary residence across the fairgrounds in their tents, vans and rec vehicles.
Audible just about anywhere in the 82 acres of the Fairgrounds was the Axcelerated Motorsports' tuning dynamometer, with details including horsepower, torque, air/fuel ratios, boost pressure, etc. The Axcelerated technicians had a non-stop flow of customers getting their vehicles checked out, running engines to max revs.
Special guests attracting attention included Chris Jacobs, co-host of the Overhaulin’ television show, famed drag racer Herb McCandless, former Chrysler designer John Samsen, the Ramchargers racing team, and Tom Hoover, engineering manager in special projects at Chrysler, like the development of the 426 Hemi engine and the Slant Six Hyper-Pak.
Concept and historic cars were on exhibit in the enclosed spaces. Chrysler showed new and classic Challengers; the Viper SRT Coupe; and concept cars, along with providing test drives of current vehicles. Several original Sox & Martin race cars were shown in Building T along with a slew of special “Invitational” vehicles. The characteristic red, white and blue Sox & Martin cars looked as race ready as when they were setting dragstrip records in the late 1960s and early 70s.
Among other historic cars were several painted the bright rose color, available only in 1970, named “Panther Pink” on Dodge cars, and “Moulin Rouge” on Plymouths -- factory paint code FM3. The 1958 Plymouth Belvedere owned by Florida’s Bill Gibson was present — known for its use in the 1983 film “Christine,” whose hero had an uncanny ability to restore itself to showroom condition despite all sorts of abuse, and then take vengence on its abusers.
At the Mopar Survivors exhibit, 40 cars in certifiable original condition sat under a shady tent. They ranged from a 1955 Desoto Firedome owned by Frank and Lanette Peiffer, to a 1983 Chrysler New Yorker owned by Francis Givler Jr. All were a popular attraction as spectators ducked under the tent to take a break from the hot summer sun.
All manner of freebies and branded items for sale were offered to spectators over the weekend from sales literature to pens and ballcaps, but the largest giveaways were prizes in two drawings. A 1965 Slant 6-powered Dodge Dart two-door hardtop was awarded by Carlisle Events on Saturday evening, and Mopar Muscle gave away a 505-inch RB Wedge engine built by Muscle Motors.
Our tent was by the survivor tent, the Chrysler test drive, and the big red Dodge truck (and the big red Dodge Ram balloon). A whole row of Dodge Daytonas flanked the Allpar tent this year, most of them belonging to Allpar members. We’re honored to have such a large and enthusiastic Daytona contingent (with an enthusiastic Daytona forum here at allpar). Michael Valentine took home two prizes this year for his 1986 Dodge Daytona Turbo Z C/S: one from us, for Best Daytona, and one from Carlisle, for Young Guns: Front Wheel Drive.
Bob Lincoln talked to us about diagnosis and repair, discussing sensors and what failure can lead to - the signs, the solutions, and some tricks of the trade, including the use of tools such as a voltmeter and oscilliscope to isolate and resolve problems. Bob’s talk was well attended, and many in the audience have already benefited from his diagnostics and advice. We taped his talk and hope to make it available to people who could not make it to Carlisle later.
Following Bob Lincoln, Bob O’Neill continued on the topic of repair and diagnosis, describing more diagnostic techniques and going through some troublesome driveability issues, which turned out to be caused by simple and oten inexpensive problems, which, however, would be very expensive to fix at a dealer or mechanic - if they could track them down at all. This, too, was recorded and we plan to make it available.
Some of the Daytona crowd met for dinner after leaving the show. Here are six of them... (two more Daytonas arrived late.)
The day started early, with the fairgrounds filling up once again so that large numbers of vehicles were up on, and over the top of, the hill, including a fleet of TC by Maseratis, various trucks, and other vehicles.
A large group of members got together to judge each others' cars, hearing about each one before rating. See some quick video shots of Allpar members judging each others’ cars.
The first ever Golden Throttle Body Award was given to Marc Rozman.
Trophies were handed out — we hope we got the names right! —
Each member also got some Rusty Car Coffee — Free Trade Organic certified, which means it was not only grown without hazardous chemicals, but also allows the growers to earn a decent living growing it.
As always, Allpar had goodies for people... though this year, there were no throttle bodies, for obvious reasons.
As usual Sunday was relaxed and not much was going on. Sunday is usually a good day for parts deals.
I want to thank everyone from the Daytona group who attended Carlisle this weekend.
First the kudos to the efforts of Sean and Mike who helped get some folks to put Allpar as their club. We had a total of 12 Daytonas that represented Allpar as their club.
One person Chris Lloyd came to the gate and at that point put Allpar down as his club. He is the manager/owner of the DaytonaPerformance group on yahoo.com. He also won first place from the fun field for his red Daytona. I wish I could remember all the details but I'm sure we'll get updates later. I don't know if Chris's car is a daily driver or not.
Sean was chatting with a family from Columbus, Oh who decided to come to Carlisle. Charley Lucas and family joined us when they arrived but didn't put Allpar as their club (IIRC). He won second place with his black Daytona. It is a custom creation and looked great. This car was trailered to the show and is not a daily driver at all.
Michael Valentine won third place with his '86 Daytona Turbo Z C/S. Mike's car is not his daily driver and stays in the garage when he's not taking it for a cruise or to shows.
All of these winners should be proud of their cars and we should all work hard to make our cars look and perform as well as these do.
Bob Lincoln brought two Daytonas, thanks Bob. He brought his '84 Turbo Z and his '92 standard Daytona. The '84 is very nice and he's only had it a short time. I'm betting that next year it will be more impressive than it was this year.
Sean had his Shelby there and I'll tell you, his engine compartment looks amazing. He did a great job detailing it. Even though he could have parked it with the other Shelbys he decided to park it with all of the 'Daytonas of Allpar'. It was an amazing thing to see. A long line of Daytonas across from the surviors tent. Incredible.
Unfortunately I can't remember names of some of the others but I'll take a stab at some, please forgive me if I don't get the names right but I'll be right on the car and location.
84DaytonaTurboZ brought his father from Pittsburg. He is a great guy and you wouldn't know it from his posts but he's only 17 years old. A very mature young man who has his head on straight. If he comes back next year I'll bet his '84 Turbo Z will be even more impressive than it was this year.
There was an '85 Turbo Z, Chrysler Laser from Ontario. It has an interesting Direct Connection option added. It has the computer and intercooler setup for the log intake. This is the intercooler which mounts above the engine. Then a scoop funnels air down through it to cool it. An original and impressive setup.
There was another second gen Daytona which I believe belonged to KJRich. I hope I got the name right. This car was also a great car.
Dang it, I think there were two more in addition to mine but I just can't think of who owns them. Guys please forgive me for not mentioning your names but know that I really appreciate all your efforts. A special thanks to everyone who helped get more Daytonas there including Sean (soloflite) and Michael Valentine.
Next year we'll start to plan a little earlier. I didn't have my black and gold Turbo Z there as it just wasn't ready but next year it will be spectacular.
I hope that next year we can all agree to let Jim (Stratuscaster) negotiate a block of rooms. The place we stayed at this year wants $169 next year and that's nuts (Dave’s reaction was a bit stronger considering the “quality” of the “inn.”) So if we let Jim get us a block of rooms I know we can save some money and we'll be able to visit in the evenings after the show to continue chatting and discussing our cars etc.
Finally, I want to thank Dave for allowing the Daytonas to dominate around the Allpar tent. It was designed that way by the Carlisle manager for the Chrysler event and next year I hope I can negotiate a larger space because there will be more than just the 12 or 13 Daytonas we had this year. I'm thinking we'll need room for maybe 20?
Big thanks to everyone. I really appreciate it.
Diagnosis and repair, sensors, and such (Bob Lincoln)
Affordable repair (Bob O’Neill)
Tour of Allpar members’ cars
Cookout and cake
Awards and prizes
33 vehicles participated in the Allpar trophy contest. The winners of Allpar awards were...
Though most Allpar members brought daily drivers, some members won Carlisle-wide awards. These include:
This year we did mugs! Thanks to Brian Matney (Hemiman876) for the new design! you'll see more of it soon!
I deliberately ordered the mugs from an American company which “has a factory right here in Pennsylvania” and is named Glass America. Of couse, the mugs are made in China and printed in America. Oh, well... I tried. Next year I'll be more specific in my inquiries (unless next year is “leftovers year” for knicknacks). The mugs are pretty high quality, as is the ink, though we got one defective one which read “Preserving the leg of Walter P. Chrysler.” I don’t think that’s our mission.
For 2008, these changes were made:
For 2009, these changes are being considered:
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