Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep news from Allpar

Hemi Hideout “Car Cathedral” open house


Recently we were invited to travel to the tiny town of Pattison, Texas, about 40 miles west of Houston for an open house at the Hemi Hideout, a striking cathedral-style building that is home to a fine collection of vintage Mopar Muscle and neon signs. Lots of neon signs.

The Hemi Hideout is the creation of John Hovas, the founder of HDH Instruments in nearby Brookshire. Hovas has been in love with Dodge muscle cars since his father brought home a 1969 Dodge Coronet Super Bee. Over the years, his tastes have expanded to include Plymouths and he now has a stunning assortment of fully restored Chrysler classics from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s as well as a fine Hemi-powered 1937 Plymouth Business Coupe hot rod that Hovas says can crank out 1,000 horsepower.

Just to balance things a bit, there’s also a 1937 Plymouth pickup and a 1947 Dodge Power Wagon and some antiques tractors.


With the business allowing him to satisfy his passion, Hovas and his wife, Diane, began traveling to auctions around the country, buying fully restored Challengers,’Cudas, Road Runners and Chargers. There’s even a Duster in the collection.

Hovas’ vision of a structure to house his collection began taking shape early in 2011. Groundbreaking was in June 2011 and construction was completed last summer.


At 20,000 square feet and reaching 53 feet high, the Hemi Hideout is one of the largest, if not the largest, timber-framed structure in Texas. It’s built with mortise and tenon construction instead of nails, like the classic cathedrals in Europe.


47-PowerWagon-WebIn addition to the cars, the interior is decorated with a literally dazzling array of neon signs, including an 18-foot-tall western-themed sign that occupies most of one of the end walls.

As much as I hate the phrase, the Hemi Hideout may well be one of the world’s ultimate man caves. In addition to the cars and signs, there is a beautiful lounge area with a huge 14 by 26-foot fireplace more suited for colder climes than Southeast Texas. There’s also a ’50s-style diner and ice cream parlor. Outside is the barbecue area required by state law and a skeet shooting range.

Hovas’ enthusiasm for classic muscle and the Hemi Hideout is infectious: he enjoys talking about driving the cars he collects and the history behind them.

Hovas says the Hemi Hideout will be open from time to time and will be available for special occasions.


Does Enders-Stevens strategy open the door for Johnson?


NHRA Pro Stock points leader Erica Enders-Stevens didn’t race at Sonoma and she won’t be competing at the Northwest Nationals in Seattle. Elite Motorsports owner Richard Freeman two-event “holiday” at the Mile-High Nationals in Denver. Despite her very impressive racing resume, Enders-Stevens lacks a real sponsor and it’s likely this was a major consideration, especially since she had built up a 241-point lead over Allen Johnson, who is second in the point standings, at the end of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio....

Coughlin clinches Countdown berth in Sonoma


Jeg Coughlin Jr. became the second Mopar driver to clinch a spot in the six-race Countdown to the Championship that will determine the Mello Yello NHRA Pro Stock world championship. Coughlin joined teammate Allen Johnson in the Countdown after making it to the Pro Stock semifinals in the NHRA Sonoma Nationals that ran this weekend at Sonoma Raceway....

Johnson Clinches Countdown berth in Sonoma


Allen Johnson has secured his place in the Pro Stock Countdown to the Championship, the six-event series the determines the World Championships of drag racing. Johnson joins Erica Enders-Stevens, who clinched her spot last weekend. Participation is limited to the top ten drivers in each pro class. There were three different top qualifiers in Pro Stock: Johnson had the No....

Steckly scores in National 250


Three-time series champion Scott Steckly earned his first win of the 2014 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series season Saturday in the National 250 at the Autodrome St. Eustache in St. Eustache, Quebec. Starting from the No. 2 spot, Steckly dominated the race in the No. 22 Canadian Tire/Sylvania Dodge, leading for 202 of the 250 laps and beating Alex Guenette and the No....

Categories: Chrysler, Chrysler Chat.

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