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“Get ready for 2008!” — “Did we see you in 2007?”
If you go back to the original site from which Allpar sprang, we have been around for a good twelve years, yet our first meet (sponsored by CatNET Solutions!) was at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum at the end of 2005. Our second meet, held within the huge All-Chrysler Nationals at Carlisle, was in July 2006.
If you look at the panoramic photo above, you'll see an awfully large show, but that's literally half the story. There was far more to the right, and over the crest of the hill behind us as well took the picture. The grandstands you can barely see in this photo are much larger than they look; this is a big show and I'm sure I missed large swaths of it. There were several rows of vendors in the back, not visible in the picture. (Note to self: next year, do more photography.)
On Friday, we mainly set up and relaxed; Bob O’Neill showed up first, followed shortly afterwards by Matilda, Greg, and Michael Stanhope. By the time I got there, everything was pretty well organized, with promo handouts already spread out on the table with a mailing list sign-up and nametags — both set up in advance by Matilda. I suddenly realized I should have sent Matilda or Bob the banners in advance! but with Matilda and my wife, Kate, in charge, the banners quickly appeared on the sides of the tent, the new promo materials were spread out, pencils and pens appeared on the table, and we were a bit more visible to spread the word. Hats and T-shirts were distributed, and we discovered that we had no 2XL sizes - the printer had run out.
The photo of the tent doesn’t show any cars adjoining; but the area around the tent filled in as the day progressed. The tent was right between Gates 2 and 3, and you could see down to the center of the show through a B-body aisle.
I don't know about the other women, but my wife went down to the women’s oasis (in a long shed-like building next to the child play area) and got a manicure and massage; they also had a wine-tasting, which she missed.
On all three days, people sometimes stopped by the table and mentioned that they frequented the site; oddly, though, half the people who signed up as Allpar folk when showing their cars never appeared at the table to get their free hat or T-shirt! It may have been just as well, because we quickly ran out of XL sizes. We still have large Ts - contact Dave if you want one. The extra hats will be used next year or at other events.
Muscle cars passed by all day. Many 340s and A-bodies seemed to have no exhausts at all, while a number of Superbirds and Charger Daytonas quietly passed by, their exhausts barely noticeable. If you know who owns the Cars bird below, let us know...
The real highlight of Friday, aside from meeting each other (again or for the first time), was seeing the “Mopar family,” the Pfefferkorns, all of whom were wearing custom T-shirts with their car on one side and the allpar logo on the other! Everyone who was at the tent enjoyed meeting them, and the rest of us wished we had been there.
Saturday is Carlisle's biggest day. On Friday and Sunday, the organizers of the All-Chrysler show tend to let people park near their club if they want to, and are generally more relaxed; on Saturday, you park where they tell you to park so the judging can take place. At Allpar, we started out at 10 am with Bob O’Neill’s discussion of paint and bodywork, as he described what he learned from painting his own Daytona (doing, as far as we could tell, a perfect job). After that, we distributed the entry forms for the Allpar-only competition, and at around 11:30 travelled the field to visit each member’s car. Next year, we plan to have the entry forms filled in long in advance, and to distribute window signs before the show to each member, so that we can have greater participation.
Our members had an interesting variety of cars, with not one but two Charger Daytonas — one 1977 model (pictured below) in the Cordoba style, and one 2006 model.
We passed out the awards at about 2 pm, aided by Stratuscaster’s donation of a good number of well-made Chrysler and Mopar sweatshirts and a simulated leather Chrysler jacket (purchased from a licensed vendor), as well as a pair of Chrysler-inscribed wine glasses. There were a number of other prizes as well from the depths of Dave’s basement, including a new Neon valve cover gasket, Neon seat belts, a few bound collections of service bulletins, and two huge Motor manuals for repairing Chrysler Corporation vehicles of the 1990s. Nobody claimed the Neon throttle body, but next year it will be bronzed (or at least painted bronze) and offered up again. We will probably also have actual trophies...
At 4 pm, Marc Rozman of CEMA showed up to talk about the Chrysler Employee Motorsports Association. After lending us his camera’s memory stick, he gave an interesting talk about the organization's activities, then answered questions from the floor about issues like oil weight in various engines (e.g. why Mobil 1 is preferred, and why you shouldn't use oils that are too thick). At a little after 5 pm, we thanked Marc and moved to a discussion of where Allpar should go from here, in terms of meets and such. Bob O’Neill was the instigator and leader of this discussion, which resulted in a number of ideas for working with other clubs and organizations to get more “meets within meets” and greater mutual publicity plans.
Somewhere along the way, we learned that Allpar member Chris Pfefferkorn had won the show giveaway - a Fury III! (Chris took the cash prize of $5,000 instead because he is restoring a car already, and will use the money to help his resto.) His whole family dropped by, his dad winning the weekend’s “stump the webmaster” competition by mentioning FluidDrive, the most controversial subject on allpar outside of the Dodge Charger
Sunday is the quietest of the three days, with a number of day visitors coming after the very-crowded Saturday; vendors started to pack up and offer some decent deals, and the play-care area was crowded with children. More people stopped by the tent to say hello on Sunday. Personally, I went down to the vendor area, got a window crank, side lenses, and an armrest for my 1974 Valiant, hit the literature sellers and got a 1988 data book, and dropped in to the MoparManuals booth to see what was new there. MoparManuals.com gives a big discount to Allpar members (10% off if you use coupon code 255727) and apparently refers people to allpar when they need more information; and they have a license from Chrysler to reproduce out of date factory service manuals and parts books. They have some very interesting projects on tap; we'll cover those as they appear, if they come to fruition. The MoparManuals folk seemed very nice and we were sorry we couldn't visit longer.
Though this was a great show, we learned a lot, and have many plans for next year (aside from bringing more XL and 2XL shirts). We hope we’ll see you there — and maybe, next year, at the Mopar Nats in Ohio, too!
Click here for the Allpar at the Chrysler Museum meet.
Click here for Carlisle 2005. Get ready for 2007!
These pictures really don’t show the immensity of the show, how many cars were packed in out of camera reach, or how perfect those cars were. You'd really think that every car made between 1966 and 1975 had been stored under perfect conditions by the factory, except that so many of them are better than they were in the showroom. It's an incredible place, and next time, we’ll take more photos - and be there before Monday, though that makes photography harder, because there are so many people and cars around!
(Don't think you can't show up if your car isn't perfect, there were plenty of not-quite-perfect cars too! Daily drivers showed up in droves, just as our '74 Valiant with original paint will.)
We begin on a warm Friday morning. Although the temperatures were somewhat unseasonably cool for Pennsylvania, it was still a wonderful way to begin the 16th Annual Carlisle All Chrysler Nationals.
We arrived at 9:30 Friday morning… and what a sight to behold. Literally thousands of cars from every time period were represented. The smell of Carnuba wax filled the air as we were serenaded with the sound of finely tuned engines as we entered the Fairgrounds.
We arrived at the Allpar tent, and were warmly greeted by Bob and Theresa O’Neill. Bob had his 1986 Dodge Daytona parked next to the tent, so this was a special treat for me. I got to finally get an up close and personal look at a car I had admired since coming to Allpar back in 1999.
He has done several modifications to the car, including a hydraulic hood opener and reinforced trunk floor. He has also repainted the car himself, and I’m here to tell you… this looks as good as ANY factory paint job I have ever seen.
Sadly, Friday was the only day we got to see the car at the tent. Since this was Allpar’s first year as a group, we were assigned our individual spots according to category throughout the fairgrounds. I’m told this may change next year, based on attendance/popularity this year.
Most of my day Friday was spent in the tent, greeting people, and handing out Allpar name badges to members. I was amazed at the number of people who stopped by as soon as they saw the Allpar banner. We also created a sign-in registry for members. This way, we had something to provide to Dave, and to the Carlisle officials as a record of attendance to the event.
Greg, Mike, Bob, and Theresa walked through the fairgrounds, gathering pictures, and talking to those interested in what Allpar is all about. Greg even got to meet Bill Goldberg, and had a look at his 1968 Hemi Dart. Sadly, I didn’t get to meet Mr. Goldberg… but the picture (and autograph) Greg brought back for me was indeed a treat.
The day got even better with the arrival of Dave and Kate Zatz. This was my first time meeting Kate, and I was truly honored. They arrived with Allpar T-shirts, hats, bigger banners for the tent, and lots of other Allpar-related goodies to pass out to those stopping by the tent. I never thought a PT Cruiser could hold so much.
We had a special treat at the tent on Friday afternoon. An entire family of Allparians stopped by. They had created their own Allpar T-shirts, and we were told they wear these to every car show they attend. They are truly the All American Allpar Family. I have more on this family later in this letter.
Friday is more or less a day of walking through the grounds, taking in the sights, sounds, and food… and getting to meet like-minded Mopar enthusiasts.
Saturday was more of an event-filled day. We got somewhat of a late start, but arrived just in time to take in Bob O’Neill’s discussion on paint, and body work. He went over the various steps he took to do his Daytona… as well as provided us with a wealth of information, tips, and tricks to do the job right.
The special Allpar Event took place at about 2:30 PM. We, as a group, walked through the grounds, looking at, and talking about one another’s cars. The respective owners talked about what they had done to their car, and did a little “proud parent” showing off. We were given the judging forms (provided by Bob O’Neill), and we all voted on the various categories within. prizes were awarded about an hour later at the Allpar tent. This was a grab bag of sorts with some really interesting prizes. I’m happy to say everyone who was entered won something.
The list of winners are as follows:
At 4 PM, we had the honor of havine Marc Rozman, CEMA Secretary, present a talk on CEMA, the Chrysler Employees’ Motorsports Association; he talked a little about engines and engine testing in general as well, from his perspective as a CEMA member and Charger owner.
At 4:45 PM, we discussed what we, as a group, can do to gain Allpar an official Car Club status. Many wonderful ideas were tossed into the ring, and we plan on using many of these.
What we are looking at for the immediate future is getting in touch with various (already well established) car clubs, and doing a sponsorship or sorts. Those with web pages would link Allpar, and we, in turn, will link them to our pages here. Dave is considering creating a special page specifically for this purpose. Both Bob and I spoke to some clubs which were present at the event, and they are agreeable to doing this for us.
I plan on sending out letters to the various clubs in Pennsylvania, and surrounding areas, just to introduce Allpar to them, and see if they would be willing to sponsor us. This is how many clubs grow, and gain status. I’m also going to visit as many local car shows as I can in an effort to promore Allpar.
Everyone can do their part if they wish. Contact the clubs in your area, and let them know what we want to do. Then, please send the information to Dave, Bob O’Neill, or me, and we will be happy to do whatever we can with it. Thanks in advance.
Saturday wound down with a cookout in York, hosted by Mike Stanhope at York Auto Repair (my home away from home… lol). The turnout was somewhat small, due to family, and business obligations… but a good time was had by all. What we are planning on doing next year is hosting the event in Carlisle, right at the show. The Carlisle Officials provide tents for such purposes, and we feel this would be better for those attending.
Sunday was a short day as the weather did not co-operate with us. We had rain about 2:15 PM, and this led to a lot of people packing it in and leaving early. Greg, Mike, and I stayed for the announcement of the Giveaway Car.
Now remember I said I had more to report on the All American Allpar Family? The winner of the 1968 Fury was Chris, a member of that family! Greg and I got pictures of this, and he did in fact have that Allpar shirt on at the time of winning the drawing. He chose to take the $5000 prize instead, stating he has a 1972 Charger he is restoring, and this will go a long way to make this happen.
All in all, this was a wonderful weekend, and I am looking forward to the next Allpar gathering… no matter where it is located.
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