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What? Who? Why? or How? Got you turned onto Mopars?

Started by Topcat, April 18, 2018, 07:57:56 PM

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I Love to hear your stories.   :slapme5:

When you were young..or even older.

Tell us how you became turned onto Mopars...with a story.

1 Wild R/T

My dad was a Chrysler guy, owned quite a few starting in the early 50's....  His brothers all were too....   I also have vivid memories of assorted Mopar's through the years but dad's 64 probably sealed the deal....

my pop bought a 64 300K Ram ragtop in 65...While stationed at Elmendorf AFB n Anchorage Alaska...We traveled all over the US, Europe & Turkey in that car...He sold it to another serviceman in Adana Turkey in 1973...

I wish I had pictures to post, unfortunately my folks were never big on taking pictures which is really a shame cause we traveled all over & I'd love to have something more then the pictures in my mind...We traveled the Alcan back at a time when over 500 miles was nothing more then gravel..We camped out in the Redwoods, did the tourist sites Dinosars, Seal Lions, Dad mapped our routes so us kids got to see places...That transfer took us to Randolph AFB San Antonio Tx.. About as far from Anchorage as you could go..Next we moved to Schilling Manor in Salina Ks while Pops went to Vietnam...Then Castle AFB Atwater Ca..Traveling the old roads, visiting relatives in little towns, always seemed to find something cool to entertain us kids...The next transfer was to Torrejon AFB Madrid Spain, we drove across the USA hitting stops all along the way, the one that really got me was Indy, I'd watched the 500 since 1964 so I kinda understood what that was all about..Anyway we left the car in Trenton NJ & flew to Madrid...The car arrived about a month later & we took a train down to Rota to pick it up..BTW when I say train this was like something you see in the old movies, wooden benches, an old coal burner... :laugh: Cool old memories..We picked the car up & being the way he was My dad had a route that took us along the coast of Spain through all those twisty turny roads you'll see in any film shot on the southern coast of Spain, we visited the actual Rock of Gibraltar...We drove through practically every little village stopping to check out the views, we hit Cordoba & Seville ...We lived in Madrid for about two years before dad was again transferred, this time to Incirlik AFB Adana Turkey, as usual we drove, through Barcelona,  Catalonia, We wound up broken down in Montpellier France, tossed a fan blade while traveling about 75 mph, it exited just ahead of the passenger front tire, cut right through the fender...Anyway by the time we got stopped it also took out the water pump due to the severe imbalance..We spent almost two weeks on the French Riviera which kinda put a crimp in our travel plans...We saw women on the beach wearing....Well not much...We spent evenings in the park listening to a live orchestra...Anyway the parts finally arrived & we were on our way...We spent a day in Paris, Dad had hoped to take us to Normandy & a few of the towns that he had visited in 1944-45...But our breakdown limited our time & if we went there we wouldn't have gotten a chance to spend a couple weeks with my grandfather on my mothers side ...So we spent time in the Black Forest & toured a few beautiful castles along the Rhine River, we climbed to the top of the steeple of the Church of Ulm...We saw Salzburg & Innsbruck.. We traveling through Austria & Switzerland over the Alps and into Italy, we crossed over from Venice to Genoa...From there the car was loaded on board & we took a Cruise  around the boot of Italy, threw the straits of Massena  we spent two days touring Athens, saw the Acropolis,  the Parthenon , so many historic sites...Then back onboard to travel to Istanbul...Again we were held up for five days while customs cleared our vehicle but we spent the time seeing The Blue Mosque & old fortifications around that old town...historically Byzantium and later Constantinople...Anyway when we were cleared to leave we traveled across Turkey, at that time from Istanbul to Afyon  there was very little paved mostly it was loose dirt that was heavily traveled by Mack Trucks & Camels...So an American Convertible was kinda out of place...Anyway we got where we were going with few real troubles...Once we were in Adana the car did lose a front brake hose, Pops wound up having to plug that line for months while trying to get parts but the car still proved amazingly 73 we got transferred again this time to Nellis AFB Las Vegas Nv, Dad ordered a new Chrysler & sold that fine ol' automobile...His 73 was such a pile that it soured him to Mopar & he has never bought another...

But I had Mopar ingrained into my DNA & have owned quite a few through the years...


I didn't have a chance. I was brought home from the hospital in Dad's 53 New Yorker Deluxe. Dad loved his cars and a lot of Saturdays I would go with him to the Chrysler dealer to hang out for an hour or so. So, I was always checking out the new Mopars. Then my brother began his apprenticeship as a mechanic at the Chrysler dealer in 1964 so I had more chances to hang out and dream about driving my own some day. So I was lucky enough to see the new 66 Hemi Plymouths, new 67 GTX's, Road Runners, Barracudas, Cuda's, Challengers etc. right on the lot.
Richard Petty, Ronnie Sox and Dick Landy were my childhood idols.
First photo is of Dad, Mom, myself and the 53. The other shot is Dad holding my son, that is his new Intrepid in the background about 35 years later.


Quote from: 1 Wild R/T on April 18, 2018, 08:20:13 PM
My dad was a Chrysler guy, owned quite a few starting in the early 50's....  His brothers all were too....   I also have vivid memories of assorted Mopar's through the years but dad's 64 probably sealed the deal....

Now that was a great story.


I remember seeing a Superbird driving down the street when I was little but what really did it.... One of my brothers had an Opel GT when I was 8 or so. I thought that was the coolest car ever, all the switches on the dash and the lever that rolled the headlights over. It was real close to Citron Yella with a black vinyl top. Despite being bright yellow it was hit a few times (including once by a police cruiser) the last time he was hit while sitting at a stop light and pushed under a pickup which finally did it in. He answered an ad in the paper for a '71 Challenger convertible. I was originally Hemi Orange but was repainted Brown Metallic. This was late 70s and he put craigers on it with air shocks to lift the back. Nothing like riding around in the E-body with the top down. A few years later our mom brought home an ad from the bulletin board at work that was for a GY3 '71 Challenger convertible and he bought that one as well. Half way through my junior year of high school there was an ad in the paper for a '71 Challenger convertible and my brother let me buy that one. A guy at school said he had looked at it but it was too rough for him so it fortunately for me it was still available. :bradsthumb: All 318s the orange one is a column auto, the yella is a three speed, and mine (GF3 green) is a slapstick. My oldest brother had a '68 GTX 440 4 speed as well. I guess I come by it naturally. :banana:


I was driving a 66 Impala 283 V8 auto car in 1972. Decided I wanted something different. I drove a red 70Challenger /6 3 peed manual with no options and didn't like it. I was in the Navy at the time. I wanted a V8. My dad saw a 70 B5 Gran Coupe Barracuda 383- 2bbl automatic on the Plymouth dealers car lot for $2500 and asked me by phone if I was interested in it. I said yes. He drove it and put money down on it with the agreement if I didn't want it, he'd get his money back. I came home that weekend with the intention of driving it and buying it. Before the dealership opened that Saturday morning, my mother saw an ad in the paper for a 71 Challenger 340 four speed convertible for sale at $1950. Had 32,000 mile on it. I went over first thing, test drove it and wanted it. I didn't even get a block away before I knew I had to have it because it had the shaker hood. I bought it and came home the following weekend to get it (it needed a new clutch) and drove it back to base. I've had the car ever since.  See photo. Since then, I've had 6 other Challengers. The one I also still wish I had kept was a 70 Challenger R/T convertible with the 383. Oh well.


My dad was a Ford guy in his youth.  But when I was growing up he always had Buicks, and my mom had a VW bug and later a Pinto.  So there was no Mopar in my DNA.
I saw Vanishing Point on TV one night when I was around 14, and it certainly changed my life.  I've been a Mopar guy ever since!  I have had a few Fords and for a time a VW Rabbit for daily drivers, so I guess I did get some Ford and VW in my DNA, but I've had at least one Dodge since buying my T/A as my first car, and currently all my cars are Dodges.


Don Prudhomme's The Snake funny car, the car that got me hooked on Cuda's.

There was 1/16th scale model of it at our local K-Mart in the early to mid 70's, I think I was 10 or 11 and I wanted it so bad but it was I think $30 and that was alot of money then.

My dad kept saying no because he didn't think that I could build it, it had plastic tubing fuel lines, brake lines, plug wires etc. and I had only built 1/32nd models before this.

Finally bugged my mom enough that she convinced my dad to buy it for me for christmas.

I built it by myself, wouldn't let dad help and he was very impressed that i could do it.

Even painted it exactly like the original.

Been a Cuda lover ever since, too bad my dad passed away from lung cancer (I believe it was mesothelioma from all the Asbestos used in steel shops back then, gloves, vests shields were all made with asbestos then) when I was 13 1/2 before I bought my AAR at 15 1/2 years old.

This is probably the biggest reason I have kept my AAR for this long, sometimes I think it's my guardian angel. When I was in my early 20's coming home from the bar (not hammered but shouldn't have been driving) gunned it coming off an overpass that had a left turn at the bottom and there was a dip in the road there right before the corner, was going about 90, the suspension almost bottomed out then I hit the corner with the suspension up, lost all traction and spun it 3 times before going right between 2 big ass highway light standards into the ditch, which was thankfully flat and came to a stop, sure sobered up fast after that, collected myself, drove out of the ditch, never did any damage at all to the AAR. Went to my friends house were a bunch of us were gathering after the bar, walked in and they all looked at me and said I was as white as a ghost. I probably should have died that night, but I always wonder if my dad helped, just a thought. I don't really believe in that stuff but everytime that I thought of selling it because I needed money, got married, had kids, etc. something good has always happened. My wife says its my good luck charm.

He owned a grain body/implements manufacturing/ welding /machine shop that I started working at in the summers when I was 10, I learned to run the Presses, Brakes, Lathes, Shears, Arc Welders, pretty much everything in the shop.

He even built Briggs & Stratton mini bikes, and the fiberglass dune buggies from the 70`s.


While not as fabulous as Wild's story; I, like Runcharger, also didn't have a chance. My paternal grandfather owned a Chrysler/Dodge/Desoto dealership when I was born and my earliest memory is going down a dirt road with my mother driving my dad's 36 Dodge coupe stock car. I can still remember the sound of the engine, and so it was. My next Mopar memory was riding in the front seat of my Grandfather's new '54 Desoto with it's woodgrain and chrome dash on the way up to Colpoy's Bay to the cottage for a ride in his Chrysler powered Shepherd wood boat. My first car was a '58 Dodge Crusader 4 door that I converted to a V8 and then quickly changed everything over to the "new" '58 2 door H/T! Then came the '64 Dodge 440 2 dr h/t and the '67 Valiant 273 Power pack 4 speed 3:91 coupe and the '72 340 4 spd Duster and the '73 340 Dodge Sport coupe and so on. It's been a fun obsession and I think my boys have got it too. Good!  ;)
In the immortal words of Jimmy Scott- "pace yourself!"

1 Wild R/T

Quote from: Topcat on April 18, 2018, 08:26:19 PM
Quote from: 1 Wild R/T on April 18, 2018, 08:20:13 PM
My dad was a Chrysler guy, owned quite a few starting in the early 50's....  His brothers all were too....   I also have vivid memories of assorted Mopar's through the years but dad's 64 probably sealed the deal....

Now that was a great story.

Thanks! It was allot of fun, being a military brat the family never had much money but dad made sure we saw the world... Sure miss him...


I walked by fellow classmates car every day in high school.  It was a 68 charger.  Attached is what it looked like....

I will never forget that image.  My uncle has a Fj6 1970 coronet 440 since 1971 so that did it for me too.


Grew up in a Chevy family, but 3 Mopar paths eventually converged for me.   The first started when my next door neighbor let me drive his '69 Charger R/T that had a 440 in it with a slap stick automatic.   This would've been around 1976.  I'd never felt that kind of raw power under my right foot before or since.   The second path: Fast forward about 20 years and I'm in the market for a small pickup, so I ended up buying the biggest little truck I could afford which was a Dakota with a V6 and pair of fold down jump seats in the back.  I had that for almost 15 years and racked up just shy of 200k miles on it.   When it finally needed to be replaced in 2002, I was looking for a bigger truck.   I was surrounded by people with Chevys and Fords, but didn't want to go down the same road everyone else did so I ended up with a Ram 1500.  I'm still driving it today (225k miles and counting).  Those positive experiences with the brand sunk the Mopar hook in deeper.   Finally, one my sons and I bought a '79 Camaro project car that was a spectacular failure (at the time) as a fence-mending experience (that relationship story has a happy ending though).  After dragging it around for 9 years, finally sold the Camaro at a huge loss just to get rid of it, then got a phone call 2 weeks later from my sister's boyfriend about a '70 Challenger for sale that had been sitting in his barn.  I bought it, and now the Mopar hook is firmly.

mopar thunder

My brother got me into cars. he was 7 years older than me and I would help him out (when he let me) on his 69 Chevelle and 69 Camaro.  My dad bought me a 1971 Mercury Capri but it didn't run. He bought both of us our first cars that didn't run. He said if you can get it running you can have it. So After a month I had it running like a top. We moved to Florida after that and I saw a 1970 Road Runner for sale in high school. I didn't know the kid but I REALLY wanted it. I negotiated with my grandmother, if I sold my car would she loan me the extra money. She said she would, only if, my brother went to look at the car and approved of it. I almost begged him to agree with it after he saw it. I think he saw the gleam in my face. So after selling my Capri for $600 I bought the 70 Road Runner for $1,200. I had that the rest of high school and into college. My brother passed away early, 32 y.o., but I always wonder what we would be doing with cars if he was still around.


For me...I was watching Barrett-Jackson Auction on TV......right then and there I knew I had to sell all my Corvettes and buy a Hemicuda............ :drooling:
I've taught you everything you know....but I haven't taught you everything I know....
Check out my web site ....  Alan Gallant Automotive Restoration


  Here's the Short Version.
   Dad was driving a '54 Plymouth when He met & married Mom in '57
   I was brought home from the hospital in a '59 Rambler American
   First car I remember was Dad's 60 Valiant
   As a toddler I remember ridding with my Granddaddy Haygood in his granny shifter(who knows that term?) '55 Belvedere to get ice cream.Later traded up to a 61 Lancer.
   Through the mid 60s Dad drove a '63 Dart GT, he would let me sit in his lap & "Drive". For a short time we had a '64 Valiant Vert just fer kicks. 
   Dad's Brother Ralph, the family mechanic, had a beautiful red '60 Fury 383 Golden Commando, most of my memories of that car was after it was wrecked but it still looked wicked.  Found out recently that he bought it from my Dad's best friend David White who had bought it new. I was there the day, in the mid 60s when Ralph finished transplanting the drivetrain into a '57 Belvedere body & got to go on the shakedown cruise.  Later among many more mundane cars(spelled ford) he had a '67 383 Charger that we used while he fixed our Polara.
   David, my Dad's best friend was, & is at 81, a real Mopar Freak, Untill recently his DD has been a Turbo Stealth. I rode with him in the early '70's in two different 440/4-speed cars, one a 64 Coronet, the other a 67 GTX hitting maybe 150 if the speedo is to believed.  Around his house was always a project & plenty of Hot Rod & Stock Car magazines...Petty, Plymouth & HEMI's were often the topic at the card table.
  Mom's Brother had the best looking '63 Belvedere in the late 60's I've ever seen outside of a car show.
  Granddaddy Balch drove a 66 Belvedere & his last car a '74 Fury, we made plenty of trips to the back forty with a trunk full of hay for the cattle in both.
  By the early 70s we had a '66 Polara, the car I learned to drive in, and a '74 Monaco, that I got my license in.
  In '75 we got the '73 Challey that I still have, since then I've had a '73 Duster 340 &  '73 Charger SE....I won't bore you with the next dozen or so Mopars
  WHY?  You tell ME!  :crazytalk:
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