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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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Quote from: antonellomopar on December 28, 2020, 01:31:25 AM
Being born in Italy in 1958, I wasn't exposed to things like musclecars, drag racing, cruises...and whatever. I was attracted by US cars at a young age, playing with 1/43 scale model cars  and 1/25 scale model kits. Box art was incredible, but I wanted to improve the looks anyway, so began buying US magazines in one of the few newsstand who was selling foreign magazines. Went with my mother to buy those, I was 15 or so years old, and told her they were good for my english. Hot Rod, Car Craft, Street Rodder magazines were my pasttime. WHen I was 20, went by myself to the US, and rented a 73 or so Ford....and driving a US car was a shocking experience. Went on the sand in Daytona Beach...I was hooked. When came back bought a junk Model A Ford, in hopes to make a hot rod out of it, but local laws and lack of experience put the project to a halt. In 1980 went to a drag racing exhibition on the Monza autodrome, and a friend mentioned me there was a junk 69 Camaro SS RS 350 for sale at a good price. Bought the car, placed in a rented garage, and took her apart. In a year or so, the car had been completely restored. Started a club for US cars with a friend and soon learned there was a running and driving 71 Cuda 4 speed in a nearby junkyard. With some persuasion and a junk Renault, I became the owner of a 71 383 4 speed 3.91 B5 Cuda with 17.000 miles on the odometer. Car was in good shape, save for the dented roof, where a small Fiat was placed on there. Took the Fiat off, and drove home, with a sick Holley carb. After one year or so, in 1985 I got word of another Cuda, with a damaged engine and a strange hood with a hole. Went to look at the car, and it was a 70 EV2 four speed Hemicuda, with 10.010 km on the odometer. The Hemi was scattered all around the place, no license plates, but custom forms and statement of origin from Chrysler Italy dating 1970. Car was one of very few Hemi Cuda built for export, and was equipped with power windows, console, Rallye dash and six way seat. Took me 5 years to rebuild the Hemi, and some more time to repaint and license the car...but worth it. In the meantime,I started to sell parts for US cars in Italy with good success....and was able to find lots of musclecars, like GTO, Buick GS, Camaro 396, Mustangs...but all went away. Only car that lasted many years was my first Camaro, but sold her too, after looking seriuosly at her near the 71 Cuda. The Cuda was so much sleeker and proportionated, that sold the Camaro to a friend the next day.It was about 6 years ago. Now my collection has 5 E bodies, the 71 Cuda, the Hemi, a B5 71 Cuda 383 conv sold new in France, a 70 Challenger 440 six pack sold new in Swizerland and now a 71 Six pack four speed Challenger. Besides those, a 68 Charger RT, a 69 Barracuda Modtop, a 60 coupe and a 61 conv Chrysler 300, and a couple of 58 Plymouth round off my collection. Daily drivers are a 2008 Mini Cooper S Clubman and a 2006 300 Touring srt8, a model made only for export.

Wow, what a list of cars in your collection  :cooldance:
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

70 Top Banana

My grandfather and my dad went out and both bought 1956 Chrysler New Yorkers. Grandad's was blue over white 4 door hardtop. Dad's was a dark green over light green 4 door hardtop. I thought those cars were the best looking cars around, but I was not much more than a small child that jumped up and down in the backseat of both cars. I thought the dash was way cool and it could run.
Flash forward and look at the picture of my first Mopar, 1968 Dodge Charger. This is the first day I brought it home and before the headers, cragers, tape deck and new Holley. I wish I had it today. It was unusual in that the car had a saddle interior under white car and black hardtop. Yes, I got into trouble and I would do it all over again

70 Top Banana


Spending some time on the site and finding these old threads  :)  Here's my MOPAR story:

Just before I turned 16 and got my license I absolutely went nuts for the new RoadRunner, in particular the mustard color! But of course I couldn't afford one. So I drove my dad's car, which was a '52 Ford Crestline Sunliner (convertible) with flathead V8, which was plenty cool and fun. I got a job, saved my money, and in the middle of my senior year bought a 1969 Satellite. This was in 1973 and it cost me $800! See pic of me with car. It had a 318 and a bench seat. Wasn't long before I had headers on it, a 4-barrel, and Centerlines and started bracket racing. I had a blast but wanted more so "gave" the car to my girlfriend and got a 69 GTX with a 440. Then I bought another GTX! Then I got married, to same girlfriend, and bought my first Challenger, a yellow RT that was loaded. It actually became my daily driver and I continued to bracket race the GTX's. I was pretty much the lone MOPAR guy in my group of friends but they were all cool and helpful. I was in Tulsa and there was a huge hangout scene called Brookside (press called the restless ribbon) that we all hung out at and set up street races out on a deserted interstate. I always set the bar as I had a line lock on my GTX and did major burnouts. Young and stupid!

Then a friend had a proposition, he knew where a pristine 1976 Volare RoadRunner (silver) was without an engine. Well I got that and put a 440 in it! It was such a sleeper, but ran a best of 13.20 on street tires and was a blast on the street. It looked dead stock and even had a working air conditioner. I sold the GTx's and bought & sold several other Challengers.

Then a friend (different friend) told me about a convertible Challenger sitting in a guys back yard. Went to check it out and of course had to have it, but it was in bad shape. It had been sitting in the yard a long time with rotted out top so lots of rust. Had no engine or transmission, which was actually OK with me as I had several440's :)  I had it blasted and cleaned up as best I could and my neighbor did some bondo work and painted it while I got the drivetrain ready to go. Then I got transferred to Houston and it was put on the back burner, drove it occasionally and started getting various parts for it. Finally in about 2008 I sent it off to be stripped and have a professional rotisserie restoration. It is not show quality and I'm still "working" on it, but it is a blast and I love it and drive it a lot. Me with it in second photo.

Had a variety of other MOPAR thru the years - 85 Daytona Turbo-Z (actually my wife's), PT Cruiser, Durango, and others. My current driver is a JGC.

Long story, more than anyone wants to know I'm sure but there it is LOL.


Quote from: worthywads on June 14, 2019, 05:54:25 PM
Always had mopar station wagons when I was growing up, but then my cousin a year older bought a 71 Plum Crazy Challenger 340 4 speed N96, in 1977, still has it.  Then I found out about Hemis all the rest and then the other makes just didn't interest me as much anymore.
Update, here is that '71 today at the Holmen WI Corn fest car show.  I wasn't there but a brother posted this.  Lurking under the hood currently is a 500CI Hemi and Tremec 5-speed.  Shaker still badged as 340 Four-Barrel.


Back in the late 80's I was into Chevy's; had a couple of 72 Novas and then a 68 Camaro and finally a 67 RS/SS 350. When I would go over to my friends house that I bought the RS from; his neighbor across the street had a 70 T/A that I would always see. It was so awesome; Hemi orange, auto with a vinyl top and factory louvers. Once I got to know what a T/A and AAR were I was hooked on Mopars. One year later (1988), I sold the RS/SS and bought an AAR Cuda. Haven't looked back since. Lost contact with the friend that had the T/A and looked him up, only to find he passed away a few years ago in IL. Looks like his son inherited the car. Happened to see a photo of it at car show in IL two years ago. RIP Brian. This is his car below that started it all for me.
70' FE5 Challenger T/A
71' GY3 Demon 340

Aloha Randy

My Dad got Coronet's as company car's and then when I could get a car, I found a 1968 Road Runner. My neighbor helped me learn about cars and repairs and I loved the "different" look of the Mopars. Soon after, 1970 Cuda, 1971 Demon, 1969 Charger, 1970 Dart Swinger, 1964 Sport Fury, 1982 Dodge Ram, 1984 Dodge Caravan, 1984 Dodge Daytona Turbo Z, and now a 1970 Dodge Challenger. I had many Fords and American Motors, Toyota Off Road, and a 1965 Cobra that sits in the garage with the Challenger. But I have a passion for Mopars and that 1968 started it all, along with many Friday nights at the Fremont Drags rooting on all the Mopars!


Growing up near the MOTOR CITY Saint Clair Shores in the 60's - 70's
just about on every road in every neighborhood in allot of driveways, backyards and in garages -
at all times of the day and night  racing was everywhere !
Its no doubt somebody was tearing up the streets!     

was fun times...

my first up close encounter was a 1970 drag racing car built for the track -
1970 cuda funny car I think with the name ' Plum Cuda ' on the side with big white letters
huge back tires with wheelie bars -
couple streets over -
an occasional weekend he would roll her out -
and light it up - damn what a show that was ...

My first street car was a 1969 GTO convertible 
allot of friends had mopars -


My father was a hot-rodder back in NY during his high school and college years - told us the story of towing his beloved '40 Ford Tudor Sedan (purchased in 1957 for $150) from New York to SoCal behind his brother in laws '64 impala.  My mom drove the '40 with a 305 Chevy with 3x2 barrels and 4 on the floor as it was their only car.  That car made it into the barn and was stored their until my older brother by 6 years was about 14 - he and my dad pulled it out and started getting it back on the road.  By the time my brother hit high school he was driving it with a fresh built Chevy 350 and 4 speed.  I spent MANY long days with my brother who I idolized working on that car, going to junk yards etc.  My dad decided my brother needed a more reliable daily drive and picked up a '69 Formula S fastback Barracuda with a 340 / 4 speed.  I fell in love with that car immediately - that fastback and tire smoke had me hooked!  He traded that in for a '69 charger with a 440-6 a couple years later and I was on the MOPAR train ever since.  When I was in high school my brother and I would shop for MOPARS all the time, looking for cool cars to build.  Eventually I bought his Formula S barracuda from a guy who had driven it through a fence!  I, like everyone else I guess, was always in love with the E body Cuda's.  Hitting 50, I guess my midlife crisis is in full swing as I decided if not now, then when? and so I just purchased my first E body and am digging the car and the community!  By the way - I still own that '40 bought in 1957 for $150!  It is getting mini tubs right now, sits on a brand new TCI frame and is getting ready for a blown, mechanical injected 354 HEMI transplant - cannot wait to get that Hemi tucked under the stock hood and fired up - should be a beast I hope!
You can't buy happiness, but you can buy horsepower and that's kind of the same thing.....


One word

                                                                               PHANTASM!!!    :woohoo:


well i have always had a passion for cars . Started as a young kid and would spend time at my grandpas house where he had his own private junk yard .
My cousins and i would play around out there and pretend we were race car drivers . Our dads each got a old car out of grandpas junk yard and would get them running and race them through the hay field . Well one of my uncles picked out a old 28 model a and stuck a 392 hemi in it out of an old desoto . Probably wasn't that fast but when your only 10 or 11 years old it seemed like a rocket ship . That was my first encounter with a hemi .
So all through going up i always was tinkering with cars and had A LOT of different cars , mostly chevys but some of my nicest cars were Buicks . I was pretty poor growing up so i could never really afford to buy anything really nice but still did the best with what i could . So towards the end of my high schools years a good friend of mines brother buys this 1970 Hemi cuda and i mean that thing was BAD FAST . It was class champion up here in mn at northstar drag ways for several years . So fast forward i was a mechanic right out of school and bought and owned my own repair shop , then sold the business and now am enjoying a semi retired life at home restoring cars ( mostly Buicks ) but i love almost all older muscle cars of the 60s and early 70s . I kinda always wanted to add a Mopar to my collection of cars but could never find the one i wanted UNTIL about a month ago . Then a friend of mine told me he'd heard about this 70 Cuda 440-6 car that had a 4 speed with a dana 60 in it an was wondering if i was interested in it . . I said HECK YEAH !!!!  So we arranged to go look at it and now its part of my collection . So I guess for me that 70 Hemi Cuda my friend had was definitely a persuading factor .
Funny thing is , I wouldn't be surprised if the guy that now owns that Hemi Cuda of my friends is on this forum or someone here a least knows about it . I remember it was a heavily optioned car . It had 2 fender tags and i believe it is in Canada somewhere now .


 :bigthumb:   My best friend, from growing up, got a 1966 Charger for his first car and we grew up near a drag strip (Mopar was the presence that impressed us the most). A few more years passed and along came the 1970 AAR Cuda. That was the clencher. I wanted one so bad that I could taste it. I wasn't even old enough to drive, yet.
--  johnr  --


My favorite cartoon as a kid was roadrunner and coyote, so my neighbor who was a mechanic in Bayside queens comes home with a Petty blue 71 roadrunner, I would sit in my window and stare at it for hours, then I think on ABC wide world of sports I saw Richard Petty in the neighbors car win a race and I was hooked! Since then I have had a amc rambler, 71 roadrunner 73 roadrunner 74 scamp 71 challenger 3 Rams and still have 1 ram a 69 charger and a 71 cuda. Hope to one day to get a 69 roadrunner before I cash out. Mopar or no car...


I have been a gearhead and into cars since I was old enough to play with matchboxes and hot wheels. When I was maybe 10 years old my uncle bought a 68 charger, and I thought that was the coolest car ever.

Fast forward to High School in the early 1980's, where the other gear heads in our school had Chevy's and Fords and Pontiacs...and I KNEW I needed a mopar, so I bought a 1968 Charger for $400. It was a 383 column shift car that needed work, so I worked on it and turned it into the car in the pic below. I had it for a year or so and then bought a 1970 Challenger 440 with a pistol grip 4-speed for $1,100 because it was in nice condition and didn't need anything. Wish I still had that car!

I like all kinds of muscle cars, but mopars are head and shoulders my favorites.


My older brother had a subscription to Hot Rod magazine when I was about 12 years old and the first time I  saw the Sox & Martin pro stock 70 Cuda I was sure that was the coolest car that existed !  I've owned my 70 AAR since 1977.