Mopar Madness at Carlisle’s 2017 Chrysler Nationals



July 17, 2017 -- It was three days of Mopar heaven, as diehard Chrysler fans filled the fairgrounds in Carlisle, PA to celebrate their annual get together. Known for hosting many classic car extravaganzas throughout the year, Carlisle’s Chrysler Nationals, now in its 26th year, has grown to be one of the largest Mopar events in the country. Five-point-star enthusiasts, 50,000+ strong, traveled from locations across North America and beyond to see the fields of rainbow-colored vehicles, and to hear the sounds of revving engines. With nearly 2,700 vehicles on the show field, a huge swap meet, and manufacturer vendors galore, it was definitely the center of the universe for Mopar lovers. And, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the inaugural Hurst Nationals was in full swing next door with 200 of the vehicles that received trademark upgrades from this iconic speed shop. Although it was virtually impossible to see it all, here are some of the highlights of the fun-filled weekend.



50 Years of the GTX


In 1967 Plymouth introduced a new performance car, the GTX, which was based on the Belvedere model and was referred to by some as the “Gentlemen’s Muscle Car.” The Commando 440 engine came standard, but for an additional $500, the new exotic Hemi 426 engine was available . And, as they say, the rest is history. At this year’s show, a special display of first and second generation cars took center stage in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the GTX.


1967 GTX Hemi, 4-Speed 1967 GTX Convertible Hemi Engine 1 of 36 Hemi Convertibles 1968 GTX Hemi Engine 1969 GTX Convertible 440 Engine 1970 GTX 440 Engine 1971 GTX (440, 4-Speed) 1972 Road Runner GTX 440 Engine 1974 Road Runner GTX 440 


FM3 Reunion - The Pink Cars (Click Here for Video)


Chrysler has never been shy about calling attention to their vehicles, as demonstrated by the unique design of their winged cars, and the decision to name their cars after cartoon characters, such a the Road Runner. In 1970 they even offered one of the most unusual colors imaginable, flamboyant hot pink. Known as paint code FM3, the color was named Panther Pink on Dodge autos and Moulin Rouge on Plymouths. There was a special display of several of these fun cars at this year’s Chrysler Nationals. They definitely put a smile on everyone's face.


; FM3 Reunion 1970 Dodge Chalenger R/T (Shaker Scoop) 1970 Challenger R/T SE 1970 Dodge Swinger 1970 Dodge Swinger 340 1970 Plymouth AAR Cuda 1970 Plymouth Fury III


Burnout Contest (Click Here for Video)


Car enthusiasts always love a good burnout, and it was no exception this year at the Chrysler Nationals. The stands overlooking the burnout pit were packed with spectatators eager to see which car (or truck) could generate the most smoke and pop a tire or two. Of course, the applause and cheers of the crowd was just the incentive the driver needed to push it just a little bit farther, and gave him the opportunity to enjoy his three minutes of fame. Ultimately, despite stiff competition, Kevin Cox, in his 1972 Demon drag car, was crowned “King of the Hill,” winning a signed Richard Petty cowboy hat and bragging rights. Here’s some of the cars and trucks that roasted some rubber.


Dodge Custom Royal Supercharged Charger (Stormtrooper) 1973 Road Runner Burnout Winner: 1973 Demon, Kevin Cox, Turnersville, NJ


Awards Cars (Click Here for Video)


With so many Mopar vehicles, of all years, makes, and models on the show field, the Carlisle judges must have worked overtime to sort out who would take home some hardware from the 2017 Chrysler Nationals (over 500 received awards). On the final day of the show, a parade of winners queued up for the award ceremony, creating that picture-perfect moment.


Modern Mopar Award Cars Special Award: 1955 Chrysler New Yorker Deluxe, Owned by Ted Thorne, Salem, OH 1st Place, Pre-1968 Cars: 1957 Dodge Coronet D500, Owned by Greg Cole, Mercersburg, PA 1st Place, Special Custom: 1960 Chrysler Windsor, Owned by Frank Femling, Hastings, MN 1st Place, E-body Convertible: 1970 Challenger Convertible, Owned by Michael Rosier, Sykesville, MD 1st Place, Winged Cars: 1970 Plymouth Superbird, Owned by Joseph Medwick, Columbia, PA 3rd Place '72-'74 Cudas Modified: 1972 Plymouth Barracuda, Owned by David Green, West Grove, PA 1st Place '71-'74 Stock Chargers: 1973 Dodge Charger SE, Owned by Bill Garrison, King of Prussia, PA


Other Eye-Catching Cars
1967 Plymouth Belvedere 1971 Dodge Challenger 1970 Dodge Challenger 1963 Sport Fury 1974 Dodge Challenger 1957 Chrysler 300C 1946 Dodge Pickup with Hemi Transplant 1970 Road Runner 1970 Barracuda 4-Door Custom Build


Dodge Hellcat Thrill Ride


Ever wonder what it feels like to experience the acceleration and cornering in a Dodge Hellcat? Well, the Dodge Motor Sports boys were giving Thrill Rides throughout the weekend, so we jumped into one of the 707 HP Challengers, buckled up, and turned on the video camera to record our wild ride.




Demon Walkaround w/Steve Magnante


Without a doubt, the all-new 2018 Dodge Demon was one of the superstars at this year’s show. Only recently unveiled to the public, this is one of the baddest Mopars yet. Sporting massive Nitto drag radial tires on all four corners and a standard 808 HP engine that can be further uprated to 840 HP with a “High Octane” plug and play chip, it is a truly track-ready racer, straight from the factory. Spokesperson for Dodge, Steve Magnante, was on hand to break down this street legal muscle car on steroids. As he said, “… the good old days are right now!”.





Hurst Cars (Click Here for Video)


The Hurst brand is forever tied to Oldsmobile and the iconic T-Handle shifter. However, many other cars back in the muscle car era, and even still today, carry the logo “Hurst Equipped.” The first Hurst Nationals, held in parallel with the 2017 Carlisle Chrysler Nationals, provided a homecoming of sorts for these special “H” vehicles. Be sure to view our video with Rich Truesdell on some of the most significant cars in this show. For more on the history of the Hurst cars, check out Hurst Equipped: More than 50 Years of High Performance.


1972 Hurst Olds - Car 37 of 42 Built Mark Donohue, the Winning Driver, Rode in this Car in Parade Lap 1969 Scrambler with 'A' Color Scheme 1969 Scrambler with 'B' Color Scheme Hurst T Handle Shifter 1971 SSJ Hurst Grand Prix 1974 Hurst Olds W30 Indy Pace Car 1973 Hurst Olds Cutlass Slap Stick Shifter 1984 Hurst Olds Lighting Rod Shifters 2017 Hurst Mustang GT Ball Shifter Warning: Shift As Hard as You Please, But Don't Break Your Arm 1969 Hurst Olds 455 Hurst Hemi Challenger GSS 1996 Hurst Firebird by Lingenfelter