What Are The Best Mopar Events?
Many state and local car shows are happening all the time, and we love being a part of them. A local show is a great place to start if you are new to classic cars. The event can help you connect with fellow Mopar maniacs in your area (not to mention the opportunity to pick some great brains of guys who have been doing this for a long time).
If we missed your event, we didn’t mean to leave it off the list. As a Mopar muscle nut, we tried to include some of the major car shows that happen consistently yearly from different parts of the country, so you don’t have to drive across the country to attend one (unless you just want to).
Carlisle Chrysler Nationals
The Carlisle Chrysler Nationals is an event for three days every mid-July at the fairgrounds in Carlisle, PA. It is the largest gathering of Mopar classics, muscle cars, and high-performance vehicles worldwide. A $15 entrance fee will allow you to walk around 2,800 vehicles parked on the Showfield and drool over some nicely built cars. The vehicles are organized by year, make, and model, so if you have a penchant for 426 Hemi’s, you can wander to that line and walk among the ultra-rare air beauties all you want.
The event has many other activities, including a vast flea market where you can buy parts for your classics, celebrity appearances, automotive competitions, and even rides in a Hellcat Dodge (driven by a professional driver). There are also activities for the kids, including a free grab bag with lots of goodies, kid’s getting to vote for their favorite cars, and a kid’s cash grab.
If you want to show your car, you can enter it in the “judged” contest or the non-judged field, so if it's a work in progress, you have options. (You will need to preregister your car regardless). The cost for the judged contest is $70, while the registration for the non-judged area is $45. No “For Sale” signs are allowed on the show field, but there is a Car Corral Space where you can park your car and dicker with everyone. Vending spaces are also available if you’d like to set up shop in the fleamarket.
If you plan on attending the Carlisle events, plan early. This event is so popular that hotels tend to fill up. Don’t plan on going the day of the event and deciding to grab a hotel room - chances are you’ll have to drive a piece to find one.
You already know about this event if you live in the Hebron, Ohio, area. Like Carlisle, there are over 3,000 vehicles you can inspect and drool over. The three-day event is a circus of everything in the Mopar world, with lots to do. You can look, race, practice burnouts, or just look through their huge Midway for parts at the swap meet.
Since the Mopar Nationals just concluded (Aug 13 - 15), the dates for next year’s event haven’t been formalized yet. (No worry, it will happen). The event attracts over 30,000 car enthusiasts yearly, so expect a crowd. The Columbus Dispatch nailed the description of this event when it wrote that the Mopar Nationals was “one part drag racing, one part car show, and one part swap meet.” If you add in the Hot Wheels races, the model cars on display, and the kids' fun activities, there is something for everyone.
Hebron is located about 26 miles East of Columbus, Ohio. The town of Hebron isn’t massive (population 2,325). Since that is the case, you want to get your reservations early because most people have to drive in from Columbus. Kids under 12 get in free, and the 1 Day ($25), 2 Day ($40), and three days ($45). If you have a car you want to race or present at the car show, you must register it and pay an additional charge. (Check out the Mopar Nationals website for race entry information). Car Show prices will be determined later this year.
Muscle Cars At The Strip
While Muscle Cars At The Strip is primarily a Mopar-heavy event, it encompasses all high-performance cars. Started just 15 years ago, the event has grown into one of the premier car shows in the country. It is held in Las Vegas Raceway every spring and contains drag racing, a swap meet, and a car show. This past year, Dodge sponsored a night where they revealed the Last Call Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170.
The event is a celebration of horsepower, with each of the Big Three getting their car show. There is a midway where you can talk to professional restorers, swap parts, or buy a pair of fuzzy dice. You can also ride a shotgun in a high-powered muscle car (driven by a professional driver) just to experience the thrill of tire-burning excellence.
Plenty of hotels are available if you don’t mind walking through casinos. There are some great restaurants, and Vegas shows to attend, so after the event, you have your pick of which entertainer you want to see. The event is family-friendly, but it is wise to remember that not all parts of sin city are.
Chrysler Performance West Spring/Fall Fling
Chrysler Performance West is a large Chrysler club in Southern California dedicated to preserving all things Mopar. The event is held in Woodley Park in Van Nuys, CA, for two days every spring and fall. The event is a car show and a swap meet, but with everything Mopar, you can spend the entire day perusing some of the finest classic cars you’ve ever encountered. There is a non-judged car show, so everybody is relaxed without worrying about when the judges are coming by.
The show area is a free-for-all as cars park here and there, so you are likely to see a Plymouth Satellite next to a newer Dodge Charger. That’s part of the neatness of this event because you never know what might be around the corner. The park closes in the late afternoon, so arrive early so you have time to look at all the cars.
The Club will charge $25 to park your trailer for the show car you have and $50 if you are a vendor. Admission costs $30 for both days, with free parking.
Mopar Heaven At WAM (Texas Motor Speedway)
If you live in Texas and own a Mopar muscle car, then WAM is the event you attend. WAM is a strictly Mopar event held every spring, attracting many cars and spectators. (It is one day only, not counting the Sunday morning cruise). Texas Motor Speedway hosts the event, which has to be heaven for a Mopar maniac with over 2,500 cars, SUVs, and Trucks ready for viewing. We love the theme builds (There were many muscle cars with specialized themes and paint jobs that were one of a kind). You can take some laps to raise money for veterans, and there is a burnout contest, kid’s zone, and vendor area.
Only a certain number of tickets are sold yearly (so the crowds don’t get crazy stupid), so you want to circle the end of March on your calendar for this event. There are plenty of places to stay if you are hauling your car in.
Mopars In The Park
This incredible Mopar show is held at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Stillwater, MN, the first weekend in June following the end of May. This next year, it will be held on May 31 - June 2nd, 2024. The event is the largest in the Midwest and is always fun. There is a very laid-back atmosphere, whether you are showing a car or just browning for parts. The vendors take full advantage of the park’s open area, stringing parts all over the grass like a yard sale.
The show is in Minnesota in the early summer, so you won’t have to worry about getting overheated. Admission costs $12, with children under 12 getting into the event for free. There are many activities, but the cars and the swap meet are the biggest draw. If you are looking for a rare part for your Mopar rebuild (like some stealth aluminum heads for your 440 or a turbocharger for your Challenger), chances are someone there will have it and be willing to part with it (for a price).
About THE AUTHOR
My name is Matt and I've been around cars all my life! I have owned and worked on many different classic vehicles, so I started this site to share my experiences. If you're new to classic cars, then this website is for you.Read More About Matt Lane