Editor’s Note: Below is a guest blog post from Jim Bur, a metro Detroit resident who is a life-long Mopar-or-no-car guy. The opinions are his and do not necessarily reflect those of Chrysler Group. In a recent Facebook comment thread, Jim put into words the ties that bind the greater Mopar community. We asked him to expand on that comment and he sent us this blog post. Please read and, in the comments, reply with your own thoughts: Do you agree with Jim? What does Mopar mean to you?
What is Mopar®?
On paper, Mopar is one of seven brands within the Chrysler Group LLC portfolio and represents the parts and service arm for all of the brands.
Optimally, it is the brand of parts you get when you have service done at the dealer, the brand you ask for and expect as “factory official.” It started out as the combination of Motor and Parts to help sell new AC system components in the 1920s and continues to this day as the parts division for the company.
But this “definition” is woefully short of explaining what Mopar means to those of us who own the cars and eat, sleep, breathe and cherish our “Mopar” family.
What does Mopar MEAN?
EVERY vehicle made by Chrysler Group (or any of the brands that have ever been in its historic portfolio) is by “birth” a member of the Mopar family regardless of brand, market, number of doors/cylinders/wheels or lack of, etc. And all would be equally welcomed at a true Mopar show. This is just how Mopar people work.
And the people involved – both employees and enthusiasts – ALL consider themselves a Mopar guy/girl as much as much or more than they consider themselves a specific brand guy/girl.
The Mopar mystique goes beyond brands and parts and sheet metal…it is the glue that binds us all together, it is the language we universally speak and a reason to come together for weeknight cruises, social media chats, big weekend events or simply wrenching with our friends. The smile we all get when we see a classic Chrysler-powered speedboat, a wartime Chrysler tank engine, a classic Dodge COE HD truck, a 1947 Power Wagon, a 1955 Chrysler C-300, a 1975 Jeep CJ rock climber with a 6.1L HEMI crate motor, an SRT Viper GTS, a Dodge Charger SRT8 Super Bee, the Raminator monster truck, Allen Johnson’s ProStock championship Avenger, a Dodge SRT4, a Ram Laramie Longhorn, and yes, even a Fiat 500.
Then there is the heart and soul of the enthusiasts world, the venerable muscle cars that are almost synonymous with Mopar – 1968 Plymouth Cuda SS HEMI, 1969 Dodge Charger R/T, 1970 Dodge Coronet Super Bee or Plymouth Road Runner to name a very select few.
It is the uncontrollable desire to customize my garage floor to have an Omega M embedded, to wear shoes in Mopar blue or HEMI Orange knowing that real Mopar folks will recognize the connection without any logos present, the joy in hanging Mopar/Dodge/Viper/SRT/Plymouth/DeSoto/etc. signs in my cave, the habit of buying every Mopar die-cast I can get my hands on and the genuine pride in saying that “I drive a Mopar.”
Mopar has always been the underdog, clawing for respect and earning it every day along the way. So much more than buying a part from a dealer or being a logo on a corporate letterhead – the enthusiast doesn’t need to be told by a suit what it means … to us, it is Ma Mopar and you NEVER disrespect Ma.
A culture of car friends who respect the company, the cars AND the people in the family equally. Never perfect but to a Mopar guy/girl, the only way. Mopar or No Car!
Top: Jim Bur and his Mopar ’13 Dart, #35 of 500 made, which just arrived last week, and his 2002 Viper GTS Final Edition, #98 of 360 made.
Bottom: A huge die-cast car collector, Jim picks up a yellow 1968 Cuda Formula 340 model, which he is targeting to add to his “real car collection.”