The start of a new year presents a fine opportunity to sit down and do some planning.
The Internet has made finding and contacting fellow fans much easier but not much beats the thrill of meeting someone in person to share stories and get an up-close look at classic sheetmetal.
For fans of Mopar brands, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the year to get out there, show off your ride and make some new friends.
Here are a few of our favorite events. And don’t forget to check out shows in your neighborhood, or see if a group of local enthusiasts have brewed up their own version of the burgeoning Cars and Coffee gatherings.
- Detroit Autorama, March 6-8: This is the car show to see if you’re a fan of customized cars. There are several Autoramas held around the country but the Detroit show features the Ridler Award, given to custom car that makes its public debut at the show. And it’s where the winner of the Detroit Autorama Design Competition, sponsored by FCA US Product Design and College for Creative Studies, is named.
- Spring Festival of LXs, March 21: Are you a big fan of Dodge Chargers, Challengers and Magnums and the Chrysler 300? These are your people, and southern California is a great place to meet them. It’s a great event to hang out with people who are passionate about the LX platform and the customizing opportunities it enables.
- Midwest Mopars in the Park, May 30-31: Held at the Dakota County Fair Grounds in Farmington, Minn., this event serves as a kickoff to the summer car show season. It’s a haven for Mopar fans to look at cars as well as find parts at the swap meet.
- Moparpalooza, May 30: So you’re a huge Mopar fan but you live on the East Coast and making a run to California in March isn’t possible? Then Moparpalooza is the event you seek. Dominion Raceway in Thornburg, Va., near Washington D.C., is the site for this year’s gathering. Founder Paul Immo traces his Mopar heritage back to his grandfather working on a Dodge assembly line in Detroit.
- Carlisle Chrysler Nationals, July 10-12: This event ranks as one of the largest gatherings each year of Mopar machinery. From classics to hot rods to modern cars – you’ll find them all on the Carlisle show grounds. There is also a swap meet and a large collection of vendors. And cars compete for awards in several categories. Plus, it’s a great time of the year to drive through the Pennsylvania countryside.
- Mopar Mile-High Nationals, July 24-27: Bandimere Speedway, just outside Denver, is host for the annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals race in the National Hot Rod Association calendar. Mopar has been a force in drag racing for decades and Mopar drivers have a history of racking up wins on the Bandimere track. The weekend gets rolling Thursday night in nearby Golden, Colo. (home of Coors beer) with the Mopar Block Party.
- Woodward Dream Cruise, Aug. 15: This is the ultimate event for cruisers. Woodward Avenue is the Detroit-area road where car enthusiasts tested the mettle and machines – and car makers sometimes tested prototypes – in the ‘60s and ‘70s. It remains a popular cruising site today. The official Woodward Dream Cruise day is Aug. 15 but Woodward is alive and filled with cruising machines for a week beforehand. Not to be missed.
- U.S. Nationals, Sept. 2-7: When the NHRA makes its annual stop in Indianapolis for the Labor Day weekend, one can’t-miss event is the Mopar HEMI Challenge. The HEMI Challenge pits 1968 Dodge Darts and Plymouth Barracudas against each other – celebrating these legendary factory-built drag race cars and the grass-roots Sportsman class of racers. The winner of the HEMI Challenge takes home money, prizes and a Mopar Top Eliminator trophy.
What’s your favorite event to show off your car? Tell us and we’ll let others know.