After bidding our thanks to the folks at Summit we all were anxious to make our way to Columbus. Following a lunch stop at a Cracker Barrel just outside of Cambridge (where all participants in the caravan were treated to a quick spin around the parking lot in the Prowler), we continued our journey west in ten- to 15-mile increments. Why? Taking advantage of our group's abbreviated size, I felt obliged to indulge our caravan participants with brief highway sprints in the Prowler supplied by DaimlerChrysler and MSX. So, in our own little version of automotive musical chairs, we leap-frogged our way into Columbus with a fresh and enthusiastic Prowler driver each step of the way. Cool!
Thus ended our northeast caravan. What we lacked in size we aimed to make up for in a fun and relaxing cruise to the Mecca of Mopar madness. Mission accomplished. Interestingly enough, we never did come across any other Mopar groupies heading our way. Maybe next year we'll have a few more folks who have the grit for a good road trip to join us. See you then
Original...All The WayThis little jewel hasn't changed in almost 30 years.Given that Warren Grossenbacher was the only person to make our northeast cruise from start to finish, you might think we chose to feature his car almost by default. Not so by a long shot. While all of the vehicles we toured with deserved attention in their own right, Warren's '72 Charger SE stood out not for its massive power output, rare option combination, or some other such notion. In fact, it was the car's originality, coupled with its extremely well-preserved condition, that caught our eye and demanded a closer look.
Warren bought the car off of a used dealer lot in Pennsylvania in September 1998. The two-door hardtop sported the SE Brougham trim with a Light Gunmetal topcoat, black vinyl roof, black interior, and instrumentation which included the Rallye cluster and an AM/FM stereo. Under the hood sat the stock 318 engine backed by a 904 TorqueFlite and an 831/44 rearend hosting a Sure Grip 2.76 gear for an ideal street cruiser powerteam. But perhaps what piqued Warren's excitement the most was that the Charger was not only in exceptional shape, the car was 100-percent original (with the exception of a fresh paint job in 1985), right down to the OE plug wires.
In researching the car, Warren learned that it was purchased new by a middle-aged gentleman from Stetler Dodge in Dallastown, Pennsylvania, in August 1971.
"The original owner got sick," says Warren, "and the car saw very little use from 1989-98. The owner passed away in 1997, and his son kept the car for some time, then decided to sell it because it was a small-block car. His son said if it was a big-block car he would have kept it. His loss was my gain!"
Since signing his name to the title, Warren has done his best to maintain the car's originality, but with a strong desire to drive the car to shows, cruises, and the occasional sunny day to work, a few upgrades were made. To date, Warren has rebuilt the carburetor, installed new shocks, replaced the radiator, installed a Mopar Performance orange box electronic ignition and high performance distributor, as well as performed the requisite tune-up.
Of course, the maintenance upgrades did the trick for seeing him safely to the Mopar Nationals and back. Last year, Warren headed out on our cruise in a '72 Satellite but ran into tranny problems shortly into the trip and had to take the beast home. This year, however, the Charger performed flawlessly.