Not to be outdone, a collection of beautiful Mopars graced the Midwestern highways with us: Bobby Coln brought his '55 Windsor from Savannah, Tennessee. Jessie Fillingame's '69 'Cuda 440 stormed in from Beaumont, Texas. From Elizabethtown, Illinois, came Eric Livingston's classic '56 Plymouth station wagon (you don't see enough of those). John Mills drove his '71 Super Bee from Maple Grove, Minnesota. Missouri's Timothy Ross added a dimension with his 2000 Dodge Ram 3500. And as we cruised through Terre Haute, Indiana, two more enthusiasts joined the rolling car show: Larry Mauer in his '96 Viper and Ed Miller in his 2000 Prowler. We were quite a sight.
Many more hit the open road with us once we arrived at The Paddock, which threw quite a party for this car-crazed crowd. With a full lunch, Mopars throughout the parking lot, and parts available inside, The Paddock was the perfect gathering point before the homestretch to Columbus.
The usual breakdowns and pit stops expected among a car convoy such as ours were minimal. An alternator belt was the most serious offender. Otherwise, it was smooth sailing-pure Mopar mania for two days of bliss.
One-Horse Stall Who needs...
Who needs a caption when the photo says it all.
Tip From A Drop-Top Veteran...
Tip From A Drop-Top Veteran
Scott Robertson and son have this road-trip thing figured out. Multifold maps aren't the easiest navigation resources to have when you're flying down the road in a 383 'Cuda convertible. Scott's tip-o'-the-trip is to laminate your map to a piece of cardboard.
As with the other three tours,...
As with the other three tours, the Memphis grouped ended up at Brice Road, where the participants were greeted with a packed parking lot and a party-like atmosphere.
The caravan from Memphis,...
The caravan from Memphis, led by Mopar Muscle tech guru Steve Dulcich and copy editor Jim Frye, may well have been called the truck caravan. By the looks of this shot, they were a force to be reckoned with. Guess we better step up the truck tech, eh?
Meet B.O.B. Tim Peaker of...
Tim Peaker of Cummings, Georgia, joined us for the entire trip from Year One to Brice Road. His ride was a '67 Plymouth Fury II sedan named B.O.B.-Big, Old, and Blue. Equipped with a Slant Six, it may not have been the fastest or flashiest Mopar on the tour, but it certainly was the most lovable. B.O.B.and Tim met at last year's Mopar Nationals, and Tim plans on many more trips with B.O.B. to the Nats.
On the second day, the caravan...
On the second day, the caravan headed out after a lunch stop and tour of The Paddock's new Restoration Parts facility. The size of this place is unbelievable, and the company can better serve customers with the entire facility now under one roof.
Our mix was eclectic: Veterans whose gray hair still fluttered in the open-window breeze of highway driving, young guns excited to be part of something with so much history, couples with speed in their blood and burnouts in their bones, and sons and daughters finally understanding the lure of the Mopar lifestyle.
It was quite a trip. And I'm not exaggerating to say that most participants said the caravan was as good as, if not the best part of, the whole Nats experience. I agree. Not to diminish the show, but nothing beats joining fellow enthusiasts for a two-day-long Sunday drive under blue skies and red sunsets, turning heads, and living the Mopar dream.
Elvis-shake, rattle, and roll, baby!
Forget all the misconceptions about the South. A trip through, around, and out of Atlanta will prove to you that laid-back is far from reality.
If you want to dispel any of those Deliverance myths you've conjured up, all you need to do is join the Year One crew from Tucker, Georgia, and travel the distance to Columbus on some of America's most scenic and driveable interstates.
For the fifth consecutive time, our launch host from Atlanta was Year One. With detailed driving directions, we easily made the trek from the east suburbs of Atlanta north through Chattanooga to Knoxville and on to Sevierville, Tennessee, home of Floyd Garrett's Muscle Car Museum.
After an overnight stay, we bee-lined from northeastern Tennessee through Kentucky, around Cincinnati, and onto Brice Road.
Her Dart Leigh McGlaughlin's...
Leigh McGlaughlin's husband, Terry, knows how to please his wife. For their sixth anniversary, Terry bought Leigh this '68 Dart. But don't for a moment think this is her first foray into Mopar-dom. This Mopar is her sixth. "The Dart is a cruiser, going to shows and to work on nice days," Leigh says. While she was offered a cool $7,000 for the A-Body, she quickly turned down the potential buyer.
Southern Hospitality In Sevierville,...
In Sevierville, we again had the opportunity to sample Floyd Garrett's Muscle Car Museum. On display were several of Ted Stephens' Mopars, including this pair of Challengers featured in the remake of the cult classic, Vanishing Point.For more information on the Muscle Car Museum, give Floyd a call at 423/908-0882.
Truckin' In addition to two...
In addition to two trucks pulling trailered Mopars (Robert Moore's 11-second '69 GTX and James Godfrey's '70 Dodge Hemi Charger R/T ), the Year One caravan also included John and Lynda Guarnieri's '79 Dodge Lil' Red Express, Bruce Hockensmith's A-100 Club Cab-a rare A-100, for sure-and our lead vehicle provided by Dodge, an '01 Dodge Ram 1500 driven by Year One's Pat Staton.
Chargers! Kevin Bucheger's...
Kevin Bucheger's '71 Charger R/T has become an institution on each of the Atlanta caravans to the Mopar Nationals. Kevin had an alternator go south on him, but fortunately the Year One execs helped him out by watching him make the alternator swap on day two. Greg Slater and his '71 Charger joined us just south of Cincinnati. The gold Charger features a 440/727 combination that Greg had driven more than 1,000 miles during the summer prior to the Return to Brice Road caravan.