The word "monster" can convey all sorts of things. those of us with a Mopar twist are inclined to think of 500-plus-inch street cars and 4.88 or steeper gears on the street. For twenty years now, promoter Scott Sieveking has promoted an event titled the Monster Mopar Weekend. Held at Gateway International Raceway, just across the Mississippi from St. Louis, this year's show featured drag cars and stars, great new and used parts for sale, over 700 show cars, and much more.
Due to the plague of hurricanes that battered Florida throughout the month of September we were unable to attend, so we sent former editor and gun-for-hire Geoff Stunkard out to the river bottoms north of East St. Louis to check out the event for us. It was indeed a monster in 2004.
The Car ShowWith 730-plus quality cars on display at this year's show, it was a challenge for the judges to find the Best of Show winner. This year's event featured 50 judged classes, and Best of Show in four separate divisions.
Monster Drag RacingA big part of the Monster Mopar Weekend is the drag racing program, which draws cars from as far away as New Mexico, Florida, Michigan, and Canada. Action on the track was non-stop, featuring some of the nastiest Mopar machinery on the planet. The total payout for the drag classes was $50,000, by far one of the most lucrative weekends in Chrysler-oriented drag racing. Thrills and spills were kept to a minimum this year, with lots of good side-by-side action in 15 mixed classes.
The Funny Car NationalsOne special aspect of this year's race was the Teen ArriveAlive Funny Car Nationals, a nostalgia funny car event that found over 30 vintage cars on the Gateway property for runs on Friday and Saturday night. While these were not all Mopars (though most were Hemi motivated), they were a highlight for many fans that remembered the "fabulous floppers" of days gone by. The program was run Chicago- style, with two qualifying rounds determining the two quickest cars that would pair up for the final.