Even though the rains in central Pennsylvania fell upon the fairgrounds for almost a solid two weeks prior to the Carlisle event, when the show began, it was nothing but sunshine and Mopars. When the gates opened on Friday, it was apparent the recent announcement by DaimlerChrysler that they would indeed build the Challenger was the hot topic; the car was immersed in spectators wanting to get a look at the newest musclecar to hit the market in a long time. Even though the Carlisle All-Chrysler Nationals is known for show cars and the swap meet, there is a small eighth-mile dragstrip close by that sees a lot of action on Friday evening. This year, WCW wrestling star, Bill Goldberg, took his '68 Hemi-powered Dart to South Mountain Dragway to flex all 700 horses propelling his ride. Although he encountered some mechanical problems, he was able to make a few runs.

When the gates opened on Saturday morning, the lines of people and cars waiting to get in only hinted at how crowded the show would be. When Mopar fans walked into the T Building, they got a chance to meet drag racing legend Dick Landy, the Godfather of the Hemi-Tom Hoover, the Ramchargers Racing team, and also view the only ball-stud Hemi engine and the missing '71 Hemi 'Cuda convertible. Tim Wellborn filled half the building with his sea of beautifully restored B-Body Mopar cars. On Saturday evening, Carlisle kept fans entertained with a Wing Eating Contest, the ever-popular Beauty Contest, and under a sky-darkening cloud of smoke in front of the packed grandstands, the burnouts took place. This year's "probably bloated" wing-eating winner was Christian Harbom, who ate 25 wings in less than five minutes. Kelly Foster, a local Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, native, won this year's Miss All-Chrysler National Beauty Contest. Robin Jackson of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Stephanie Lloyd from Chester, Virginia, took second and third place, respectively. The Burnout Contest was won by a tire-frying Mike Reichard of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. He blew both tires and a fan belt to lay claim to the title.

Once again, the weekend finale was the giveaway of a car, which this year was a '66 Plymouth Fury. A new stipulation was added this year-the winner was given the choice of either taking the car or $5,000 in cash. Christopher Pfefferkorn of West Friendship, Maryland, had the lucky ticket, and since he is in the midst of a current restoration project, he elected to take the money to help with that undertaking.

So, if you missed it this year, make plans to attend next year's All-Chrysler Nationals; you won't regret it. Next year's All-Chrysler Nationals are scheduled for July 6-8, 2007. Visit their web site, www.carlisleevents.com, for more information.