We attend many events around the country, and one of our favorites has to be the Moparty at the Strip car show, autocross, and drag race held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada. During this spring event, Mopar Muscle hosts a friendly competition called the True Street Challenge, which is open to eight cars that have previously entered in either the car show or drag race during the weekend. As the name implies, our True Street Challenge is an all-around performance, drivability, and appearance test for classic Mopars, and is a fun opportunity to get your car in the magazine.
Each year at Moparty at the...
Each year at Moparty at the Strip event, we encourage our readers to enter our annual True Street Challenge. Eight cars get chosen, and it's a great way to get in the magazine!
After choosing eight contestants from the applications we got for the challenge, the entrants are notified and we meet at The Strip (the dragstrip, not the Casinos), for the event. The Mopar Muscle True Street Challenge begins Friday morning, but this year we needed to get it in quick due to the threat of rain. After arriving in the reserved parking area just inside the gate, all of the cars are given the rules of the contest and then judged just as we would judge a show car for appearance, trim, fit and finish, and overall condition. After the judging is over, we go across the street to the local gas station where all the cars fill up with pump fuel.
Once everyone is fueled up, we lead the cars on a twenty-mile cruise through the desert, stopping along the way for photo opportunities. All but one of our cars made the trip without problems, and--fortunately--all the cars eventually made it back to the track, where they needed to make two dragstrip passes. All of the cars were judged on their best quarter-mile performance, with the quicker cars earning more points than slower ones. Overall judging boils down to one-third show judging, one-third drivability, and one-third quarter-mile performance.
This year, six of our eight contestants made the call and completed the True Street Challenge, with one car not making it to Vegas due to an issue with a tow vehicle and another making it to the show, but with a coolant leak preventing it from competing. The other six contestants represented a variety of Mopars including an A-Body, a variety of B-Bodies, and even an A-100 Dodge truck. The contest was close, and came down to just less than ten points between first and last. This year we congratulate all of the True Street contestants, especially Holly Graves as the winner of the Mopar Muscle True Street Challenge in his beautiful B5 Blue '69 Charger.
Our True Street Challenge...
Our True Street Challenge contest involves drag racing, a show judging portion, and some street driving through the desert outside Las Vegas. These cars must look good, have nice street manners, and run respectable elapsed times in the quarter-mile to be a contender.
Dragstrip performance is just...
Dragstrip performance is just as important as a car’s appearance, and each car in the contest gets to make at least two passes down the track.
The True Street Challenge...
The True Street Challenge begins with a car show where all the vehicles are judged on their overall appearance. After that, everyone fills up with pump gas to ensure these are street friendly combinations.
Las Vegas, Nevada
'69 Dodge Charger R/T
Holly Graves' '69 Charger R/T is a combination of restoration, modification, function, and performance. Equipped with a 517-inch Hemi built by Arruzza Performance, the engine features a Mopar block, Stage V cylinder heads, and is fed by a pair of Edelbrock 650 carburetors. With the original 833 four-speed and 4.10 geared Dana 60 rear end, this Charger drives as great as it looks, and Wilwood disc brakes on all four corners ensure the heavy B-Body can stop as well. During the driving portion of our event, Holly put about twice the miles on his Charger as the other contestants, driving back and forth from the track to retrieve a battery for a fellow entrant when his car's alternator stopped working at our photo shoot location. Though traction was limited on the dragstrip, the Charger managed 12.76-second pass in the quarter-mile, at an impressive 114 mph. With a set of sticky tires this Charger would certainly be quicker, but running 12s and scoring highly in the show and drivability categories was enough for Holly Graves and his '69 Charger R/T to win the 2012 challenge.
On the track, Holly Graves got his Charger to run a best elapsed time of 12.76 seconds in the quarter-mile. Getting traction was the biggest issue with this Charger, but by adjusting his driving technique, Holly got the Charger into the 12s for a win.
'63 Plymouth Fury
The '63 Fury Doug Wikfors brought to our contest is a great example of a tough looking early B-Body. Doug found this car as a nice original and purchased it from the owner as a project to drive and race. Also owning a factory Max Wedge B-Body, Doug says that car is too valuable to cut up and make safe and fun, so the Fury was purchased as a fun street/strip project. For power, Doug chose a 440 wedge topped with Edelbrock Victor cylinder heads and a Victor 440 intake. To harness the power, a 727 TorqueFlite was chosen and the rear of the car was mini-tubbed to make room for some sticky tires. Doug's Fury scored highly in the show and race categories, but unfortunately, points were deducted during the driving portion when his car's alternator stopped working, killing his battery. With some help from Holly Graves, however, another battery was retrieved from the track, and Doug went on to finish the challenge.
Doug's '63 Fury performed well during the driving portion of our contest, but as a recently completed car, he hadn't quite worked out all the bugs in the car's charging system. Even so, this Fury scored well and looks great, and we thank Doug for entering our contest.