It's not just Mopar's cars that are collectible, so are its spin-off items, such as literature, dealer signs, neon clocks, and plastic promo cars. But one area that has escaped widespread notice is records-those quaint black discs we once used to store sound. Mopar has its share of cool records. We've put together a nice little overview, showing you some rare and some not-so-rare records from nine different categories. Some basic rules of record collecting are:
• Hottest years are 1962-1973. Prices fall off dramatically before and after.
• Condition and completeness are king.
• There are still plenty of hot deals on eBay.
• Prices can swing wildly. One record can bring $80, while an even better copy may not break $20. You can usually get a lot for less than $25, or even $10.
Bottom line, there is a lot of good fun in collecting records without dropping a ton of cash. It's an area of Mopar history that's yet to emerge. So here's a look at some of the records out there.
Soundtracks Soundtrack albums from movies that featured Mopars, like these from the '83 m
The Vanishing Point album is a gatefold with a huge photo of our man Kowalski and his Chal
Because Mopars were so hot on the street and track, they were also hot in popular music. The Beach Boys kicked off an explosion in car music that ran hot and heavy through 1965. In "Shut Down," the epic story of a dragstrip battle between a fuel-injected Sting Ray and a 413 Super Stock Dodge, the Corvette came out the winner, but in an actual race in the early '90s recreating this famed musical event, the poor Corvette was lucky to escape with its life. The mighty 413 ran circles around it.
A Super Stock Dodge also stars in the Jan & Dean hit, "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena." The song has her driving a Super Stock Dodge and "the terror of Colorado Boulevard," despite a photo on the back of the album showing her in a '64 Dart convertible.
New Model Announcements
For years, standard practice was for the manufacturers to throw elaborate shindigs to introduce the year's new models. Typically, they would commission original music from prominent writers, hire Hollywood or Broadway stars to sing it, and host their dealers and the motoring press. Some call it "Industrial Theater." The recordings were handed out to insiders.
Chrysler's '65 Announcement show record played up the new Plymouth, Chrysler, and Imperial
Dodge rounded up lots of sports stars as celebrity endorsers, including NFL quarterback Fr
On the right is the record from Dodge's '64 Announcement show. This was Dodge's 50th Anniversary, hence the golden theme. "What a Thrill to Buy An Automobile," "Let's Write," and "What a Thrill to Sell An Automobile" are the tunes on the A-side. These records were produced in relatively low volume, unlike music for public consumption that was cranked out in the millions.
"Music for Modern Americans" is a promo from a Chrysler-sponsored tour of Thurlow Spurr and the Spurrlows, "...young and lively group of musicians and singers who are bringing music that 'really moves' to high schools across the country." Both are 7-inch (same size as a 45) 33s.
Top Mopar racers Richard Petty and Sox & Martin released their own albums in 1970 and 1971, respectively. "Meet Richard Petty" has sounds from NASCAR races and King Richard describing what it's like to drive those legendary Mopars. It came with a 26-page color booklet showing behind-the-scene photos at Petty enterprises, at the track, and around the Petty home. Also shown are the Petty staff, a centerspread of the No. 43 Superbird at speed, Petty statistics, and some promo shots of the '71 'Cuda, Duster 340, and road Runner. This copy is still in its original cellophane.
Sox & Martin released "The Drags" in 1971. It features sounds of Top Fuel, Top Gas, Funny Car, Fuel Altered, and Prostock, and a full side with the late Steve Evans (the voice behind the "Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!" radio spots) interviewing Buddy and Ronnie. Inside the gatefold jacket is a killer color photo of the Prostock 'Cuda in tire-melting action. This one is fairly rare and pricey.
Mopar's Vintage Vinyl Records
The photos and stories of drag racing's early days are in old magazines. The sounds were captured on vinyl. Massachusetts-based Fleetwood, a leader in recording races, captured the sounds of Al Eckstrand piloting the Ramcharges Dodge.
Audio Fidelity released sounds of the '64 Winternationals in a high-end package with a heavy vinyl disc, lots of photos, and a gatefold jacket. You can hear the dominant Chryslers in action, winning super Stock-A in glorious detail. Their recordings were made with high-end equipment, e.g., German tube condenser microphones and high-speed tape recorders. Microphones were setup at the 60-foot mark and run in stereo to capture the feel of the cars launching and coming at you.
Dealer Premiums Chrysler signed Italian heart-throb Sergio Franchi to croon the theme son
Mopar Commercials On Vinyl When you heard a radio commercial for a Chrysler product back
Large dealers produced their own spots. This record, from Bergeron Plymouth Chrysler in Ne
Dealer Training Mopar produced a steady stream of dealer training kits that included film
Hurst Golden 8 Grand In 1964, Hurst released "Hurst Takes You To The '64 Nationals," a de
Even the paper sleeve is printed with pictures of the meet and full race results. The hist