Mid-way through the four day event that was the Chrysler Nationals at Carlisle, I commented to a fellow Mopar enthusiast that the dang event was almost over already, after a full year of anticipation!
This was my second year in a row attending, but unlike the first year when I took hundreds of pictures of all the cars on the show grounds, I focused this year on spending time with my car club, the Unaffiliates Mopar Club, in order to meet the many new members and strengthen bonds with those I already knew.
I think it was the right strategy; I came away from this show, the largest annual Mopar event East of the Mississippi, energized and excited for my club. Next year, I hope to branch out and network more with some of the other Mopar clubs that travel quite a ways to attend.
As to the show itself, and how my car was received, I am VERY satisfied. Last year, I took Third Place in the 2011 and Up R/T Modified class; this year, I took First Place!
I say this not with false modesty: I was surprised I even placed, for two reasons:
(1) It's been a full year since my model year came out, and there were a lot more modified 2015s in this class than last year, and this class already encompasses a large span of model years that have ample aftermarket products with which to make modifications, and;
(2) I took a big risk in fulfilling a dream of my youth and have a bad-ass muscle car with side pipes. You don't see side pipes on modern cars (most can't pull off the look), and the traditional side pipe style was never commonly found on the old school Challengers. But I had a vision and ran with it.
The response was overwhelming; most folks were immediately drawn to the pipes. Some had initial doubts whether they were functional, which I was more than happy to dispel. I had hoped I might be able to repeat my Third Place achievement the prior year; I never expected the tough and discerning voters, who themselves were showing their own cars, would recognize my efforts so generously.
Now, what can I do for 2017, hmmmm......?