Gallery: Carlisle Chrysler Nationals Celebrate 50 Years of Chargers


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We’re not sure about everyone else, but we’re finally cooled off and re-hydrated after this past weekend at the Carlisle Chrysler Nationals in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Despite temperatures reaching well into 90s over all four days, the Carlisle Events crew put together another great show, having over 2,700 cars, trucks and even a boat, come out for this year’s show! This year was particularly special as they celebrated the C-bodies and the 50th anniversary of the Charger.

Mopar Connection chatted with Jim Rodebaugh, who traveled all the way from Ochelata, Oklahoma to bring his 1965 Dodge Charger II replica that he hand built. Beginning with a ’66 Charger, Rodebaugh studiously recreated the elongated panels and unique tail panel of the original Charger II concept vehicle that first debuted at the Chicago Auto Show in late February 1965, using detailed photography of the original concept as it toured the show circuit in 1965.

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We started our venture through the show field. Wow! There was a lot of tough competition. It was one incredible car after another. They had everything, from a Viper-powered 30’s coupe to twin-turbo sleeper trucks, numbers-matching Hemi cars, to 40-year-old original Superbirds, and even a vintage Chrysler Boat. Perhaps the title, “Modern Muscle and More,” would be more suitable.

After hours of walking through the show field, we took a stroll around the swap meet. There wasn’t a space left open, as the swap meet was packed to the hilt, and had just about anything you would need from rare NOS parts to six-foot-tall wooden Tobacco pipes. Afterwards, we cruised through the cars for sale and found some sweet deals. Whether you’re looking for a ’40s crusier, a custom A-body SuperCuda, an original 1970 Super Bee Six-Pack or rare 1965 Chrysler Newport convertible factory 4-speed car, we found it for sale here.

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Dodge took over the autocross course this year, giving insane rides in Hellcats and Vipers. It started off Friday, providing thrill rides until that evening and then allowed some contestants have a shot at the autocross course themselves. They held a shootout between a few contestants but no one was prepared for David Howell’s 1966 Charger that swept the competition. Between Howell, the show field and everywhere else, there was an incredible turnout of Chargers for the event.

Every year it seems the modern muscle crowd continues to grow and this year wasn’t any different. Nearly 40-percent of the registered cars were modern day muscle cars. Everything from turbocharged 4-cylinder Neons to V10-powered Vipers. The modern Challengers and Chargers were everywhere you looked. It’s great to see Dodge continue to gain new followers and allow them to create cars like the Hellcats and ACR Vipers for our pleasure.

Throughout the weekend they had some special appearances by NASCAR legend Richard Petty, Miss “Daisy Duke” herself, Catherine Bach, Rick Hurst (who played “Cletus” on “The Dukes of Hazzard”), and the “All Girls Garage” star, Rachel Debarros. Another very special event was the reuniting of the Ramchargers and the Golden Commandos with their race cars from 1964! As much as we enjoyed the weekend looking at cars and eating funnel cakes, we’re glad to be sitting in air conditioning. Start preparing for next years event and we will see you there!

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Gavin Wollenburg

Sales Associate/Staff Editor – gavin.wollenburg@shawgroupmedia.com Gavin grew up around Mopars in his lakeside home in Ohio, his father showing him nearly everything he needed to know about haulin' some serious rear in his '72 Dart Swinger. Since then, he's made his little A-Body a serious autocross contender and regularly shows the modern boys how an old Dart does it!

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