Gallery: Mopars Swarm First Day of Hot Rod Drag Week


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For some of you that don’t know, Hot Rod Magazine puts on an event every year called “Drag Week.” Each year, four different drag strips are selected to race at, all within a prescribed distance from each other. The crowd of racers start on a Monday at the first track, race and then drive their car to the next track. Eventually, they end up back at the first track on Friday for the final passes. There’s a ton of different categories to participate in, from Unlimited to Daily Driver, but the biggest rule is that you have to run some type of drag tire while racing. This year they started in Hebron, Ohio, at National Trail Raceway, the same location of the annual Mopar Nationals.

When we arrived at the track for Day 1, we had no idea what to expect. As we parked, we could see everyone’s pit setup, which mainly contained the race car and a small trailer that was packed with enough parts to build the car twice over. After getting settled, we were off to find some Mopars but couldn’t deny all the other cars that showed up. We came across everything; a newer AWD Audi, a Ford Cobra, a couple Toyota Supras and more.

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We’ve never seen such a variety of cars like this before in one spot, and the best part is everyone was incredibly friendly! Guys are still thrashing on their cars, yet willing to talk to you. We were talking with couple guys from Texas working on a ’73 ‘Cuda, as they were trying to diagnose a ticking on their big block only to find out that the adjuster on the rocker had backed out of the rocker arm. It didn’t seem to do any major damage but did have some metal flake in the oil that was concerning them.

We soon found out that tech inspection and test and tune were yesterday. Some of these guys got to make a pass or two and were ironing out problems, while others didn’t make a pass and were still tuning the car. We were amazed how many stories we heard where guys were still working on their cars Saturday night and still had a 10-to-15 hour drive to the track! We came across a ’31 Plymouth Coupe that was basically built in a day. They did not receive the chassis back from the shop until that Friday before! They told Mopar Connection that the sheet metal was never hung on the car and had issues like getting the gas pedal mounted. The car was thrashed on for just over a day and half to make it here yesterday.

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Then we came across guys whose Plan A and B didn’t work out, and went with Plan C, which happened to be an original ’67 Hemi GTX convertible. This was an original 50k mile, unrestored (except a paint job at one point), matching-numbers Hemi car. It is also equipped with power windows and top. They have run this car in a past at Drag Week, but had a couple other cars in mind to race this year only to have them fall through, and resigned to pulling their GTX out of storage, threw on a exhaust manifold gasket and were off.

Unlike most guys that trailer the car to the first track, they drove the GTX to the venue all the way from Minnesota. The car runs pretty constant 13.50s in the quarter and they were there for the show. They said they love being apart of Drag Week even though their other faster cars didn’t get done in time.

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One of the coolest cars we got to see was an Australian 1972 Charger! We have seen pictures of the Aussie Mopars before but never one in real life. The car was beautiful and not to mention extremely fast! The car has run Drag Week multiple times in the past and is always a contender in its class. We could go on and on about all the great people we met and talked with but it would take a week to read it all. We will tell you now, if you ever have a chance to participate or just go and spectate at Drag Week, do it!

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Gavin Wollenburg

Sales Associate/Contributing 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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