2017 Mopar Nationals Welcomes Back OE-Level Judging

[Mopar Connection Magazine’s own Technical Editor Mike Wilkins has served as a judge for the Mopar Nationals’ judging field for 23 years. At the conclusion of this year’s Nats, he wanted to write a special note marking this year’s incredible turnout. – Ed.]

Yes, the judged field and car club parking and trailer parking is still on the west side of the track. For the past 3-to-4 years there have been between 75-to-85 cars to be judged each year. This year, however, there were more cars than ever that took advantage of the great parking on the grass on the judged side of the field. The car trailers lined the area filling from one side to the other. More than we have ever seen.

The judging tent was full [really overflowing – Ed.] and the lift was back for OE (Original Equipment) judging. There were three cars entered in OE all taking a Bronze certificate. The level of cars in the show field and their quality was exceptional. There were more Hemi cars than ever, as well as four Superbirds and a Daytona. There was even the first Plymouth Max Wedge car off the assembly line in 1962. The ’67 GTX cars were well represented here as well.

The main difference in the number of cars showing up for judging is we no longer have cars showing up in classes that are just “so-so.” They all are on a competitive level and the points spreads are very close (sometimes within 2-or-3 points separating 1st and 2nd place). Another thing that limits show cars returning each year at the Nats is once you win a 1st you can’t return and show in that class again. You have to move up to a senior class. Most shows have the same cars returning again and again, taking the same trophies each year.

So yes! The show side of the field is alive and well and the cars this year were fantastic! Results are posted by midday Saturday with award plaques given to the winners at that time.

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Mike Wilkins

Technical Editor Michael Wilkins is a lifelong Mopar owner, restorer, and car enthusiast, as well as a respected judge of OE Plymouth and Dodge B-Bodies. Wilkins has spent nearly half a century driving, racing, and restoring some of the finest Mopars in the US, earning several Antique Automobile of America Grand National Senior awards, Mopar National Best of Show and first place awards, and a co-author of "The Chrysler B-Body Restoration Guide."

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