The 32nd annual Carlisle Chrysler Nationals held on July 14-17 eclipsed a number few enthusiasts thought would ever be possible. Last year’s total of 2,927 vehicles provided optimism, but nobody expected this year’s results. The 2022 registered vehicles on the property easily surpassed 3,000 cars; the official number was 3,101.
While it may seem the late-model classes of Chargers, Challengers, and 300s would be the reason for the significant increase in the car count, it was announced that nearly every class had an upswing in size over last year. Additionally, regardless of the classes, those in attendance enjoyed plentiful sunshine, temperatures in the upper 80s, lower humidity than most years, and only a single stray shower on Saturday afternoon.
This year’s show focused on the 1972 models, a reboot of the COVID-affected 1970 model celebration, the 25th anniversary of the Prowler, and a large assembly of A100 vans. Celebrities in attendance included Pro Stock team leader Buddy Martin (of Sox and Martin fame), Pro Stock driver Herb McCandless, Super Stock/Direct Connection driver Paul Rossi, the Ramchargers, the Golden Commanders, Joe Pappas (of Mopar Missile distinction), Plymouth ad guys Jim Ramsey and Joe Schulte, Nick from Nick’s Garage, 1984 Miss Direct Connection, Claudia, and TV personality Cristy Lee.
As in past years, a “State of the Mopar Hobby” panel discussed the strength of the collector/restoration business. The panel included experts from the aftermarket, restoration, racing, ad agencies, and magazine publishers. Most agree the future is bright, but the entry price to get a vehicle is a bit excessive. So, as an entry point, the experts suggested less popular vehicles for those getting into car collecting.
The swap meet area was sold out. No matter what part you needed, one of the vendors likely had it. It was surprising how many factory-long ram and rat roaster two four-barrel intake manifolds were for sale. The prices started around $1900 and up. The race-inspired exhaust manifolds were plentiful as well, to match the intakes.
2022 saw the return of Dodge to the midway at Carlisle. Dodge had the Hellcat Thrill Rides, a question booth to discuss performance products with Dodge reps at the new Direct Connection, and a vendor booth. Also, back for this year was Mancini Racing. Mancini had 100s of its components available, and the technical reps provided product advice. Miss Direct Connection, Claudia, signed a reprint of her three-foot tall 1984 poster at the Mancini Racing trailer.
Some additional vendors included QA1, Indy Cylinder Heads, Coker Tires, Silver Sport Transmissions, USCT Motorsports, Evans Wiring, Instrument Specialties, Meguiar’s, Amsoil, and Legendary interiors. The activity at each company’s trailer was brisk the entire weekend.
The COVID-19 redux of the 1970 Charger 50th Anniversary at Carlisle was overwhelming, with over forty near-perfect examples of the famous B-body in attendance. A tremendous amount of credit goes to the individuals of the ’70 Charger Registry that pulled off the feat.
Congratulations to all the 2022 class winners. Now is the time to plan for next year’s show, which will be held on July 14-16, 2023. Check back often to see what extraordinary events next year’s show will include. If you were part of this year’s show, you could take advantage of a savings of 20% off the total price of the regular registration for the Showfield. Act fast because this deal ends on Sunday night, July 24th. Do not wait; get your Gate-and-Go Showfield tickets and be prepared to be part of the 2023 record-setting show.