For the past 29 years, Mopars have invaded Belvidere, Illinois; well more than usual. The FCA Belvidere Production plant keeps churning out Mopar products, currently producing Jeep Cherokees. The Mopars that invade are usually of the vintage variety.
Starting off at the Belvidere plant 29 years ago, the show eventually outgrew the space that was available and moved just down the road to the Boone County Fairgrounds. There the show has blossomed into a two-day event. Both days there is a swap meet, music going, food vendors, and even Mr. Norm of Grand Spaulding Dodge on hand selling his wares and signing anything in front of him!
The show is broken up over the two days, you can still bring anything, but the arrangement is different. Saturday is the Midwest Charger Gathering of all years Chargers, and opposite that is the Modern Mopar Meet, both of which have strong showings. On Sunday is when everything is open. There are 50 Classes, with at least 3 awards per class, as well as Best of Show, Best Modified, etc.
Ever since I got into Muscle Cars, and specifically Mopars, I have never missed a Belvidere show. It’s one of the biggest shows of the year for Mopars in the Midwest. There are always new and interesting cars there to view. Many of the people involved are now friends for years. Even over the two days, I run out of time to be able to see everything and everyone.
This year, a few notable standouts were the freshly restored 1970 Plymouth GTX by Noel Automotive in West Branch, Iowa and Magnum Restoration came over with a survivor 1968 Dodge Polara 500 convertible with only 24,000 original miles.
My personal favorite though was the 1969 Dodge Polara stationwagon that was the old ServPro work vehicle, and has that awesome patina as though it hasn’t been touched since. There is always something popping up there out of the blue, I highly recommend attending.