We get cars coming here all the way from Idaho, Oregon, a few from Canada, and even down into California – Event Staff
Another great day filled Mopar Muscle at this year’s Mopars Unlimited Spring Roundup at Mariner Highschool in Everett, Washington. This show brings in Mopars of all makes and models from everywhere on the west coast. “We get cars coming here all the way from Idaho, Oregon, a few from Canada, and even down into California,” one of the event staff told us. The weather even proved to be near-perfect hovering around 70-degrees and partly cloudy for most of the day.
There was no shortage of badass cars at the show this year.
This show is a great place to see a little of everything and had 54 categories with trophies that included stock, modified, convertible, unfinished, race car, daily driver, and even front-wheel drive from 1980-1993. If you have a Mopar, you’ve got a shot at one of these trophies. Spectators and car show attendees alike get votes in all categories and that’s part of what makes the show so great.
Modern cars help a lot by adding to the car count. In addition to the impressive amount of classic Mopars that made an appearance, almost half of the cars at the show were modern—we’re talking roughly 1990 and up. “Car shows are kept alive by spectator participation, participation is kept up by the number of cars that show up, and the modern cars help a lot by adding to the car count,” one spectator told us. And we don’t think there is anything wrong with a little modern muscle, as long as you keep the mixture around 50/50 for a general car show such as this.
The newer cars provide a great contrast against the days gone by of cool and insanely tough cars that could be purchased from any dealer. It’s also cool to see the comparison of people doing custom jobs on new cars and custom jobs on old cars; to see what kinds of features people add to classics that are often standard today, such as air conditioner. New cars in attendance help keep perspective on where we’ve come from and where we are going.
There was lots of cool stuff for cheap at the swap meet. If you needed parts for a Mopar, this was definitely a good place to look.
Beyond just the great cars, there was a pretty well stocked swap-meet area that included lots of great miscellaneous parts, a couple of engines, a couple cars, and at least one or two gems. There wasn’t live music like last year, but the playlist was well managed and the music wasn’t overpowering. And to top things off, there were plenty of options for food and beverage.
While every car has a story worth telling, we do have a few top picks to show off. So without further delay, here are the cars that caught our eye that we think deserve a little extra attention. We’ll get things started with a little throwback to a car we once features as part of our What Are You Working On series.
Brian Loewes’ Supercharged 1968 Plymouth Barracuda
We were pleasantly surprised to find Brian with his Barracuda at this year’s show. You can get caught up and check out the article we did last year here. Where we left off with him and his car he had the supercharger mounted, but nothing was plumbed in yet, and he had a garage full of parts waiting to go in. Now, eleven months later, he’s got the supercharger running, he has his parts all installed, and he has another list of things still to be done.
What a unique build, have you ever seen something like this?
The front torsion bar is in, the 8 and ¾-inch rearend with the 3.55:1 gearing is in, and the boost is up to 7psi as things sit. He has also installed the Wilwood disc brake system and he has his boost gauge up and running. Things are still rough around the edges, but it’s a do-as-you-drive kind of project, and he is having fun while doing it.
Brian even found a few goodies for his car at the swap meet portion of the show!
In the works is a new head being rebuilt by Dale Green out of Auburn, Washington, a new camshaft is being built by Delta Cams, and the next step is to install his Quickfuel fuel pump and a boost-referenced fuel regulator. “As the boost pressure rises in a blow-through supercharger setup, so does the pressure of the air inside the float bowls,” Brian explained. “A fuel pump putting out 4psi can’t overcome the 7psi of boost so the fuel can’t fill the carburetor.” The new fuel pump and boost-references regulator should even out the system and ensure the car gets its fuel even when boost is at 7psi.
Barry Hasson’s 1966 Dodge Charger
Even in the Mopar community a first-generation Dodge Charger is both a rarity and a thing of beauty. When we saw this fast-backed beast we knew we had to give it a spotlight. Barry Hasson of Seattle, Washington has owned the car for around 15 years and has left it largely unchanged. “It was pretty much the same when I got it as you see it now,” Barry explained, “but I put in the 440.” The 440 of course referring to the 440 cubic-inch engine sitting under its hood.
This is a true musclecar – Barry Hasson
The 361 cubic-inch engine wasn’t quite big enough for Barry’s liking, so it didn’t take long for that to come out. He also lowered the car just a little bit—and tastefully so. It also features a 727 Automatic transmission, the stock rearend, a Weber carburetor, factory air conditioning, and factory power steering. “This is a true musclecar,” Barry told us. “That’s why I like it so much.”
The other cool thing about these early Chargers is the lighting in the dash. The instrument lighting system is different from your standard set of dash lights in that there are no incandescent bulbs. Instead, it uses an entirely different method of illumination known as electroluminescence that evenly lights a flat panel to shine through the instruments, as opposed to a standard system that just uses light from one or more bulbs behind or around the gauge. The outcome is a much clearer, more crisp look to the dash.
Kevin Lange’s 1941 Dodge Truck
This one if for all of the truck folks out there. Kevin Lange of Marysville, Washington, has done a great job putting together this 1941 Dodge truck. Trucks have exploded in popularity within the classic automotive community, but they are still largely underrepresented at car shows, so when we saw this gem roll into the low we knew it was worth a closer look.
We love the look of this truck! The orange and gray sure go well together!
Kevin’s dad was actually the one that started this project back in 2001, but he passed away two years ago so Kevin took over to finish what his father started. It features a 360 cubic-inch Magnum engine, 727 automatic transmission, Ford 9-inch rearend, Mustang II front suspension, and an Edelbrock 750cfm carburetor.
The paint scheme is a little unusual too and that’s part of what caught our attention with this one. The body, the hood, and the grille are all painted and finished, but the fenders and the running boards are primed and have guide coat over them—and it looks really good. We’ve never seen guide coat actually used as a finishing touch, and the texture really adds to the build and works well with the orange accents. “My kids are going to have it someday,” Kevin explained. “So they can repaint it if they want.” Kevin is happy with the way that it looks now.
Jack Geiger’s “Barn Find” 1969 Dodge Charger 500
This Dodge Charger 500 was one of the most unique cars that we ran across at the show. It was one of the few in-progress builds that made an appearance there and it’s a really cool example of a true barn find sort of car. The owner, Jack Geiger of Port Orchard, Washington, received a call out of nowhere one day from a friend he hadn’t talked to in decades, and she was offering to sell him this 1969 Dodge Charger 500.
It's hard to believe this car only has 50,000 miles on it.
I hadn’t talked to her in 30 years when she called and asked if I wanted it. – Jack Geiger
“It’s a long story, but to make it short it all started in a small bar in a small town and two people talking that didn’t know they had a mutual friend,” Jack explained. “I hadn’t talked to her in 30 years when she called and asked if I wanted it.” The Charger had been parked since 1978 and there would be no way to know just by looking at it that the car has just north of 50,000 miles in it. The condition of this low-mile barn find is also an illustrative example of why a rare Dodge Charger will often be found in worse shape than a four-door grandma-car with many more miles on it, and that’s because these cars were aught after, driven hard, and people loved them.
“It’s called the Charger 500 because they needed to make at least 500 of them to be eligible for Nascar stock racing,” Jack explained. “When Dodge would win, the next day would see a spike in sales. Win on Sunday, sell on Monday.” Part of what was different about the 500 was that Dodge changed the recessed grill and inset rear window because they created drag, which was not a favorable in a race. “I think with just those two changes they were able to get five more miles per hour,” Jack told us.
That's a look that can only be achieved with two layers of orange over green left to cure for 30 years in a barn.
This car was turned into a hotrod pretty much from new and it was originally a green car. It was painted orange once, then orange again over the previous two coats of paint. An early owner also installed some older aftermarket equipment on the car like a Holley carburetor, headers, Edelbrock intake, and some sort of home-made Nascar style breather. “The muscle cars like this got used and beat up,” Jack said. “We used to joke that mismatched front fenders were an option since so many of these cars often had different colored fenders.”
The drivetrain on this is all numbers matching and the engine and transmission are original equipment for this car. This 500 is one of 102 that came equipped with the 440 cubic-inch engine and 727 automatic transmission. It is also a heavily optioned car and features an AM/FM radio, rear speaker and back defroster, super performance axles, a 4.10:1 Dana rearend, disk brakes, tinted glass, and a passenger side rearview mirror—talk about options for a racecar!
The picture on the right shows the car as Jack found it after sitting for decades.
All-in-all, the show was fantastic and we really look forward to seeing the hotrods that roll out for next year’s gathering. You can bet that we’ll be there to catch up with the folks we met this year and meet those that are new to the hobby. If you’re in western Washington next year near the beginning of June, don’t miss out on this must-see show put on by the local Mopars Unlimited Seattle Chapter. Also make sure to check out the gallery to see more Mopar muscle from this year’s show!