Street Muscle Magazine’s Holley Moparty 2021 Event Recap

Let it be known now and forever, Bowling Green Kentucky is a car town. If its sister city to the south, Nashville, is the music city, then the town with one of the nation’s most beloved race tracks must be car city USA. (No offense, Detroit.)
Everywhere you look while driving the lonely roads between massive green fields are cars. Not just those toaster-like appliances people use to pick the kids up from soccer practice, but real cars. Late model and classic muscle cars are everywhere.
The city is also the home of the automotive aftermarket superpower that is Holley. So, the folks over there know their way around beech bend raceway like the back of their hands. It’s where they host most of their events as well. See- Holley’s LS Fest, not to be confused with LS Fest West that takes place at the Las Vegas motor speedway. Beech Bend is also where they host Intergalactic Ford Fest, and now Holley’s Moparty.

This is what Moparty is all about, unless you can’t read the sign.

We missed the inaugural show last year because of covid, but we made a point to include the show when we were planning this year’s travel budget. Last year was torture for anyone who was unable to attend, especially if you have any affinity for muscle from the house of Pentastar.
So, we made the trek from the sunny beaches of San Diego to the cloudy overcast skies and lush green fields and trees of Bowling Green Kentucky.
The forecast called for showers all three days of the show, but that didn’t deter the Mopar faithful from coming out in droves. Who can blame them? The show had something for everyone! Of course, being Beech Bend, there was plenty of drag racing, but there was also a massive show and shine, dodge driving experience, Dukes of Hazzard shows, including a General Lee jump and chase, burnout competition, chassis dyno competition, Gen III Hemi swap seminar, swap meet, Autocross, and the crowd favorite 3S Challenge.

Top Picks

The show and shine arena was packed full of classic and late model muscle. The various styles of build were as different as the owners that brought them.
Some of our favorites included a real-life hot wheels Pro Street 1970 Plymouth Cuda owned by Chris Britton. What Chris’ Cuda lacks in refinement, it more than makes up for with attitude. Just check out that massive blower with bloodshot googly eyes on the air cleaner! The kids love it, and the adults do too – ourselves included.

What Chris’ Cuda lacks in refinement, it more than makes up for with attitude. Just check out that massive blower with bloodshot googly eyes on the air cleaner! The kids love it, and the adults do too – ourselves included. 

It's the crazy pro street style that does it for us.

Another crowd-pleaser was an epically deceptive Hellcat Swapped 1969 Dodge Coronet Wagon owned by John Gaddy. This isn’t the first hellcat swap John has tackled, but it certainly gets plenty of attention. He built this as a follow-up to a ’68 GTX he previously built, but he wanted to build something his family could enjoy with him. We think it’s safe to say, they enjoy it!

John Gaddy’s Hellcat-swapped Coronet isn’t the first one he’s tackled. This is the family-friendly version of a GTX he previously built.

Is there a better sleeper combo than John Gaddy's Hellcat-swapped Coronet wagon? Be on the lookout for the full-length feature coming soon.

For the vanners in the audience, we had to seek out the one Dodge Street Van in attendance just for you! And what a pristine example it is! This 1977 Dodge Tradesmen is owned by Mark Coates. As an automobile restoration expert by trade, he knows his way around a sanding board, so getting the panels of this one-time work van laser straight was no problem. He actually built the van for his wife, and she spends all the time behind the wheel.

Street Vans are among our favorite ’70s-era throwback rides. We were happy to come across this great example.

Mark Coates '77 Dodge Street Van is the perfect example of a bygone era of hot rodding. Oh, the stories that shag-carpet-lined interior could tell.

If you’re more into the crazy customs, Kenny Matlock’s electric green ’69 Roadrunner will be a feast for your eyes. Florida keys native, Matlock inherited the roadrunner from his father who bought the car new in 1969. It was a total rust bucket as you might imagine living its whole life that close to the ocean, but you can look forward to the full-length feature on the car very soon. Matlock tells us how he took it from Swiss cheese to the green beauty you see here.

The Viper Green Roadrunner used to have a V10 heart to match, but now it’s got something a lot more exciting under the hood, if you an believe that.

Kenny Matlock's '69 Roadrunner now sports a 3rd Gen Hemi sporting a Mammoth Kenne Bell blower. It made 1,115hp on pump gas and 14psi of boost.

Show N Shine

There were plenty of Mopars in attendance, even though the weather wasn't great. The various examples of Mopar muscle were broad!

Of course, those picks above were just a sampling of what we saw at the show. There were plenty more to gawk at so, we’ve included a gallery for you to peruse. But first some honorable mentions…

No, nobody was out there stealing wheels, it was just time for some fresh rubber!

Drag Racing

Burnouts galore! Even though the event was pretty much rained out by Sunday, Friday and Saturday saw plenty of tire smoke

The drag racing was intermittent as you’d imagine. With the sporadic showers making track prep near impossible, it was a miracle they were able to get passes done at all, but miraculously, the racing gods shined their good graces down on the field and gave them plenty of sun on Friday and Saturday. Sunday was a little rough though.

General Lee Experience

The General Lee is as iconic as it gets for Mopar lovers. So, to have not one, not two, but three examples of the famous charger there for people to look at was a huge draw for the crowd. Not only were the notorious orange coupes in attendance, but Roscoe P. Coltrane’s Dodge Polara was there as well, two examples of it in fact.

The General Lee on two wheels running circles around Roscoe P. Coltrane? Count us in!

The professionals who pilot the General Lee and Roscoe’s rigs put on a helluva show for the audience too. With the grandstands packed in front of the oval track, the audience was treated to the general lee up on two wheels running circles around a fuming mad Roscoe and Enus. Of course, Daisy made matters worse by stealing one of the police cruisers.

Daisy spent as much time behind the wheel of Roscoe’s cruiser as he did.

And of course, there was the jump. What episode of Dukes would be complete without some spectacular jump to finish things off? So, of course, they had to cap off Moparty with a jump of epic proportions. So, right over Roscoe’s car the general lee went. It was truly incredible. We just wouldn’t want to be the ones to give the general an alignment after that little stunt…

Dodge Driving Experience

The dodge driving experience was another big draw for the crowd. Folks lined up around the oval track for a chance to ride shotgun with professional dodge test drifters…wait, did we say, drifters? We meant drivers. Although, that’s really splitting hairs because they were throwing those big hellcats around that track like Sigfried and Roy before the accident. (Too soon?) Luckily, no one was bitten during this big cat show. But some fans certainly left the car with faces so shocked, you’d think that someone had been.

The Dodge Driving Experience was a helluva ride! We had a chance to get in the passenger seat as the instructors were drifting this big bad hellcat around the oval.

Autocross

All of Holley’s events include an autocross event, because, well, it’s awesome! There were plenty of cars competing in the autocross and many of them were far from what you’d expect to be out there between the cones.

This Pikes Peak Cuda was tearing up the autocross all weekend!

This Pike’s Peak Cuda was the star of the show. We don’t know exactly how many gallons of fuel he went through over the weekend, but it must’ve been enough to get us back to California because there was never a time it wasn’t either on the track or idling and waiting to get there.
We also saw this crazy little Charger chop/ Ute out there killing cones. We’re still not sure how to feel about it, but one thing is for sure, and that’s how well it was done. So, love it or hate it, the little Ute was crafted with expertise. Especially for it to be out on the autocross, the rigidity cannot be questioned.

This little Mopar UTE was tearing up the autocross all weekend too!

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About the author

Vinny Costa

Fast cars, motorcycles, and loud music are what get Vinny’s blood pumping. Catch him behind the wheel of his ’68 Firebird. Chances are, Black Sabbath will be playing in the background.
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