24th Mopar Euro Nationals
Fri 28th to Sun 30th July 2017
The men of Mopar gathered once again for the annual MoparEuroNationals held at Santa Pod raceway, England over the last weekend of July now a firmly cemented date in any muscle car fan’s diary.
Despite a gloomy forecast as has been the trend for this summer’s shows an excellent time was had by all as the rain stayed away during most of the daylight activities and then proceeded to chuck it down in the evenings, only casualty was the cancellation of the “ Burn Out” contest.
The track opened at midday with the majority of cars running in the Top Sportsman qualifying rounds although many of the run what you brungers took advantage of a less busy drag strip, others used the time to pitch tents and settle into the laid back Euronats mood.
For this year’s traditional Friday night cruise the organizers had a real treat for those who enjoy flexing their muscle motors on the road, the new destination being Sywell Aerodrome a short drive from the track. This wonderful modest airfield harks back to 1928 with many of its art-deco buildings surviving, the high light is the volunteer manned museum which stayed open for the forty or so cruisers who made the trip. Congratulations go to Carl Johnson who won Best Cruise Car for his cracking 1965 Plymouth Belvedere. Friday came to a close with local band Neon Valley playing a couple of sets in the Fuelers Bar providing the entertainment.
Saturday saw a full days racing and a busy track with the Pro Mod series getting under way, the Gasser Circus and Ultimate Street Challenge followed with qualifying rounds in between the petrol heads blasting up the strip in their muscle cars. To keep things fresh a new race series was invited to attend this year, the UK Nostalgia Super Stock made their EuroNats debut with the crowd loving these period cars, the final on Sunday saw Dave Billadeau in a 1967 Plymouth wagon take the win with a 10.69 secs @ 127mph.
Saturday closed with a very full Santa Pod, the last strip action being the Pro Mods battling it out for Sunday’s finals, the rain came down in biblical proportions and Revolver took to the stage churning out a blistering set that had the crowd wanting more, they obliged with two encores.
Martin Savill owner of the muscle car restoration shop Rare Performance Motors (RPM) brought along a 1970 Plymouth Road Runner 440+6 convertible 4-speed one of only 20 built that year. The stunning Beeper finished in black with a funky burnt orange interior deservedly took the Best in Show accolade, flanked by Gavin Shaw’s 1970 Cuda 440+6 jaw dropping E –Body it felt like a trip back to the seventies.
As is the way, Sunday saw a fine morning, the Show n Shine filling up the car corral to capacity with an incredible array of muscle cars, hot rods, cruisers and virtually every American type of vehicle which could be found on display.
With around seven Plymouth Prowlers registered in the UK, to see three lined up in the corral made an impressive sight these factory “Hot Rods” were built from 1997 to 2002 and only 11,700 were produced. Powered by a 3.5 litre V6 front engine/rear wheel drive combination they were the last Plymouth’s with this lay out, all the cars were hand built in Detroit.
The EuroNats has always drawn participants from across the channel, this year again we saw many muscle cars from France, Netherlands and Germany. Part of the German contingent was Martin Zinn who with his brother Oliver own the Moparshop.de, Martin brought along a fabulous 1962 Dodge Dart 330 wagon that more than justified him taking the Participants Choice trophy. Not to be out done by his fellow countryman Carsten Woitenek gave his 1969 Dodge Charger 500 a first appearance on UK soil, the mega rare limited production dodge was the basis for the Daytona. Around 400 were built but this figure is contentious in the Mopar world. The 440ci magnum powered Charger wears its factory B5 blue fire metallic paint and has a black bucket seat auto console, a worthy winner of the Winged Warriors trophy.
Lucky man Dave Christmas picked up two awards, a Top five and the Classic American car of the year award, see his gorgeous 1970 Road Runner at the NEC 10th-12th November.
The racing continued at pace all day with the finals of all categories, the fastest Mopar of the weekend went to Marck Harteveld in his 3,000 bhp Pro Modified Voodoo Hemi Superbird netting the Pro Mod win with a spectacular 6.173 secs@ 234 mph! The Dutch race team are regulars at the EuroNats and firm crowd favourites in the green and purple winged warrior.
Sunday lunch time signifies more live music as the Rockabilly trio “The Straight Aces” burst into action giving the car corral another dose of their unique repertoire. With the band finished it was time for the trophy presentations and none other than UK drag racing legend Sylvia Hauser was on hand to dish out the prizes.
On a sad note the passing of Geoff Tomlinson a Mopar fanatic and regular petrol head who attended every EuroNats was given a posthumous award.
So MoparEuroNats number 24 has come and gone for another year, already folks are looking toward 2018 and the milestone of a 25th anniversary show, be sure to watch out for the men of Mopar and their EuroNats bash to be held over the weekend of 27th-29th July 2018, you don’t want to miss this.
BEST IN SHOW MARTIN SAVILLE 1970 PLYMOUTH ROAD RUNNER 440+6 CONV
WINGED WARRIORS CARSTEN WOITENEK 1969 DODGE CHARGER 500
MOST ORIGINAL MOPAR DAVE CHIVERS 1972 DODGE CHARGER
BEST RESTIFIED MOPAR JASON PETTIT 1969 PLYMOUTH SATELLITE
PARTICIPANTS CHOICE MARTIN ZINN 1962 DODGE DART 330 WAGON
BEST MODERN MUSCLE JON GARNER DODGE CHALLENGER 392ci HEMI
BEST GM LEE MOSES 1955 CHEVY PICK-UP
BEST HOT ROD CARLOS REGO PLYMOUTH PROWLER
BEST FORD FORD MUSTANG 1969 RHD RITCHIE PENN
CLASSIC AMERICAN HEAT WINNER DAVE CHRISTMAS 1970 ROAD RUNNER
BEST CRUISE CAR CARL JOHNSON 1965 PLYMOUTH BELVEDERE
SIMON ROGERS 1971 DODGE SUPER BEE
KRIS 1973 DODGE CHARGER
PAUL WINTER 1969 CHEVROLET CAMARO
NICOLA and JAN ZADROZNY 1972 DODGE DEMON
DAVE CHRISTMAS 1970 PLYMOUTH ROAD RUNNER
MODERN MUSCLE ANDY SMILL 11.55 secs DODGE CHALLENGER
STOCK APPEARING GLYNN BRIGGS 1968 CHARGER R/T
PRODUCTION MOPAR GRAHAM LENNOX 13.3 secs 1968 ROAD RUNNER
MODIFIED PRODUCTION ANDY BOZ 11.24 secs 1966 DODGE CORONET
KING OF STREET BRI WOOD 9.75 secs 1969 DODGE SUPER BEE
UNLIMITED KING OF STREET TOM WATKINS 9. 56 secs 1968 DODGE CHARGER
UK NOSTALGIA STOCK DAVE BILLADEAU 67 BELVEDERE WAGON 10.69 @ 127
FASTEST MOPAR VOODO HEMI 6.173 secs @ 234 mph PLYMOUTH SUPERBIRD
PAUL WORROW MEMORIAL CLASS
ANDY ROBINSON 1968 DODGE CORONET R/T
MMA AWARD SPIRIT OF THE NATS DEREK CARTER
Report by Tony Oksien.