Prez Release


From the cluttered desk of Tom Rose, CNYMA President - trose4901@yahoo.com 


Prez Release

Fifty…

I discovered an interesting coincidence as I sat down to type this. The last time I “penned” a Prez Release was in anticipation of the CNY Mopar Association’s Silver Anniversary Mopar Madness Show in June 2014. I am not surprised at that but the fact that two years have since passed is sobering. VP Pete has done a nice job of pinch-hitting an article or so here and there, which I have always enjoyed, but whereas his contributions have always been very timely and topical recounts of the past month, I always wanted mine to compliment his with something abstract, off-the-cuff. The fact that I have been “The Prez” since 2008 and counting has made those monthly inspirations harder to come by and thus my musings waned. My calling out the 25th Anniversary of Mopar Madness as coincidence is simpatico with the Mopar world’s current celebration of the Charger nameplate’s golden anniversary. While not an end-to-end (i.e., uninterrupted) run of the model as the Mustang can claim, it is a significant feat in which all the Mopar faithful can be proud. I suppose I am a humble person, at least hindsight tells me so. Bear with me.

I registered for the 2016 Chrysler Nationals in Carlisle, PA just as I have eight times prior since my first Carlisle in 2005. I registered in the same class within which I’ve taken a 2nd place a couple times, a 3rd place a few more times, and a coveted 1st place once. A few years I took nothing. No big deal. I figured there would be some sort of Charger notoriety in light of the 50th year and all, but I made no inquiries as to what might be happening for 2016. In late June, I received an email from the 50th Anniversary Charger display coordinator to see if I would be willing to enter my car in the Building T Invitational. He had no wherewithal of my car other than I’d entered and won awards previously but he was trying to compile a display of Chargers from 1966 to present with each model year represented through 1974, then one car representing each generation of Charger thereafter. Sight unseen, he needed my fourth-gen. He only secured my car because he was forced (for lack of a better word) to look at past show entrants representing that generation. That’s four years, folks, whereas other individual years were submitted for consideration in quantity. Naturally I said, “hell no.” Kidding. I was all over it and was particularly honored to represent the entire 1975-78 contingent with my singular car. I realize my humbleness becomes less so as I type this, in that as I began to share with my CNYMA friends in Carlisle that my ’77 Charger SE, “Pop’s Car,” was to be in Building T for the weekend, they shared effusive praise as to what a huge honor that was!

As Building T filled with impeccable examples of each generation of Charger along with other spectacular resto-mods, priceless original Hemi cars and beautiful restorations – they were right. The crazy irony is that my car is not “rare” as production figures go. The fact is very few exist now. I saw the first ’76 Charger I have seen in 30 years enter our Mopar Madness this year, and it was a recently acquired purchase out of Michigan. Mine probably had one of the bottom three lowest market values in the room but it was in the room and I was thrilled by the attention it garnered from people who “hadn’t seen one since…” or didn’t know they were even produced after 1974 (all too common, sadly). I even met Steve Magnante of Barrett-Jackson Auctions fame, who posed with the car on set-up day. Good stuff.

 

While inclusion in the Invitational is a great memory on its own, the story becomes more interesting upon leaving Carlisle 2016.  I have always driven the Charger on the 560 mile round trip from Liverpool. In nine Carlisles, no issues…till this one. At about the half-way point in our drive home, friend and CNYMA member Marty Halstead and I started to hear an obnoxious metallic-sounding rattle above the sound of stereo,  exhaust and wind at highway speed. Luckily, I was 100 yards from the Clarks Summit, PA exit when it became noticeable. I nursed the car down the road to a Sunoco mini-mart and popped the hood to discover the engine fan wobbling pretty badly and contacting whatever was in its path, and that was at idle RPMs. My hope was that the fan had simply loosened but no such luck. The water pump was on its way out.  A two-hour gauntlet of phone calls ensued between us, other CNYMA Carlisle travelers, and four different AAA agents until I was finally able to employ my AAA-Plus membership for a 132 mile transport to my driveway in Liverpool. Plans A through F, as Marty and I came to formulate them, even included the option of swapping out the pump, then and there, but there were no big block Mopar water-pushers to be had on a Sunday evening in northern Pennsylvania. In the end, the car and we made it home safely and we have another Carlisle story for the books. If I never entered the car again, it went out on a high note with a little drama thrown in for good measure. May your remaining summer travels be less “eventful.”   J

 

Enjoy your August, folks, and keep cool!

 

Your Prez,

Tom

 

 

Editor’s Note: I have included this picture of our Club President with his Charger in Building T at Carlisle as an addendum to his article,
which included only the two pictures above which he submitted, lest there be any doubt as to his humility ;-).


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