The Euro Mopar Nationals, held for the last 20 years at the Santa Pod Raceway, is a run-what-you-brung event for American Muscle cars. They don’t have to be from the Mopar family – that’s anything built under the Chrysler brands banner – indeed we saw plenty of everything big, Yank and tank-like at the famous Santa Pod Raceway; a drag racing venue that looks and feels like the perfect place to hold an Americana-flavoured event like this.
The old American drag racing t-shirts, the long hair and a 1970s patina in the air – the cars, people and the vibe at the Euro Mopar Nationals were all perfect, in my opinion. The older crowd – I’m sure they won’t be offended by me saying that – had doubtless seen it all, and weren’t there to show off and be boisterously brash – they were there to enjoy their cars and other people’s cars, talk Mopar, and rip the strip.
The level of cars on the ¼ mile strip and in the show and shine was outstanding, especially considering all of them had to come across the Pond at some point, with plenty of models – famous and rare – to expand our knowledge of those evocative decades when American muscle was at its height.
It didn’t matter how much metal you used to design and build a car back then, and if it turned out too heavy with its massive, flared metalwork, no problem, we’ll just put a 7-litre V8 in it! A simple, exciting and free-feeling time to live no doubt, but for the petrol-heads that weren’t there first time around, the Euro Mopar Nats is, and will be, a great show to go and indulge a fondness for muscle. The drag strip roared all day with massive engines that sound like nothing else, the music was rock ‘n roll and the tattoos well lived in. The American-dream-car-show for sure.
Words & pics by Dan Anslow