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Road trip. If you are into the Mopar subculture, you probably have one event or another that will cause you to crank up the jams, get the credit card handy, and get you runnin’ down the highway. The Mopar Nationals, Carlisle’s All-Chrysler Nationals, Mopars at the Strip, and others are now more ‘happenings’ than simple ‘gatherings.’ For myself, one of the big ones has been the annual York US30 Reunion and Nostaligia Nationals in south centralPennsylvania, which is a multi-make racing celebration, car collection, drag race and reunion all rolled into one big weekend.
The biggest challenge for a Mopar guy has been that it is also held the same weekend asthe Carlisle extravaganza, which is about 40 miles away. I have covered the York celebration for a variety of magazine titles for several years, working with Darwin Doll to help create post-event press and serving as the official media photographer for it. As some of you may have heard, I took over the editorship of Mopar Enthusiast magazine in the beginning of July (I could have asked Burk for a real big raise, but didn’t), so my attendance at York this year was a little bittersweet as 2010 will likely find me tied up in Carlisle; not a bad thing, but not the same as a whole York experience.
What makes York special? Well, let’s see what I was able to there. Spending an evening with legendary racing announcer Jon Lundberg, hearing stories about Bakersfield in’63 (and the ‘outlaw’ fuel races that were going all night off the official racing surface in another part of mile-square ‘patch’), the drag racing riots in St Louis during a mid 1970s IHRA race, and theories about how Ford may have produced some of the 427 wedge Falcons of 1964-1965. Hanging out with Rob Schatz and the Performance King AWB Plymouth and cruising the pits in Beaver Springs in the shotgun seat. Talking with readers in my little vintage photo sales booth. Having the front row head-on view along the guardrail-less apron of the dragstrip as the Bob Rosetty-owned Rollin’ Stoned 1973 ‘cuda gets sideways on the burnout.