LAST WEEKEND saw the annual running of the Mopar Nationals at Heathcote Park Raceway.
For those that don’t know, Mopar refers to vehicles made by Chrysler (Dodge, Plymouth, Valiant, Jeep, etc), and the name originated from an amalgamation of Chrysler’s old spare parts division – Motor Parts (MOtor PARts).
Despite the inclement weather in Melbourne on Saturday there was a fair turnout of cars with about 70 in the show ‘n’ shine and another 60 or so racing, and we cruised up in our Project Swinger Dodge Dart. The bright green muscle machine received plenty of attention, but there was some seriously quick machinery on show to share the limelight.
Daniel Blok’s NASCAR-powered VG Valiant managed a strong of mid-10 second timeslips despite being set-up for burnouts, while a bunch of the other players were running everything from 10.0 through to 18 seconds.
After a few solid hours of qualifying, the racers settled down for three rounds of Chicago Shootout style bracket racing which saw some interesting match ups. The best of these was Hayley Turns 18-second Jeep up against the big block-powered VE Valiant wagon of Graeme Carter. Graeme ended up winning two out of three races despite having to wait at the line for over six seconds. Look out for a full feature on his amazing wagon in our January 2015 issue of Street Machine – it’s on sale December 18th.
In the meantime check out this video featuring some of the tougher cars of the day.