Posted Juerg Weidmann on March 24, 2011
Back in 1920, when the automotive world began shortening the words motor and parts into the term MOPAR, they couldn’t have known it would produce one of the most well‐known trademarks in the industry.
Nelson L. Farley, a Detroit automotive genius in Chrysler’s marketing management seat, met with his think tank, the Activities Council, in the spring of 1937. Out of those sessions came the birth and patenting of Mopar, originally a product name and logo for antifreeze to be used in Chrysler vehicles. Mopar would soon be known and defined as: quality replacement parts for Chrysler, Plymouth, Dodge, and Jeep autos throughout the automotive world.
Eventually turning into a general term for any vehicle made by Chrysler, Mopar was well on the way to becoming a household name. By the end of the 1940’s, Chrysler began to see the financial advantage of aftermarket parts, so over‐production began under the Mopar name. Also, in 1951, Mopar began production of the HEMI engine. HEMI’s made their first big splash in 1955 in the Chrysler 300, the first American production car to produce 300 HP. In the late 1960’s, the muscle car was born by Chrysler using smaller bodied cars powered by the new HEMI V8 which elevated the Mopar name.
These engines were on the strips against “Rat Rods”, and were causing some intense interest. This decade also produced some of the most desired Mopar vehicles. The Plymouth Superbird was a highly modified version of the Road Runner (a modified Belvedere). Superbird is now one of the most coveted Mopar muscle cars due to the limited number of vehicles produced and their outstanding performance on and off the track. Mopar, throughout the mid 1950’s to 1970’s was a real powerhouse creating the most popular muscle cars of all time like the Charger, Barracuda, Super Bee, and AMC Javelin.
These cars are still being drooled over by true muscle car enthusiasts. Muscle cars ran strong into mid‐1970 when nationwide gas shortages made 1974 the last year for most of these beauties. The Conquest was made from 1987 to 1989 and aside from that, no performance cars of any mention were produced again until 1990’s. In 1992, the Dodge Viper roared onto the market, and was the first true performance car in over eighteen years to be produced by Chrysler. Today Mopar continues its popularity, running modern versions of the legendary HEMI motor.
Mopar is still producing vehicles for virtually every need; truck lovers buy a Ram truck, muscle car enthusiasts buy a Challenger or Charger, and large families have the Chrysler Town & Country mini‐van. Mopar boasts the Town & Country as the best‐selling mini‐ van of all time. What is next for Mopar? Mopar is soon to be known in the world of tractor trailers with its future plans to build a semi‐truck. For Mopar fans, no matter what decade or ride you choose, you simply cant loose. Mopar’s history of past success speaks for itself.
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