An annual automotive event for makes and models under the Chrysler umbrella continues to gain mileage on the Grand Strand.
The fourth annual “Mopars at the Beach” week will feature seven days of events begining with a meet-and-greet at Planet Hollywood, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday.
Jeremiah “Frog” Jones of Columbia, coordinator of the Mopar Week every year talked about the fun and variety that each gathering rounds up.
Question | How has this time of year, in later summer, worked for Mopars at the Beach?
Answer | The first three years, we’ve been hammered by rain. If we can get this rain to stop hitting us … . Last year, for our car show, we had 229 registered Mopars, and for a day when it rained three times, that’s a pretty good amount of people out there, knowing it was going to rain.
Q. | What changes when planning the array of activities each year?
A. | Every year, we’ve changed everything. Our biggest change this year … is with our car show; we needed a bigger place, so we moved that to Broadway at the Beach. I like Murrells Inlet, and the folks at Inlet Square mall have always been so kind to me. This year, at Broadway at the Beach, for people who want to do other things or dine, so many choices are within a few minutes’ walk.
Q. | How far do Mopar Week participants travel?
A. | I would say the farthest so far is southern California. We’ve had people coming down from eastern Canada. … We have some people for this year who have registered from Key West, Fla.
Q. | What’s the breakdown of cars brought in, with so many nameplates that Chrysler has manufactured through the decades?
A. | Right now, we’re getting around 65 percent with newer cars, 35 percent with older cars. It used to be, you go to a car show, and just about all you’d see is muscle cars. You’ll have somebody who buys a brand new Dodge Challenger, and he’s showing it. So, the cast of characters has changed with old and new cars. That’s why we offer so many classes for judging; we have 28 classes; last year, we had 26.
Q. | In what other ways has Mopars at the Beach grown and diversified?
A. | We have, over a nine-day period, 14 different events. Some are geared to everybody; some are geared to more to people with Jeeps; some are geared more to the cars. We also have a 100-mile, charity cruise from Hard Rock Cafe.
Q. | How big is the pit crew helping coordinate all these outings?
A. | We have 30 … some who take care of the Jeep stuff, and some with the car stuff. Saturday, the car-show day, is the day when we’re all together, working.
Q. | Charitywise, how does Mopar Week make a difference, especially for veterans?
A. | This event supports two charities: Wounded Warrior Project, and we’re also supporting the 4 Wheel to Heal organization. A local Jeep club is involved with that,…and one of the guys told me about a four-wheeling park, ...… and they take injured troops to that park to get them out. This apparently will be the first official event that 4 Wheel to Heal is part of in South Carolina.
Q. | What made you a Mopar fan?
A. | I went to work selling Mopar parts about 12 years ago. I just started falling in love with Mopar. I never have really been any particular vehicle enthusiast; I just like cars. … I have a Dodge Ram, and the rest of my family all drive Jeeps. I still work in a Chrysler dealer.
I know the guys who run Mustang Week in Myrtle Beach. … I come to the show every year, and we hang out. We like cars.
Q. | What else has made Mopar Week a summer tradition?
A. | It’s kind of like a family reunion. … You see people. One guy said, “Man, I can’t wait to see everybody from last year.” ... Some people come just for the car show and nothing else. Some people come to display only, and others pay for their cars to be judged. … The main thing to go to a car show is to just have fun. I don’t have any car show trophies; I’ve never registered to be judged in a show.
Contact STEVE PALISIN at 444-1764.
If you go
WHAT: Fourth annual “Mopars at the Beach” – all about cars from the Chrysler umbrella with other such nameplates as Dodge, Jeep, and retired makes Eagle, AMC, Imperial and DeSoto
WHAT, WHEN AND HOW MUCH:
▪ Monday – Meet-and-greet at Planet Hollywood, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 29th Avenue North and U.S. 17 Bypass in Myrtle Beach. Free admission.
▪ Tuesday – Jeep Run, at Myrtle Beach Speedway, 455 Hospitality Lane, off U.S. 501, near Tanger Outlets and Carolina Forest (236-0500 or www.myrtlebeachspeedway.com). Gates open 10 a.m. Event $25 for car and driver, and $5 general admission. Also, “Fun Day” at Broadway Grand Prix Family Race Park, 1820 21st Ave. N., Myrtle Beach, at U.S. 17 Bypass (839-4080 or broadwaygrandprix.com), with unlimited-rides wristbands available (discount code: Mopar Week).
▪ Wednesday – Race Challenge at Myrtle Beach Speedway, with gates open 10 a.m., and event $25 for car and driver, and $5 general admission. Also, with free admission: Jeep Cruise-In & Ride, 11 a.m. at Hard Rock Cafe, at Broadway at the Beach, at 29th Avenue North and U.S. 17 Bypass, and Cruise-in with Hot Rod Promotions (503-8245), 7 p.m. at Wheels of Yesteryear, 413 Hospitality Lane, near Carolina Forest, off U.S. 501, by Myrtle Beach Speedway, with $2 discount for museum tour available (903-4774 or www.wheelsofyesteryearmb.com).
▪ Thursday – Cruise-in, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Hooters and Calli Baker’s Firehouse Bar & Grill, at U.S. 17 and S.C. 22, near Myrtle Beach Mall and Briarcliffe Acres. Free admission.
▪ Friday – Charity Ride, in support of Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org), 10 a.m.-3 p.m. going more than 100 miles from Hard Rock Cafe in Myrtle Beach to La Belle Amie Vineyard, 1120 St. Joseph Road, Little River. $25.
▪ Saturday – Classic & Modern Muscle Car Show, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at Broadway at the Beach, at 21st Avenue North and Robert Grissom Parkway in Myrtle Beach. $25 preregistered vehicle entry, or $30 on site, or to display only, $15 and $20, respectively. Free. Also, “Cruise to the Strip Myrtle Beach” for free afterward.
▪ Sunday – Cruise-in, noon, outside Wheels of Yesteryear. Free. Also, $2 discount for museum tour available (903-4774 or www.wheelsofyesteryearmb.com).
INFORMATION: 803-361-3362, 803-461-7708 or www.moparsatthebeach.com/event_registration.