Horsepower Hayloft – Mopars® at the Red Barns

10 months ago Events Gallery

Summer is in high gear and that means the car show season is in full swing as enthusiasts and car freaks trek on out to the numerous automotive events across the country. They’re either showing off their pride and joy for all to see or just going to spectate. One event that has really gained steam the last few years is the Mopars® at the Red Barns. It’s held every summer on the site of the incredibly impressive Gilmore Car Museum, located among the rolling hills and corn fields of Hickory Corners, a small town located just north of Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Gilmore Car Museum was the dream of Genevieve and Donald S. Gilmore. It started in the early 1960s when Donald began collecting vintage automobiles. Some of the first vehicles in his collection included a 1927 Ford Model T, a 1913 Rolls-Royce and a 1920 Pierce Arrow. Over the following, years Donald continued collecting some of the world’s most renowned automobiles. Both Genevieve and Donald wanted to share their love for the history, heritage and passion of cars and how they shaped America throughout history. They also wanted to help people of all ages understand and appreciate the contribution not just of the automobile, but its impact on everyday life. That’s why the Gilmore Car Museum is a perfect venue to host car shows and other events. Today, the Gilmore Car Museum is North America’s largest auto museum with over 400 vehicles on display and over 190,000 square feet of exhibit space. 

Mopar vehicle on display at Mopars at the Red Barns

Since the Mopars at the Red Barns Show and Swap Meet has been happening for 31 seasons, it’s become one of the biggest Mopar events in western Michigan. Over 350 rare and unique Mopar vehicles from all the past and present brands – Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth Jeep®, DeSoto and even AMC vehicles – converge on the grassy meadows among the permanent buildings of the Gilmore Car Museum that house cars and trucks going back to the horseless carriage days. Some of these buildings have some historical significance and when you walk down the streets of the Gilmore Car Museum and peak through the windows of the retro car dealerships they’ve replicated, it’s like going back in time. All that’s missing are dapper-looking, fast-taking, cigarette-smoking car salesmen ready to put us in a brand-new 1970 Dodge Super Bee.

Mopar vehicle on display at Mopars at the Red Barns

For those looking for hard-to-find parts, diecast cars or just cool car memorabilia for the man cave, the swap meet area during the Mopars at the Red Barns was filled with vendors ready take cash for all the awesome “stuff” on offer. This time we resisted, but there were many items we would’ve put in the trunk of our Dodge Charger SRT® Redeye Widebody and brought back to the Motor City. After all, Detroit is the birthplace of the automobile. After walking the swap meet, we headed back to the massive show field, as rare and vintage Mopar vehicles kept rolling though the front gates. It was like a never-ending parade of vehicles that shaped Chrysler’s illustrious history through the decades. We were impressed with the variety and quality of vehicles that came out and greeted our eyes with wild colors and over-the-top styling. We pitied the poor judges that had to pick winners for the various show classes, including a Top 20, Best in Show, Director’s Choice, Sponsor’s Choice and Kid’s Choice awards. They had their work cut out for them as the selection and assortment of vehicles they had to choose from was challenging and overwhelming, but that’s what makes this Mopars at the Red Barns an amazing event.

Mopar vehicle on display at Mopars at the Red Barns

“The Gilmore Car Museum is a 90-acre campus that has towering historic red barns, an old train depot, gas station, diner and dealership buildings. It’s like driving through different eras in time,” said Josh Russell, Executive Director of the Gilmore Car Museum. “It’s a tremendous collection of galleries inside many of these buildings that showcase cars and motorcycles. But then we have this massive grassy area surrounded by corn fields with three miles of paved roads inside the campus. We take many of our vintage cars out of the museum and take attendees for a ride so they can experience what these vintages machines are like. Every weekend, we have car shows, concerts and other great activities for the family. The Mopars at the Red Barns is one of our most popular among participants and attendees. We had over 400 Mopars out here for this year’s show and we see the event growing.”

Mopar vehicle on display at Mopars at the Red Barns

The Mopars at the Red Barns car show had been created and put on by the West Michigan Mopar Club for about three decades. This year, they asked the Gilmore Car Museum to step in and take over the show, as many of the club’s members were getting older, and they wanted to ensure that the event was in the best hands to manage the monumental task of organizing a major car show. “We’re thrilled to continue to carry the torch and have this show be a great draw for Dodge, Plymouth, Chrysler and Mopar folks to have their day out here on the Gilmore campus,” exclaimed Josh.

Mopar vehicle on display at Mopars at the Red Barns

Make plans now to attend next year’s Mopars at the Red Barns, it’s scheduled for Saturday, July 23, 2022. There are also more events going on at the Gilmore Car Museum for the rest of this year that any car lover would dig. Check out their full event schedule and prepare to be amazed! For now, here’s our awesome photo gallery from this year’s Mopars at the Red Barns car show!

Comments

Comments

More Events Articles

More Gallery Articles