2023 Spring Fling Mopar® Celebration!


The Car Club Chrysler Performance West did it again! A premier Pentastar event filled with a selection of just about everything any dyed-in-the-wool Chrysler product enthusiast would appreciate! Their 2023 Spring Fling definitely lived up to being the “Biggest Mopar® Show West of the Mississippi!” and in a big way. The huge grassy Woodley Park venue and its relaxed atmosphere, well, this made for a fantastic place to be for serious Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth and Ram lovers – oh, and DeSoto buffs as well! 

This 35th running of the show was overflowing with full-on show-quality cars, daily drivers and “works-in-progress” projects that were displayed to share with the crowd. Some 479 vehicle were displayed on the grass, and a total of 185 swap meet spaces were filled with all things Mopar! Used parts and pieces, tons of random items for vintage Chrysler products, new and used speed equipment, and all things related to vehicle restoration were well represented.

Jay Leno checked out the scene and did a lot of mingling with the crowd all the while. Here’s Jay with Road Runner owner Darrin Hallac, sharing in the Mopar fun and California sunshine! 


A special historical treat was seeing the 3/8 scale wind tunnel test model that Chrysler aero engineers designed to check the air flow around the body of the soon-to-be 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona. The wheels are wood and they were bolted to the wind tunnel’s surface plate, then the wind turbulence was turned on (colored smoke was blown to the car) simulating realistic single car racetrack conditions. The goal of course being to find the best downforce with the least amount of drag. The reason the sign says “1968-70” is because the model was originally used for the flush grille-fitted “Charger 500” that came before the nose and wing additions to the Daytona.  

The Alpine White HEMI® engine-powered Superbird on the left was the “Lindsley” Bonneville racer from back in the day, and it had set numerous records including a 217 mph charge in 1975, 221 mph in ’84. Jay Leno seen here talking Mopar vehicles with Patti Lindsley Nelson, who is the granddaughter of original owner of that Superbird, Jim Lindsley; she was part of the high-speed action with the car back then, with her running 213 mph in it back in 1985!

Wings were well represented in Van Nuys, with excellent examples of 1969 Dodge Daytonas and 1970 Plymouth Superbirds displayed in all their glory! These NASCAR-themed aerodynamic B-body cars attracted crowds both days of the event and the Charger 500 model was also represented on the grass.

Club members from the aero warriors group and owners of wing cars were there to talk about the rarity of the cars, and to answer questions about how the cars won so many superspeedway events. You know it’s a serious group when they bring along vintage body parts from the #40 Petty Plymouth that Pete Hamilton campaigned during the 1970 NASCAR season! A great deal of information about these fantastic wing cars can be found on their site: www.aerowarriors.com


The Direct Connection Dodge Challenger of Paul Rossi made an appearance at the Spring Fling, here’s the 440 Six Pack engine with Weiand intake, done up as it was raced in the mid-1970s. Bethany from the Engine Swaps booth checked it out, as she owns a 1970 Challenger R/T herself!


A sampling of the vast assortment of quality Mopar vehicles that were featured at this Southern California gathering, a pristine bucket-seat Demon 340 (kept in the family since new), concours-quality ’69 1/2 “A12” Road Runner, and owner modified E- and B-body cars done up to personal tastes.


Numerous vendor booths were there and included was the Engine Swaps! booth, which specializes in headers for all types of Mopar engines and chassis combinations. Company representative Bethany Samis was kind enough to show us one of their big block “Tri-Y” headers from their product display. www.engine-swaps.com

Plans are underway for the “Fall Fling” event that will also take place at the Woodley Park location in Van Nuys on October 21, 2023.

Author: James Maxwell



I’ve never been to this car show/event Of Happenings! After reading your article It makes me want to go, this coming weekend, Spring Fling!!!
You detailed so much, you shared so much including location and how many years there.
WOW! Terrific and yay
Loved how many people you interviewed making everyone special and famous.
So now I have to go. And I am. And all thanks to you, James. This newbie, me, Now knows I am surely going to have fun and smile a lot. Spring Fling 2024!


What a great article! Thanks!