Ain’t No Party Like Holley’s MoParty!

The annual Holley MoParty event once again shook the sleepy countryside of Bowling Green, Kentucky, as hundreds of old- and new-school Mopar® muscle thundered into Beech Bend Raceway Park. With this being the fourth consecutive Holley MoParty event, the locals are by now used to the thumping exhaust noises and the kaleidoscope of high-impact colors rolling down the country roads leading to the track. With so much action going on at Holley MoParty – such as drag, drift, autocross, car shows, and even thrill rides – it’s easy to get lost in a haze of high-octane horsepower. This event is the perfect way to send off the 2023 Mopar car show and drag race season in a dramatic fashion with a blaze of speed, a mushroom cloud of smoking tires and the smell of burnt rubber permeating over the pits. 

There are always many cool aspects going on at Holley MoParty. Picture a carnival but instead of fun houses and rollercoasters, there’s drag racing, autocross, show cars, tech seminars and a lot more. “We are super-pumped that MoParty continues to grow each year. We received lots of positive comments about all the activities that go on at MoParty and we are looking forward to 2024,” said Bill Tichenor, Corporate Director of Marketing, Holley. It was the dream of Bill and his colleagues about four years ago to create an all-Mopar event just outside Holley’s World Headquarters in Bowling Green. Since the impressive Beech Bend Raceway Park, with its quarter-mile drag strip, skidpad and massive pits, is just down the road, it made perfect sense to get all the major movers and shakers in the Mopar hobby together and brainstorm on how to create the ultimate Mopar lovers’ event that captures all the cool aspects of the hobby that enthusiasts love. Whether it’s vintage muscle or the latest Challenger SRT® Demons, Redeyes, Hellcats or even Ram trucks and Jeep® vehicles, everyone who bleeds Mopar corporate blue is welcome. It is a diverse crowd, but they all share the same passion for the brand that gave the world the first HEMI® engine and eventually the SRT Demon and Hellcat.

For longtime diehard Mopar enthusiast Steve Atwell, he has been to many car shows and events over the last 30 years, but Holley MoParty is one of his favorites. “I love going to this show and I haven’t missed one yet and this year’s show was one of the best. Holley MoParty reminds me so much the way the Mopar Nats were back in the 1980s and ’90s,” noted Atwell. “The quality and diversity of the show cars at MoParty is great, and the drag racing is awesome. The staff does a tremendous job prepping the starting line, and everyone treats us great at this show!” 

Atwell and hundreds of other Mopar racers were laying down some fast times at Beech Bend during MoParty. For Atwell, he was racing one of the many historical cars he owns in his stable cool machines. He brought his 1975 Dodge Dart Sport 360, which was originally campaigned under legendary Mopar racer Butch Leal in the mid-1970s and driven by Gail Mortimer. With its “California Flash/Direct Connection” livery, this Dart (along with Leal’s B/MP HEMI Duster) was used at technical clinics around the country to promote Chrysler’s new (and revolutionary) high-performance parts program. True to form, the old Dart wasn’t showing its age as Atwell had it dialed in with consistent nine-second passes. 

Another rarecar Atwell brought to Holley MoParty was his 1968 Plymouth HEMI GTX Convertible. Forget the fact it’s only on 36 HEMI GTX convertibles produced for 1968, the history speaks volumes about how unique this particular vehicle is. Ordered as a press car for Chrysler’s Plymouth Division in late 1967, this GTX was featured in the pages of Car Craft Magazine, Car Life, Popular Hot Rodding, and would eventually become the pace car for the 1968 Riverside Grand Prix in California. Rather than collecting dust in a collection, Atwell drives this GTX daily and has roundtripped it across the country numerous times. “My GTX won the ‘BEST B-Body’ award at MoParty and I’m so happy,” smiled Atwell. “There were much nicer cars in the show class, but judges told me the GTX’s historical significance and the fact I drive the car everywhere is what swayed their decision.”

Outside of the exciting drag racing venue that includes numerous classes, such as HEMI Super Stock, Street King, Nostalgia Super Stock, and modern classes such as the SRT Hellcat, Redeye, and Demon Challenge, Holley MoParty also had their traditional autocross event that allows drivers to fling their Mopar vehicles around hairpin turns, chicanes, sweepers and slaloms, all while challenging both their driving skills and their car’s handling prowess. This year, Holley held their “Grand Champion Competition,” which puts the owner and their ride to the ultimate test. Competitors must excel in drag racing and autocross. Known as the 3S Challenge (Speed, Stop and Steering), participants have to be proficient at all three if they hope to be competitive and win this grueling event.  

As we like to say, every car has a story, and the owners are just part of that manuscript. But for now, check out the awesome photo gallery from this year’s Holley MoParty and start planning for 2024!