BAN­GIN GEARS

Mopar Muscle - - Contents - BOB MEHLHOFF, ED­I­TOR

One and of the great things about this hobby work­ing for Mopar Mus­cle are the great peo­ple we get to meet. At ev­ery event, race, or Mopar gath­er­ing much of our days are filled with meet­ing very in­ter­est­ing peo­ple and check­ing out their tal­ents on dis­play with their cars.

This sum­mer, I had the op­por­tu­nity to stop by and visit with our friends at Grave­yard Carz in Spring­field, Ore­gon, and walk through the shop with Mark Wor­man (see photo). As those of you who watch Grave­yard Carz know, Mark has a very deep knowl­edge of Mopars, es­pe­cially those sold new dur­ing the ’60s and ’70s. Whether it’s the method of un­der­coat­ing, op­tion com­bi­na­tions, pro­duc­tion fig­ures, Chrysler’s mar­ket­ing pro­grams for the time, en­gine, and driv­e­train pack­ages, the list goes on and on. And with Mark’s well-earned per­spec­tive on all things Mopar, there’s a dy­namic and in­ter­est­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to wit­ness.

From Ore­gon, I was on my way to Colum­bus, Ohio, for the Mopar Nats. If you have the chance to at­tend this event, I strongly rec­om­mend it. Held at Na­tional Trail Race­way, the event com­bines drag rac­ing, swap meets, and a car show in one huge venue. The swap meet it­self seems to have miles and miles of Mopar parts, both new and used. And again, the folks we meet along the way make the jour­ney en­joy­able. So many sto­ries about cars be­ing res­cued and brought back to of­ten bet­ter-than-new looks and/or per­for­mance.

But one of my fa­vorites was when I was look­ing for spray paint this sum­mer at my lo­cal hard­ware store. As I was stand­ing there wait­ing for the sales­per­son, I no­ticed a guy to my side look­ing though the nut and bolt bins wear­ing a T-shirt with a Chrysler Pen­tas­tar logo on it. I said to him, “So you’re a Mopar guy too.” He didn’t an­swer and kept look­ing through the bins. So I re­peated it again and that time he turned and said, “Yes, I am, are you too?” Of course, I said, “Yes.” Then, he pulled out his phone and said, “I just fin­ished restor­ing a 1968 GTX that a buddy of mine bought brand new in Septem­ber of 1967. He quit driv­ing the car in the early ’70s when the price of fuel went up, and it was left out­doors in the desert for about 40 years. Then, just four years ago in 2014, I was able to buy the GTX from my long­time friend Bob Wag­ner.”

When he showed me the pho­tos on his phone of the fin­ished car, I was amazed and thought this car would be per­fect for Mopar Mus­cle. I then thought that if I told him that I, the guy he just min­utes ago met in the hard­ware store, worked for Mopar Mus­cle and wanted to see if he’d be in­ter­ested in bring­ing the car to our photo stu­dio in Los An­ge­les for a photo shoot, he might not im­me­di­ately be­lieve me. So I gave it a try any­way, in­tro­duced my­self, Bob Mehlhoff, ed­i­tor of Mopar Mus­cle and slowly ex­plained that we might be in­ter­ested in fea­tur­ing his GTX.

He said his name was Ed Mohr. He seemed in­ter­ested, but a lit­tle re­served. We traded con­tact info, stayed in touch over the next sev­eral weeks, and just re­cently Ed’s brother Steve (who helped with the restora­tion as well) trans­ported Ed’s pris­tine blue 1968 GTX over 100 miles through Socal traf­fic to our photo stu­dio at our Mo­tor Trend Net­work of­fice. Be­cause of the dis­tance, the GTX’S 4.10 gears, heavy traf­fic, and early morn­ing ap­point­ment time, they brought it down in an en­closed trailer (see photo). The fea­ture with his GTX should be out in the com­ing months later in 2019.

We had a great time that day see­ing his car and the orig­i­nal buyer of the ’68 GTX, Bob Wag­ner, even came down for us to meet and to be there for the photo shoot. But most of all, I think each of us couldn’t be­lieve who we met in the hard­ware store.

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