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Well, what can I say? The All-Chrysler Nationals at Carlisle 2003 event was truly an incredible show! We entered the gates and were completely taken back at the awesome site of vendors, swap sites, tents, cars, and people. It looked like a Mega Rock band had just rolled into town. Seeing how this was my first time at Carlisle I was not expecting how big this event actually is. The hard part was deciding what to do first and where to start. With 1,936 show cars and more
than 1,200 vendors it was not going to be easy.


It is not hard to see what makes this show so great and that is with out a doubt the people. Everyone was very nice and just happy to be at the show. The range of parts that were available were incredible! You could blow all your money in the very first row if you weren't careful. The assortment of Reproduction, NOS & OEM parts were incredible. Most of the vendors had everything laid out for easy pickings. Seeing how this year we only spent one day at the show it was hard to see everything and it left me thinking about what did I miss?

After we saw all of the vendors and swap, meet it was off to the Car Corral, WOW! There was a lot of cars for sale. I am not even going to make an estimate in fear of being way off, but lets just say it would put a lot of local car shows to shame! They ranged in various conditions from needing resto's to show winners! Once again it was really nice meeting everyone especially the owners of Barracuda's that were for sale. Remember folks, if you didn't sell at Carlisle throw them on Cudaworld.com! (shameless plug)

Considering we had been on our feet since 6 am, it was nice to finally sit down and have a nice cold pop in the food section. While you sit there you realize that the whole morning has gone by and you still haven't even seen any of the show cars yet. As a matter of fact between the car corral and the swamp meet you could loose the whole day just in those 2 sections alone, now I know why they call this the "BIG ONE"!

After a brief rest we were back at it again, my wife was a real trooper (man I am going to pay for this one). As we got closer and closer to the Cuda section we began to notice that all of the cars were separated by model. I had only heard about this, but when you actually see a whole row of Cuda's almost as far as the eye can see you know you are at The Chryslers at Carlisle show. You almost begin to ask your self "what is so rare about these cars? There are soooo many" ;)

For me this was the highlight of the whole show, getting to meet some really great people and checking out their incredible Cuda's. Although I was hanging around the E-Bodies for most the afternoon I still managed to check out the other cars. Believe me, it is doable in one day but you need at least two days to take it all in and actually enjoy it. My body was acking and batteries were dying, whew, time for another break!

Now we all know that I own a 70 AAR Cuda so of course it was a real trip to see all of these AAR's & T/A's lined up in a row! Everyone was so nice down there. I met Jeff from Transamcuda.com giving information seminars about the AAR & T/A history. Also it was a real trip meeting Tom Quadrini with his beautiful 1970 Plum Crazy AAR which was the "Cuda of the Month" for February 2003. Tom was lucky enough to be photographed for an upcoming Mopar Collector Guide issue. How cool is that? I also had the pleasure of meeting Senior Editor of MCG Robert Wolf. :) That is the cool thing about this type of show, you never know who you're standing beside.

After a long and mind boggling day at The Chryslers at Carlisle show it was real treat to watch the burn out show at the end of the day. There is just something about it that seems to always draw a crowd. Also when you hear the big bang of some tire being grounded to a pulp it always seems to bring a smile to your face as you shake your head from side to side.

In closing, I must say my wife and I had a fantastic time in Carlisle. The variety of Mopars and parts was second to none. I'd like to go on record saying that if anyone out there has not been to this meca event, you are certainly missing out. No matter what pictures you see or what articles you read nothing can compare to the real thing. We loved it so much that we are already planning next years journey. At this point I should be knee deep into Project AAR starting this fall on Cudaworld.com.

The Chryslers at Carlisle event is definetly a celebration of Mopar. The organizers of the event have spent an awful amount time making this a show not to be missed. This extremley well organized show has something for everyone, wether you are there to buy your dream, fix your dream or live the dream it is an event like this that makes the whole hobby worth it.

See you all next year!

Chris


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