Mopar Day in the Bay brings in about 600 people, 300 cars

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (WLOX) - With Mopar Day in the Bay, there is no registration. Just find a spot, and you’re good to go. It’s not an official part of Cruisin’ the Coast. So, it kind of muscled its way in for a little attention.

For this year’s event, about 600 people and 300 cars to the Bay St. Louis Depot District.

“Mopars are less than 10 percent of the cars that are here,” said Eric Keller, who helped organize the Mopar experience during Cruisin’ about 15 years ago. “So, we’re a small group to all the rest.”

Keller said Mopar owners are a kind of sub-culture to the car culture.

“The history of Mopar is muscle cars and race cars and drag racing,” he said. “It really does set it apart. We have very dedicated people drive Mopars.”

Mopar is the parts, service, and customer care division of the former Chrysler Corporation. But it has come to represent the Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth and Jeep brand muscle cars. And fun cars, like this Dodge A-100, otherwise known as the Mystery Machine from “Scooby Doo,” owned by Danielle Kent.

“When I turned 40, I decided my mid-life crisis car was going to be the mystery machine,” she said with a laugh. “The funny thing is whenever I meet little kids and they go crazy over it, I say, ‘Look, when you turn 40, you give me a call and by then, I may be ready to sell it.’ "

And it might be enough to retire on.

“Let’s just say this is my 401K.”

Angela Hames of Madison owns a couple of Dodge Darts because they are a good fit.

“I like the little boxy, body styles,” she said. “They’re smaller. They are more comfortable for somebody like me to drive. It’s hard for me, because I’m so short to see over the steering wheel and the fenders of the longer and bigger bodies.”

Tom Kirkwood came from Crystal Springs just for this event because Mopars are few and far between. Early on, he was also a Camaro owner, but he knew the value of his 1965 Dodge Dart GT Convertible.

“I told my wife, I said, ‘You know if we sell this car and keep the Camaro, we’ll always be just another Camaro. But, if we keep this car and fix it, we’ll always be different.’ "

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Mike Lacy

Mike Lacy

Mike Lacy was a print journalist for 37 years before joining the WLOX team. Most of his career he spent as a writer, editor and page designer at the Sun Herald newspaper.