The Houston Mopar* Connection Club (HMCC) originated in the Summer, 1983. A relatively small group of individuals were interested in enjoying and preserving Chrysler Corporation vehicles, particularly Mopar muscle cars, and sought a forum to accomplish that task. The main reason for starting the club was to unite people with the same interest, Mopars, and to assist them to have fun together and to help out each other on Mopar projects. This half dozen or so Mopar fans formed the idea to start a Houston Mopar club that was designed to link Mopar-loving people in the greater Houston metropolitan area together. The club was named after Mopar’s Direct Connection, a brand that was later renamed Mopar Performance Parts. Within the first year the club grew to eighty-nine members.
The HMCC has subsequently had many hundreds of family members since inception, each family typically owning multiple Mopar vehicles, often with an emphasis on muscle cars. These vehicles span the Chrysler production years through the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) corporate configuration. Club members use their Mopars as daily drivers, race cars, show cars, or work trucks. Pre and post World War II vehicles, 1950s era fin-cars, 1960s and 1970s muscle cars, 1980s and 1990s K-cars, Jeeps, Eagles, Caravans, Vipers, Prowlers, RAMs, Fiats, Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcats and so on: if it is a Mopar vehicle it is of interest to some HMCC member.
The enthusiasm of club members has sparked the growth of the HMCC, as well as providing the foundation for the establishment of many good friendships. The love of Mopars is the glue that holds the club together. Of course, a zeal also exists among members to show and race their vehicles. Via that process, HMCC members hope to bring the general engineering excellence of Mopar to the attention of the general public.
The result of this zeal was the club sponsorship of a car show in the late 1980s at a local Chrysler Plymouth dealership with approximately 30 Mopars on display. The success of that event led club members to decide to continue the event the following year. The show soon turned into an annual event, and the event was moved to the Houston Raceway Park, Baytown, Texas, (later renamed Royal Purple Raceway). Next, the event turned into a two day occasion. Now Mopars could participate in a car show as well as race down the quarter mile track. Parts vendors and spectators were also attracted to the show in increasing numbers.
Significantly, HMCC activities have always focused on taking revenue generated through club activity and using that money to benefit the community. For example, in September, 1995 over 1,300 participants and spectators enjoyed the Houston Mopar Muscle Nationals at the Baytown racetrack. As a result of that two day show and race, the HMCC donated $2,200 to the Houston Food Bank (HFB). Because the HFB leverages donations it receives, the club’s donation allowed the HFB to provide over $55,000 in food to local needy people. The Baytown racetrack show turned into an annual HMCC event called the Houston Mopar Show and Race. That event continued from 1996 to 2004. Many thousands of dollars were donated to various charities as a result. In 2005 a national organization took reign and ran the event as the Lone Star Shootout.
All along the HMCC continued regular monthly club meetings as well as an annual picnic and Christmas party. Several times the club met with other Texas Mopar Clubs for a picnic in Bastrop Texas. HMCC members also caravaned to Mopar shows put on by other Mopar clubs in Dallas and San Antonio, Texas and in Louisiana. The HMCC also displays club member’s vehicles at the Houston AutoRama held every November.
By 2008 the HMCC decided to again present a yearly event. So in October, 2008 the HMCC sponsored an open car show at the National Museum of Funeral History in Houston. This Halloween Classic Car Show was a huge success! In fact, the event proved so popular that it continued as an annual event, growing in attendance each year. As usual, the revenue resulting from the Halloween Car Show remained donated to assorted charities. Since 2008 charities received many thousands of dollars from this show.
The HMCC continues to provide an opportunity for fans of Mopars to gather for fun and to support charities. Ownership of a Mopar is not a prerequisite for HMCC membership. The club welcomes everyone interested in Mopar-related vehicles.
Visit the club’s website at houstonmopars.org to find out what the HMCC is currently up to!
* The Mopar® brand was officially trademarked in 1937. A contraction of the words MOtor and PARts, Mopar® became a brand name for most Chrysler Corporation parts. Over time, "Mopar" became a synonymous term to use to talk about any vehicle manufactured by Chrysler Corporation and the following corporate configurations.
Revised & updated 11-2015