It was a beautiful spring afternoon in Kingman, Arizona. The temperature hovered at a pleasant seventy degrees and there was just the slightest breeze from the west.
First the new cars from KIA were swept from the lot. Next followed those that represented the new face of Chrysler. Then there was the sound of thunder was heard in the distance.
Soon a sea of bright flourescent colors swept down Route 66 and turned onto the Martin Swanty Chrysler lot in a parade of defiance to the high price of fuel.
When new they were low end models with muscular monikers and rumblings of power that quickened the spirit. As used cars they were battered, well worn, gas guzzling beasts with no future. Today, they are the crown jewels of the collector car auction circuits, monuments to America’s love of power, speed and size in their automobiles.
The drivers that stopped by Martin Swanty Chrysler on their way to the Mopar on the Strip event brought with them the cream of the Chrysler muscle car crop. Hemi powered ‘Cuda convertibles and 440 Coronets, Superbirds and Dart GTs.

A few had been painstakingly restored from cars that were to rough to be considered a basket case. Others were pristine time capsules. A few were nothing more than pure drag cars and others represented the ultimate in mechanical genius coupled to a bottomless well of finances such as a 1970 Challenger with a Viper V10 engine shoe horned into place so professionally it appeared stock.

For those under fifty this represented a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the excitement that comes from a hemi V8 picking up speed as the driver clips through the gears. For us old farts it is a chance to reflect on a time used Supeerbirds were backlot fillers and a Dodge Charger was a $200 driver for those who could afford the .49 a gallon premium it gulped.

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