Pentastar Pride History
In the spring of 1999 Mike Roberson attended a cruise-in in Arizona, where he was attending a business meeting. He wondered if there were enough Mopar vehicles (vehicles built under the Chrysler umbrella) in the area form an all Mopar car club in Salem, Oregon. At the weekly Saturday night Salem cruise-in, Mike talked to other Mopar enthusiasts about forming a club. A group was formed and over lots of bad coffee, pop and pizza in the conference room at Roberson Motors, the good, bad and ugly traits of existing clubs were discussed. First at hand was to define the type of club we wanted. The group came up with three basic club organizations: Formal, In-formal and Casual.
A Formal Club is where the members enjoy a strict set of rules and rituals. Their meetings and functions are run like a corporate board meeting with authority and power driven through a hierarchy of elected members in strict adherence to their by-laws.
An In-Formal Club is where the members just want to get together for fun with out all the “corporate stuff.” The In-Formal club meetings and functions operate as the name implies – informal. They understand that there needs to be a set of rules in place to protect the club and its members and use a form of hierarchy such as: Chairman, Secretary, and Treasure for organization and have a set of by-laws.
Casual Clubs are basically a group gathering. They don’t use a set of rules or by-laws and no one is really in charge nor is there a definite direction.
Many meetings later the group had decided on the best traits from all the different organizational styles of other clubs and laid the ground work to form a family-oriented In-Formal club that focused on having fun. The emphasis on preservation and restoration of all vehicles under the Chrysler umbrella was strictly adhered to. By-laws were drafted and submitted to a lawyer for approval. Club officers were chosen. Flyers were sent out and our first meeting had 28 people present and 22 vehicles.
In our first year we had 2 picnic cruises, 2 drive-ins and a cruise-in. Our first show-shine cruise-in was a success with 68 judged vehicles and 21 displays only. Ending the year out with our first Christmas dinner, interesting the club was growing.
Each year the club has grown. The first show, held in 1999, took up half of the sales lot at Roberson Motors. The second, third and fourth years the entire sales lot was consumed. As interest spread, we outgrew the auto sales lot, so the adjacent RV sales lot was cleared for the fifth and sixth year. By 10 am of the 6th show in 2004, we knew we were in trouble as cars kept driving in with no room to park.. Spectators and show cars lined the streets and nearby parking lots to get in to enjoy the food, music, vendors and of course, the vehicles – (luckily we have a good relationship with the Sheriff!) For the 7th, 8th and 9th years the cruise-in was moved to the Salem Riverfront Park where all enjoyed the grass under their feet.
From conception there hasn’t been a requirement for the vehicle to be a “show car.” It just needs to be safe to be on the road. We believe that every Mopar vehicle has a story. Some designer thought about every detail and drew it out. Another molded it in clay. A different person sat through endless meetings persuading yet others for it to be built. Factory workers built it. Then the vehicle was shipped by rail and truck to a dealer where it was test driven for various buying reasons. A lot person cleaned it up as someone else eagerly signed the paperwork to bring it home. Then the vehicle became part of the family where thousands of stories could be told. .There is such a rich history and chain of events that bring us to today’s vehicles. One thing is for sure, these vehicles are an integral part of our lives. They play such a large part in our American history we don’t want these stories to die. It doesn’t matter if someone thinks your vehicle falls in the “undesirable or not worth collecting category,” or it’s not a “show car.” It has a story. We want to see it and hear the details of its history.
We have seen a great cross section of vehicles from a 1929 Stock Plymouth Coupe next to a ’57 Plumb Crazy Dodge Custom Royal Rod. 1970 Moulin Rouge AAR sitting next to a ’71 Beige Australian Triple Webber 245 HEMI 6 Valiant Charger and a ’70 Panther Pink 383 Cuda with poverty hub caped steel wheels. A’71 Torro red Challenger 440 R/T next to a ’41 Dodge Delivery. Jeeps, Willies, trucks, sand dragsters, trailer queens and everything in between. There is always something for everyone to enjoy in the club.
With old metal getting harder to find and costly to restore we are seeing more 200 + hp Neon’s, SRT4s, Dodge Stratus, the new Chargers and 300’s whose owners enjoy applying their personal touch. Hot Rodding, customizing, ticking, or dubbing – whatever you want to call it, the love for vehicles is still alive.
Pentastar Pride plans to be around for quite some time, so check us out. We’re all about fun in a family setting and giving back to the community.
We want to hear your story. Come tell us.
Pentastar Pride All Mopar Club