Chosen from over a thousand customized Chrysler brand vehicles on display at last month’s 29th Annual “Mopars in the Park” car show in Farmington, Minn., the first Mopar 2013 “Top Eliminator” program winner was announced as Miles Watsko of Manitoba, Canada, for his 1964 Plymouth Savoy. In recognition for being named a Mopar “Top Eliminator”, Watsko will have his winning entry showcased in the Mopar display area at the world’s largest one-day classic car event; the Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit, Mich., on Aug. 17, 2013.
“The passion Miles (Watsko) has for his car is to be commended and recognized, and we are happy to give him the honor of the first Mopar “Top Eliminator” of 2013,” Tricia Hecker, Mopar Marketing Director said. “We are thrilled to host his amazing 1964 Savoy at the Woodward Dream Cruise, one of the best places to be for true heritage, muscle and dream vehicles.”
The long-running customized and performance vehicle program shines a light on passionate and dedicated Mopar enthusiasts who display unmatched skill in modifying or preserving a classic or modern-day Mopar vehicle. Candidates are judged by a panel of Mopar representatives on a number of criteria, including Mopar content, overall appearance and additional benchmarks.
“I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the entire Mopar team for the recognition of the ‘Top Eliminator’ award for my work and effort on restoring my ‘64 Savoy,” said Watsko. “It is hard to describe the overwhelming feeling of excitement and pride this award has given both my family and me.”
Watsko’s winning car represents his vision of a classic Mopar model, showcasing the “stripped down, go fast look” of a 1964 muscle car. Vehicles of that genre and era could be seen at cruise hangouts during the week and the local drag strip on the weekend but 1964 was an especially important year for Mopar with the introduction of the 426 HEMI race engine and the success the Plymouth had in sweeping the top three positions at the famous Daytona 500 race. Additionally, the upgraded Max Wedge and the newly introduced HEMI dominated Drag Strip action that same year.
What might be most impressive about Watsko’s customized vehicle is that it was initially purchased as a four-door parts car destined to contribute to the restoration of a two- door Savoy in rough condition. The outstanding quality of the work performed on the winning entry by Watsko was what inspired judges to deem it worthy of a being displayed as a “Top Eliminator” so that Mopar fans would be able to get a second and third look – outside, inside and underneath.
Another winning entry will be chosen from the Mopar “Top Eliminator” competition being held in Carlisle, Pa., on July 12-14 at the Carlisle Chrysler Nationals.
The restoration and customization efforts of the two victors will be recognized by having their vehicles showcased in the Mopar display area at renowned Woodward Dream Cruise in suburban Detroit, traditionally held every year on the third Saturday in August.
As a new addition to the program, the third Mopar “Top Eliminator” vehicle selection will focus on the top rides that will race down the track at the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis this Labor Day weekend in September. Mopar will recognize a Sportsman racer who competes in a Chrysler Group vehicle with the “Top Eliminator” trophy, and the chance to lead the HEMI Challenge parade during the event. Similar to the current “Top Eliminator” criteria, this program expansion honors an entrant’s performance and personal statement brought to life in the vehicle they compete in during race weekends.
Candidates for a fourth “Top Eliminator” winning vehicle will be selected online allowing aficionados to upload images of their Moparized ride, with a fan vote selecting the best among those posted.
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