Type to search

What is MOPAR?

Chris Kaiser

You’ve seen the logo at the auto parts store or tattooed on your cool uncle’s shoulder, but what exactly is Mopar? 

Portman-what? 

Simply put, MOPAR is a portmanteau of the words motor and parts. [Phew! That was a heavy lift. Good article guys (high fives all around). Thanks for stopping dear readers!] Oh, wait, your curiosity goes deeper than the merely etymological? You’re in luck then, because the history of Mopar goes back almost 100 years and there’s plenty to more to cover.

Origin Story

The Mopar name goes back all the way to the 1920s when it was used as shorthand within the company when referring to Chrysler auto parts. The name wasn’t used officially until 1937 when it was first applied to Chrysler antifreeze. From there the catalog of Mopar expanded to include replacement parts, high-performance parts, and interior and exterior accessories. Today Mopar parts and accessories run the gamut from engine parts to roof racks and everything in between. Mopar parts have been offered on Chrysler’s brands including Chrysler, Fiat, Dodge, Plymouth, Ram, DeSoto, Imperial, Jeep, and AMC.

Mopar logo used from 1937-1947 - mopar.com
Mopar logo used from 1937-1947 - mopar.com

Muscle and Pony Cars

The Mopar name is most closely associated with the muscle and pony cars Chrysler made during the 1960s and 70s. Real muscle and pony car enthusiasts almost never kept their cars stock. Instead, they modified them, chiefly to boost horsepower and speed. Not only were these cars cheap enough for young people to buy, they were cheap enough to modify. Many of which are considered by many to be the greatest cars in an era of amazing autos.

Plymouth’s Roadrunner and Barracuda became instant legends, thanks in no small measure to the Mopar mods their owners equipped them with. Dodge’s twin hellions, the Challenger and Charger, build a reputation as tire squealing monsters that remains accurate today. Variants like the Super Bird (race focused Roadrunner with massive rear wing and nose cone), the Plymouth GTX (basically an upscale Roadrunner based off the Belvedere), the Dodge Super Bee, and the Dodge Charger Daytona (which won the very first Talladega 500) are all highly desirable classics.

From the 60’s onward, Mopar has been synonymous with huge engines, gnarly exhaust notes, gaudy and eye-catching accessories (who doesn’t love giant wings?), and crazy burnouts.

Racing Connections

If you’re familiar at all with racing you know the Mopar name. They’ve been sponsoring teams across the racing world for decades. They’ve sponsored for teams in the NASCAR Truck Series, Sprint car, and, most appropriately, drag racing teams, including Funny Car and Top Fuel classes.

Our Favorite Accessories

Huge Blowers:

What’s better than hood scoops on your classic Mopar muscle car? How about a huge blower popping out of your hood? Just make sure to bring your ear plugs.

1970 Dodge Charger 500 with a blown Mopar Performance 7.7L / 472 cid Big-Block V8 engine - Jamboolio on Youtube
1970 Dodge Charger 500 with a blown Mopar Performance 7.7L / 472 cid Big-Block V8 engine - Jamboolio on Youtube

Kits:

Mopar offers a number of different kits you can buy aftermarket or get from the factory. An especially exciting one is the new Drag Pak featured on a limited run of 2020 Dodge Challengers (just 50 to be produced). The not-even-close-to-street-legal Drag Pak is intended for just that, competition drag racing. Powered by a supercharged 354 Hemi V8, this Mopar monster does 7.5 seconds in the quarter mile. The kit includes a parachute and a wheelie bar straight from the factory, cause you’re gonna need ‘em.

Crate Hemis:

Giant plug-and-play engines you can toss in dozens of new and old Mopar vehicles? That’s right. Mopar currently offers four different Crate engines that can be easily installed in your current restomod project or swapped into your newly acquired FCA vehicle. Most notable among these is the Hellephant. The name derives from the nickname of the OG 426 hemi know among the Mopar faithful as “the Elephant” for its size and the modern Hellcat hemi. The Hellephant, unmodified, starts at 1000hp.

1000HP Hellephant 426 Hemi Engine MOPAR Advertisement - mopar.com
1000HP Hellephant 426 Hemi Engine MOPAR Advertisement - mopar.com

All that Jeep stuff:

What’s a Jeep without a bunch of aftermarket add-ons to properly personalize it? Boring, that’s what. Jeeps are the epitome of off-road adventure. Good news there are plenty of Mopar accessories to help get you there and back. Try adding a tailgate table, LED lights, hood graphic with an American flag, and, perhaps most important of all, a Performance Parts Lift Kit.

2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon - carsforsale.com

2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon – carsforsale.com  |  Shop 2020 Jeep Wranglers on Carsforsale.com

The Legacy Continues

With the likes of the Hellephant Hemi and the Drag Pak modded Challenger, it would appear the Mopar name still stands for performance bordering on the absurd. Whether you’re upgrading your Jeep for you next overlanding adventure, fixing up that project GTX, or dropping a Hellcat into, well, whatever you fancy, Mopar is there to help.

Mopar Performance logo on the side of an engine - mopar.com
Mopar Performance logo on the side of an engine - mopar.com

Related Staff Picks Articles

The BMW Kidney Grille Through the Years

Dog Car Seats and Safety Harnesses

Retro Review: Chevy Astro Van

Tags:
Chris Kaiser
Chris Kaiser

Chris’ greatest passions include topiary, spelunking, and pushing aging compact cars well past 200,000 miles on cross-country road trips. His taste in cars runs from the classic and esoteric to the deeply practical with an abiding affection for VW Things, old Studebakers, and all things hybrid-crossover.

  • 1

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tweet
Share
Pin
Share