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Mopar nationals or Carlisle Chrysler nationals.

If you had to pick between going to the Mopar Nationals or Carlisle Chrysler Nationals


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71RRHI

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I have always wanted to go to one of the big mopar shows. I like to search through the used parts in the swap meet section. See new repro parts and talk to different part venders. Look at the cars, and watch some drag races.
Since its such a far distance for me to go to one of the shows, I need to plan in advance. If you have to pick only one to attend. Which one would you recommend. Mopar Nationals, or Carlisle Chrysler Nationals. Also let me know why.
 
Carlisle is clean, well organized, and friendly. The restrooms are attended and there's a 55 gal trash can every 100 yards or so in the swap and show field. You can come and go any time at all if you're showing a car or a vendor with the windshield sticker.

I've never been to the Nats' but I have heard it's not as easy - poor layout, long walks.
 
Never been to Carlisle, but I know it’s a great show. I’ve been to the Nats dozens of times over the years, but it’s really gone downhill in those years. Still a good show, and the racing is on site, so that’s a plus. I’ve of never been to either one, I would choose Carlisle.
 
20 years ago...even 10 The Nats was great. Brice Road crusing was half the show. Now it's on it's last breath.
 
Been to both. Add drag racing for the Nats in Columbus. Better crowd (FBBO Tent) at Carlisle.
 
We went to Carlisle for the first time this year. Met a bunch of folks from the FBBO club.
It's a neat, organized event with more than I could take in within the 3 days we were there.
I'm hoping to regularly attend that event personally.
Here's a handful of the FBBO celebrities we got to meet...

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Ive been to both multiples times. Been a vender at both multiple times

They each have their pros and cons.
The Nats - Pros
More nite life.
Drag racing
I like how its laid out better.
A good portion of it is on blacktop if you want

Cons
Can be Noisy from the racing.
Cars are all over so if you want to see all the 1969 Roadrunners as example. It can be tough
Swap is smaller , much smaller than it used to be.


Carlisle - Pros
Larger swap but IMO a lot more of the swap is non car related junk , ( jewelry, cloths etc etc etc )
More cars ,,,BUT A LOT are later models.

Cons
Its VERY spread out so seeing it all is tough
I dont like having to park with every other 1969 Road Runners if I don't want
Racing ( if youre into that ) is outside of town at a separate facility and poorly attended , IMO not worth the drive out.
ZERO nite life with exception to very small groups at some of the hotels. But even then its hit or miss.


BOTH are VERY dusty and loud.
You will see vendors AND cars at one you will not see at the other.

I like them both so pick one, or pick both you will not be disappointed
 
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We went to Carlisle for the first time this year. Met a bunch of folks from the FBBO club.
It's a neat, organized event with more than I could take in within the 3 days we were there.
I'm hoping to regularly attend that event personally.
Here's a handful of the FBBO celebrities we got to meet...

View attachment 1576282
Who are all those old people?

To answer the original question, what do you want in a Mopar show?

Moparwacko rating system:

1. Carlisle - 3000+ registered show vehicles. There is no comparison to swap meet anywhere in the world.
There isn't any drag racing, but if swap meet and show cars are what you're after this is the place.

2. Holley Moparty in Bowling Green KY. Smallish swap meet, on-site drag racing, good show car turn out and a huge Hillbilly fun factor. Event has become big and soon huge.

3.Summit Motorsports Mopar Madness, okay it's not called that anymore. Local Dodge dealer sponsored now, but on-site all Mopar drag racing (huge)at the premiere track in Ohio.
Small swap meet section and very few show vehicle's. This event is growing.

Dying Events:

Mopar Nationals. This event has been on life support for years. It used to be the top dog, but no more. After hours cruises used to be a major draw, but no longer true.

MATS in Vegas. Another that was fun a few years ago. On-site drag racing at it's finest, not much else but great after hours gatherings at various venues.









Disclaimer- these are the events I have been to, your mileage may vary, take this advice with tongue in cheek, and under strict adult supervision only. Frequenting certain venues in Las Vegas may cause unwanted or undesirable symptoms or circumstances, caution should be exercised, consult with your physician if necessary.
 
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I've attended the Carlisle Chrysler Nationals every year since it started. I currently live less than two hours away, which leads to geographical bias on my part. But in the 90s, I lived in the Chicago area, I attended both shows for several years (Mopar Nationals was in Indianapolis then.) I considered the Carlisle event more user friendly, in terms of car show and swap meet layout. I didn't participate in after hours events at either show back then, so I can't offer a comparison on that aspect. Since I've joined FBBO, I've found the tent gathering at Carlisle a huge draw, a terrific group. For an FBBO member, I think this tips the balance.

As mentioned by others, Carlisle is huge. Advance planning to cover the field is well worth the effort, I think it's supposed to be 16 miles if you see everything and don't back track. I've measured my distance covered on a typical day, and it averages about six miles. I've stayed at the same hotel for the last decade, and book a year in advance. Plenty of socializing in the parking lot, and a few really nice cars driven over from the show field.
 
Personally, I think Carlisle is well ahead of the nationals.
reason? For all of the things stated by the folks above^^^
AND when you’re exhausted from walking around, there a micro brewery type restaurant/bar practically on the grounds (right outside of the gate). Relax , cool down , try some of their beer…….ahhhhhhhhh
 
Carlisle Chrysler Nationals is by far the better show to shop at for new and used parts. It is a clean and well run operation and the deals to be found
are amazing.
 
Point of information: The Nationals are in Hebron, Ohio. Chrysler Carlisle is in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
 
Carlisle hands down, been every year since 1992,been vending since 1994. Missed 2020 because of the scamdemic. Been to the Nationals twice, never going back. I have never seen a more disorganized mess in my life. Bathrooms were overflowing raw sewage,barrels overflowing with Bee's and flies around them. A total dust bowl, with people parking minivans next to Hemi Daytona's! Swap meet prices for parts were double what I saw at Carlisle the month before. And the golf carts were insane! The nightlife on Brice road was great the first time I went, and completely shut down by the cops the second time I went.
 
I'd been going to the Nats from '83 to '96. I went to Carlisle the second year it happened in the early '90's. I then took a bunch of years off from attending any shows. I started going back to Carlisle about ten years ago and haven't missed one since. But I haven't been back to the Nats and don't intend to.

Carlisle is an awesome swap meet and a great show as well. There are multiple entry points around the fairgrounds with virtually no lineups. You can get decent food reasonably-priced outside any of the gates. Food on the grounds is ok but pricey. Parking is plentiful at $10 day and you can even find close parking free on side streets. Access to and from is good with multiple routes to leave the area. There are plenty of hotels nearby but you'll find lodging at half the price a half hour away. The weather is generally good but usually hot and humid.

There is no racing as part of the show but there is a 1/8 mile strip not far out of town that usually has a good show going on. As well there is sprint car racing nearby as well and that show is pretty damn good as well.
 
Carlisle x 10, we vend yearly except covid. But the Nat's have the best t shirts.
And the track is entertaining.
 
I've gone to Carlisle every year since the first Mopar event there. It seems to get bigger and better every year (except during Covid but was even good then). More show cars at Carlisle. More vendors at Carlisle (more parts vendors, but yes there are more unrelated junk vendors too). Cleaner restrooms and port o potties at Carlisle. Better and more food choices at Carlisle (everyone has favorite food vendors that they make a point of stopping at every year). Amazing how well Carlisle is organized and run. But, no racing, and no night time activities. Without a doubt, the biggest and best Mopar show on the planet. Officially the show runs Friday through Sunday. But unofficially, Thursday is a better show and vendor day than Sunday. Sunday is only for awards presentation and packing up to go home. Sometimes on Sunday you can find a deal from a vendor who doesn't want to haul unsold stuff home and then to the Nats a month later. But, by noon on Sunday, it's a ghost town. There is a cruise in on Thursday afternoon outside gate 3. Friday and Saturday cars are parked by class. Thursday and Sunday, park where ever you want. Very difficult to cover the entire show field, vendor area and car corral in just three days (or 3 1/2 days if you include Sunday morning).
If you are flying in for the Carlisle show, you can check closer airports, but your best option might be to fly into Washington's Dulles Airport (IAD) or Baltimore Washington Airport (BWI). Dulles is just a two hour drive to Carlisle. Rent a Mopar and register it for the show so you can drive in the gates each day (includes admission for two people). If you don't you'll pay for parking a block or more outside the gate and then you'll be paying admission each day.

Went to the Mopar Nats every year from the mid 80's till about 2007. It has racing at the track during the day and used to have awesome cruising on the streets after dark. At least when I was there, the port o potties were horrible (wearing a Depends would be a better choice). Don't think they were cleaned at all during the three day event. Food vendors had an assortment of typical track food found at any drag strip. Judged show cars were on one side of the track. To see non judged cars, and for food vendors, and flea market, you had to walk all the way around the end of the track and staging lanes and through all the trailers and tow vehicles parked among the scattered show and race cars. Very dusty. Not as well organized. I don't miss it. I would rather spend vacation time attending Spring Fling Mopar show in California than attending the Nats.



If you're on Facebook, you should be able to view my photos from this year's Chrysler Carlisle show. Didn't get vendor pics, but these should give you an idea of the cars that were there (I skipped the 80's and newer cars).

Thursday

Friday morning

Friday mid day

Friday afternoon

Saturday morning (I was exhausted and just hung out by the car in the afternoon)
 
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Carlisle hands down, been every year since 1992,been vending since 1994. Missed 2020 because of the scamdemic. Been to the Nationals twice, never going back. I have never seen a more disorganized mess in my life. Bathrooms were overflowing raw sewage,barrels overflowing with Bee's and flies around them. A total dust bowl, with people parking minivans next to Hemi Daytona's! Swap meet prices for parts were double what I saw at Carlisle the month before. And the golf carts were insane! The nightlife on Brice road was great the first time I went, and completely shut down by the cops the second time I went.
Whoever gave the red X of disapproval.....the truth sucks huh!
 
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