The MoVenture Begins - Ten Teams Embark on 1,900-mile Road Trip From Detroit to Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals

Jul 15, 2011, 17:00 ET from Chrysler Group LLC

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., July 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

  • MoVenture to pit 10 teams on cross-country jaunt and scavenger hunt
  • Teams to collect points for taking in a broad slice of Americana and reporting back across social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
  • Week-long drive ends with Mopar-sponsored Big-Block event prior to Mopar NHRA Mile-High Nationals in Golden, Colo.

As far as we know, Jesse James' hideout didn't make the list and neither did Dogpatch, USA. There also is nothing on the scavenger hunt list about viewing "live rattlers" or stopping to collect fireworks.

But for 10 pairs of drivers and navigators driving new Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Fiat vehicles, the next seven days will take them on a "MoVenture" road rally along 1,900 miles of roads with stops at nearly every form of Americana that many enjoyed from the third seat of the family station wagon. Along the way, they'll enjoy the local cuisine and take in attractions that are found off the beaten path of the Interstates.

The first leg of the adventure is slated to start at Chrysler Group LLC Headquarters, just north of Detroit, on Saturday, July 16 at approximately 9:00 a.m. Following seven days on the road and more than 1,900 miles later, the rally concludes and participants have the opportunity to view the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.

Staged by Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC's service, parts and customer-care brand, the road rally and scavenger hunt will take the teams along a diverse set of roads encompassing metropolitan centers and small towns. Not just a point-to-point driving event, MoVenture rally participants will earn points on the scavenger hunt looking for items, taking pictures of local scenery and sharing their experiences with friends and followers via social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

"Most people know us for our performance business because of our successful history in racing including the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals," said Tricia Hecker, Head of Marketing, Mopar.  "Mopar is much more than racing. We can service and support virtually any need a car owner has and we want to demonstrate this value proposition. MoVenture also is an opportunity to meet an intense group of Mopar enthusiasts, share their experiences along the way, all while enjoying the great American tradition of a summer road trip."

With Shell picking up the tab for fuel and Autonet mobile providing in-vehicle units for free Wi-Fi along the way, there are no worries about running out of gas money or getting lost on back roads.

After a month-long search with applicants turning in videos expressing their passion for Mopar and why they wanted to participate in the trip, 10 teams have been selected by Chrysler Group brands to take part in the all-expense-paid MoVenture by Mopar.

Teams include:

Eric and Wendy – Fiat 500 Sport – Brown Team

Hailing from Phoenix, both are founding members of the Desert Chapter of Fiat/Lancia Unlimited. An Italian car aficionado, Eric got his start fixing old Lancias that he purchased with his father on regular trips to Europe. Wendy acquired the car bug through marriage and is a regular on the Italian car circuit across the country. Wendy is looking forward to a win for a new Mopar cargo liner for her Fiat 500.

Mike and Gil – Dodge Charger R/T - Red Team

A huge Richard Petty fan, Mike is an aficionado of all things automotive and especially movies with Mopars.  He'll be teamed with his best friend Gil who calls Hawaii his home.  An Automotive Service Excellence automotive technician by trade, Gil is looking forward to a drive that is more than 70 miles – the longest cruising distance in Hawaii, as well as watching some real quarter-mile racing at the Mopar Mile- High Nationals. Something that is nonexistent in his state.

Keith and Derek – Chrysler 200 Limited - Blue Team

Partners in an equipment company from Fairfield, Ohio, Derek is a production manager and an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting and fishing. Keith restores cars – a hobby that started at the early age of 12 with a 1966 Plymouth Valiant. Both travel well together and are looking forward to a fun challenge.

Mandy and Jane – Jeep Grand Cherokee -Black Team

Friends since the sixth grade, Mandy and Jane met when they were both "army brats" at a military base.  Jane lives in St. Louis and Mandy calls Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., home, and both travel together with their husbands. The pair is looking forward to driving a new Grand Cherokee, sans husbands, on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.  

Jefferson and Chris – Ram 1500 Crew Outdoorsman - Orange Team

A lifelong gearhead, Jefferson owns 13 cars in various stages of restoration or modification. Mopars have always been his favorite with their unique lines and engine designs. Chris has balanced the daily driver/project car routine for years, but acknowledges the project is finally getting its due in Jefferson's shop and will be driving any day now a full-blown custom pickup truck that was passed on to him from his father.

Susan and Craig – Dodge Charger V-6 – Green Team

Introduced on a blind date more than 18 years ago, and married for 15 years, Craig is a law enforcement officer and a lifelong car enthusiast who is a member of the Viper Club of America. Susan is a middle- school teacher and mom with two boys - Connor, age 10, and Marshall, age 7.  Susan and Craig are looking forward to the challenges and teamwork required for the MoVenture, as well as taking in the scenery and a few days away from the boys.

Lisa and Garrett –Jeep Wrangler Sahara - Yellow Team

Despite growing up 10 minutes apart from each other in Toledo, Ohio, virtually in the shadow of the Jeep plant, Lisa and Garrett didn't meet until both attended Bowling Green State University. A glass blower by trade, Garrett moved to Vermont and Lisa soon followed. After a few years of battling the harsh New England winters, and being familiar with Jeep Wranglers that came out of Toledo and its capabilities, the pair purchased a 1993 Wrangler Sahara edition.  The longer they drove the Wrangler, the more it became part of the family.

Chris and Sean – Ram 1500 Crew "Outdoorsman" – White Team

Both Sean and Chris are car aficionados to the extreme, embracing anything with the Mopar badge, as well as the whole car culture scene, through social media outlets such as Motorama Live, Moparchat and Moparunlimited. Sean is from the Motor City and is a student majoring in automotive technology, alternative fuels and hybrid powertrains. Chris is from the epicenter of car culture, Southern California, and is an avid car enthusiast, race car driver and entrepreneur.

Ben and Chris – Chrysler 300C – Purple Team

Ben, the owner of Plum Floored Creations, a Mopar-exclusive speed shop in Phoenix, started his passion with cars by collecting Hot Wheels and winning Pinewood Derby races at a young age.  Two years before his 16th birthday, he was restoring a 1969 Plymouth Road Runner with his father.  Driving partner Chris is a drag racing photojournalist and chaplain.  An auto-aviation curator, he has an eye for concours correctness and originality.

Jennifer and Berry – Fiat 500 – Grey Team

Combining business with pleasure, Jennifer and Berry are from Addison, Texas, and enjoy the open road, rally events and sharing their experiences with automotive performance reviews in a lighthearted way on Motorama LIVE, a weekly Twitter discussion. Their philosophy is to have as much fun as possible with all competitors and get the most out of every event.

With more than $5,000 in prizes and Mopar gear up for grabs, including a chance to win a Mopar Katzkin leather interior for the vehicle of their choice, "are we there yet" takes on a whole new meaning for the 10 teams in this MoVenture road trip.

Mopar-First Features

Mopar has introduced numerous industry-first features including:

  • Camper trailers: first to introduce off-road camper trailers
  • Vehicle-information smartphone apps: first to introduce smartphone vehicle-information applications, a new channel of communication with consumers
  • Electronic owner manuals: first to introduce traditional owner manuals in a DVD and brief user-guide format
  • Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS): first to introduce new vehicle tracking system that sends owner a text when vehicle is driven too fast or too far based on set parameters
  • 2011 Challenger Drag Pak: first to introduce a 500-plus cubic-inch V-10 drag-race package car
  • Wi-Fi: first to offer customers the ability to make their vehicle a wireless hot spot
  • Brand-specific customer-care telephone lines: first to offer Sunday service hours to customers
  • WiTECH: first to support vehicle diagnosis and software updates leveraging off-the-shelf personal computers and a dedicated wireless tool network

About the Mopar Brand

Mopar is Chrysler Group LLC's service, parts and customer-care brand. Mopar distributes approximately 280,000 parts and accessories in more than 90 countries and is the source for all original-equipment parts for Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram Truck vehicles. Mopar parts are unique in that they are engineered and tested with the same teams that create factory-authorized vehicle specifications for Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram Truck vehicles – a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. A complete list of Mopar accessories and performance parts is available at

More than 70 Years of Mopar

When Chrysler bought Dodge in 1928, the need for a dedicated parts manufacturer, supplier and distribution system to support the growing enterprise led to the formation of the Chrysler Motor Parts Corporation (CMPC) in 1929.

Mopar (a simple contraction of the words Motor and PARts) was trademarked for a line of antifreeze products in 1937. It also was widely used as a moniker for the CMPC. The Mopar brand made its mark in the 1960s—the muscle-car era. The Chrysler Corporation built race-ready Dodge and Plymouth "package cars" equipped with special high-performance parts. Mopar carried a line of "special parts" for super stock drag racers and developed its racing parts division called Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use.

SOURCE Chrysler Group LLC