Leah Pritchett to Carry Mopar 80th Anniversary Logo on Top Fuel Dragster
- Mopar continues brand’s 80th celebration in 2017 with special anniversary graphics for Matt Hagan’s Dodge Charger R/T NHRA Funny Car
- Mopar has evolved from start in 1937 as name of a line of antifreeze products to represent excellence on the drag strip, as well as global service, parts and customer-care
- Hagan to feature Mopar 80th/Express Lane as primary colors on his Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car in at least five events
- Mopar 80th anniversary logo also highlights Hagan’s firesuit, team shirts
- NHRA Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett to carry Mopar 80th logo on dragster and uniform at Mopar Mile-High Nationals and Dodge NHRA Nationals
Auburn Hills, MIch. (July 20, 2017) – Two-time NHRA Funny Car champion Matt Hagan will help wish the Mopar brand a happy 80th birthday in nitro HEMI®-engine fueled fashion, starting this weekend at the 38th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals near Denver. The Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver and Mopar teamed up today to reveal special Mopar 80th anniversary graphics that Hagan will campaign on his Dodge Charger R/T in at least five NHRA National events during the remainder of the season.
Hagan will also debut a new firesuit featuring unique Mopar 80th anniversary branding, which will carry over to the team shirts for he and his crew. Hagan’s DSR teammate, Leah Pritchett, will also sport Mopar 80th logos on her Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Pennzoil Top Fuel dragster and firesuit at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals and the Dodge NHRA Nationals in Pennsylvania in late September.
“Matt Hagan and Leah Pritchett are great ambassadors to help us celebrate 80 years of our brand,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA – Global. “Matt brought home NHRA World championships in 2011 and 2014 and has collected numerous wins and records in his career, while Leah has won multiple times this season and set the national elapsed-time record in the Top Fuel category utilizing HEMI power. It’s already been an amazing year for Mopar-powered drivers and it’s just going to get better as we cheer on Matt and Leah in special Mopar anniversary graphics.”
The special 80th anniversary graphics celebrate the birth of the Mopar brand in 1937. A contraction of the words “Motor Parts,” Mopar is marking an amazing evolution over eight decades. First introduced as the name of a line of antifreeze products, the Mopar brand has since transformed to encompass total service, parts and customer care for FCA vehicle owners around the globe.
Performance on the drag strip has long played a starring role in the legacy and heritage of the brand. Legends and innovators such as “Big Daddy” Don Garlits and Don Schumacher helped established Mopar’s reputation for drag racing excellence, as did unique Mopar “package cars,” factory-built for drag race use. By the late ’60s and early ’70s, proud Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth performance enthusiasts had adopted the word Mopar to describe any and all of their vehicles.
Hagan, Pritchett and their DSR teammates continue to etch the Mopar brand’s name in the record books. Hagan has claimed three wins in his Mopar Dodge, is second in the standings and holds the current NHRA Funny Car National record for elapsed time at 3.802 seconds. Pritchett has also seized three wins, is second in points and owns the elapsed time record in Top Fuel at 3.658 seconds. Mopar-powered DSR drivers have combined for 16 wins in the Nitro classes in 2017.
“This new wrap is going to be really special for the 80th year of Mopar,” said Hagan, who has competed since 2009 in a Mopar-powered DSR Dodge Funny Car. “Just being able to do something special and show our fans a different look and a different scheme that they haven’t seen yet I think is going to be really cool. I’m pretty pumped about it. I know these Mopar fans are going to be geeked about it and I hope we can put this thing in the winner’s circle.”
Added Pritchett, “Mopar means Motor Parts, and to help carry the legacy of the Mopar brand is very important to me. It’s an honor. To fly the Mopar colors at the Mile-Highs last year was awesome. To be associated with names like “Big Daddy” Don Garlits gives me chills. I love the 80th decal and will be excited to have it on my firesuit for the Mopar Mile-High Nationals.”
About Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals
The Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals event is scheduled for July 21-23 at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado, near Denver. Race weekend will kick off on Thursday, July 20, with the Mopar Mile-High Block Party from 6 to 10 p.m. MT in downtown Golden. The fan event is free to the public and includes a Mopar NHRA driver autograph session, live music, Mopar vehicles and displays, food and drink tents, and much more.
The Mopar brand’s headline event will receive nationwide exposure, as eliminations for the 38th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals will air live on the national FOX network from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 23.
During the brand’s 80 years, Mopar has introduced numerous industry-first features including:
- Vehicle-information apps: first to introduce smartphone vehicle-information applications, a new channel of communication with consumers
- wiADVISOR: first to incorporate a tablet-based service lane tool
- Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS): first to market with a new interactive vehicle tracking device that sends owner a text when vehicle is driven too fast or too far based on pre-set parameters
- Wi-Fi: first to offer customers the ability to make their vehicle a wireless hot spot
- Electronic owner manuals: first to introduce traditional owner manuals on a smartphone app
80 Years of Mopar
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was born on August 1, 1937, as the name of a line of antifreeze products. Mopar has since evolved over 80 years to serve as the total service, parts and customer-care brand of all FCA vehicles around the globe.
Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era, with Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, and expanded to include technical service and customer support. Today, the Mopar brand’s global reach distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 25 customer contact centers globally, Mopar integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance customer and dealer support worldwide.
Mopar is the source for genuine parts and accessories for all FCA US LLC vehicle brands. Mopar parts are engineered together with the same teams that create factory-authorized specifications for FCA vehicles, offering a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. Complete information on the Mopar brand is available at www.mopar.com.