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A passion for Mopars runs in the family

By Jennifer Gallus
Staff Writer

Mopar fever is in the blood of a local family that owns, restores, and rebuilds these Chrysler classics.

Marty and Diane Weber of Watertown, their son and daughter-in-law Corey and Dana Weber of Montrose, along with Diane’s brother and wife, Paul and Cherie Greenhagen of Delano, collect, restore, and rebuild high performance models of Mopars. Paul is originally from Howard Lake.

The nickname Mopar comes from the parts company named Mopar that makes performance parts for Dodge, Chrysler, and Plymouth. Mopar is a generic name for all three makes.

Between the three families, they own six completely restored Mopars representing the years 1968 to 1971, the muscle car years, reported Marty.

Mary and Diane have a 1968 Plymouth GTX convertible with a 426-hemi engine. “This is rare, only 36 of these convertibles with that engine were made that year,” Marty said.

They also have a 1968 Sports Satellite with a 550-horse, 440 engine, and a 1957 Dodge pickup with a 315 engine, push-button automatic transmission and only 75,000 original miles.

“I bought my first Mopar in 1968, brand new,” Marty said. “The first car I bought for restoration was in the late 1980s. It was a 1969 Dodge GTS, and I bought it from a lady in Howard Lake,” he said.

Marty explained that restoring Mopars is his hobby. He restores them to showroom quality, takes them to a few car shows a year, and has rebuilt and sold about 10 of them.

Three upcoming projects for Marty are to restore a newly acquired 1941 Plymouth pickup, restore a 1968 Sports Satellite convertible, and refurbish the engine of his son Corey’s 1969 Plymouth GTX.

The pickup is rare for many reasons including the fact that 1941 was the last year Plymouth made pickups, Marty explained. After the restoration, the pickup will be in street rod condition.

The pickup has “bug eye” headlights, “It’s so ugly, it’s cute,”laughed Marty.

The 1968 Sports Satellite convertible is currently in “salvageable” condition, Marty said. It will be a sister car to his 1968 Sports Satellite hardtop, will be painted the same colors, and will have a 340-six pack engine instead of the original 318. “Then we’ll have a his and hers,” Marty laughed.

The engine compartment in his son Corey’s Mopar needs an update. This will include painting and refurbishing all visible engine components.

“It’s a hobby that, most of the time, you get your money back when you sell it,” Marty said. His wife Diane said, “It keeps him busy.” Then Marty laughed and said, “It keeps me out of the house!”

Their son Corey owns a 1969 Plymouth GTX that Corey, Marty, and Paul Greenhagen restored.

For Corey and Dana’s first born son, Dylan’s, first birthday, Corey and grandpa Marty remodeled a pedal car into a small version of Corey’s Plymouth GTX.

Continuing down the family line, Paul Greenhagen and his wife Cherie, currently own a 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner convertible with a 383 engine and an automatic transmission that is a reflective limelight green. It is currently under restoration.

They also own a 1971 Plymouth Cuda with a 340 engine, and a four-speed that is “Curious Yellow,” which is a rare color, according to Paul. “They only made that color for one year,” Paul said.

The Cuda is a high performance version of the Baracuda, and the most popular body style of the Cuda and Baracuda was produced between 1970 to 1974, Paul explained.

The Cuda is a very high option car and his Cuda has, just to name a few, the special shaker hood, the rubber bumpers, the am/fm cassette radio (1971 was the first year this option became available), the billboard decal, which is the big black stripe in the rear, the rear spoiler, and ralleye gauges and wheels, Paul said.

Paul has owned and sold at least a dozen Mopars, and completely restored about six of those.

“My first car was a 1973 Dodge Charger. In the late 1980s, collecting and restoring Mopars became a hobby, and then an addiction,” Paul laughed.

“What I enjoy the most,” Paul said, “is bringing them (the Mopars) back to life. I find them in a barn, for example, bring them home, and restore them to their original state. Driving them afterwards is also fun, but then the time comes to find another one and start over.”

Paul, Cherie, and their three sons, show their Mopars both locally and nationally.

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