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Mopar Celebrates 75th Anniversary With Four Custom Vehicles


What began as a contraction of the words “motor” and “parts,” first trademarked on anitfreeze in 1937, has grown into a worldwide umbrella brand covering parts, service and accessories for Chrysler products.

Counting the current Chrysler Group products alone, the Mopar brand includes some 280,000 line items in its catalog; combined with Fiat S.p.A, this number stretches to over 500,000 parts and accessories, distributed in over 120 countries.

With a reach like this, it stands to reason that Mopar would mark its 75th anniversary with a few customized vehicles, and Pietro Gorlier, Mopar’s president and CEO, today unveiled four custom vehicles headed to the Chicago Auto Show.

First up was the 2012 Mopar Jeep Compass “True North,” which gets a blacked-out roof, fender flares, door panels, lower front fascia and grille. The grille gets body-colored inserts, and the Compass also gets 16-inch wheels, front and rear brush bars, rock rails and a two-inch lift kit from Rocky Road Suspensions.

Inside the True North gets a Kicker audio system, custom center stack gauges, an aluminum pedal kit, neoprene seat covers, door sill guards, a rear cargo tray and custom shift knob.

Next up was the 2012 Fiat 500 “Stinger,” available in both Stage 1 (primarily appearance upgrades) and Stage 2 (performance and appearance upgrades) versions. The Stinger Stage 1 gets black chrome trim, 17-inch Abarth wheels, vinyl checkered graphics, Katzkin leather and alcantara seats and carbon-fiber-look dash.

The Stage 2 Stinger adds a cold-air intake, a catalyst-back exhaust, performance brake pads and cross-drilled rotors. Mopar isn’t giving any estimates on horsepower gain, but with the Fiat 500 every little bit helps.

The 2013 Dodge Dart gets the Mopar treatment, also in Stage 1 and Stage 2 versions. Called the Dodge Dart “GTS 210 Tribute,” the Stage 1 car gains matte black exterior trim, a carbon-fiber hood, 18-inch forged wheels and a red and black interior highlighted by Katzkin leather seats, leather door panels and a suede instrument surround.

Stage 2 GTS 210 Tribute cars get a Mopar intake and exhaust, as well as revised ECU tuning, to boost output from 184 to 210 horsepower.

The final Mopar anniversary car released was the “Mopar ’12 300,” which is based on the Chrysler 300 instead of the Dodge vehicles honored in the past. The Mopar ’12 300 starts with a gloss black body, pinstriped in Mopar blue and accented with black chrome trim and 20-inch forged aluminum wheels (painted black, of course).

Inside the Mopar 300 gets black leather Katzkin seating, Mopar ’12 Limited Edition badging and Mopar blue highlights throughout the cabin. Piano black is used for dash trim, as is something Chrysler is calling “matte carbon hydrographic accents.”

Ensuring that the Mopar 300 pulls harder than a stock V-8, the final drive has been increased from 3.06:1 to 3.91:1, ensuring that the run from 0 - 60 mph takes just over five seconds. Mopar 300s come with a track-tuned suspension and up-rated brakes, ensuring that the sedan can corner as well as it accelerates.

Only the Mopar 300 will be built by the factory, but Mopar will happily sell you the parts to build you own Dart, Fiat 500 or Jeep Compass. Look for Mopar ’12 300s to hit dealer showrooms this summer.
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