By Doug Halberstadt
Classic car enthusiasts from throughout the Midwest will make the Boone County Fairgrounds their point of destination this weekend. The 22nd Annual Belvidere Mopar Happening presented by the Chicagoland Mopar Connection will take over the fairgrounds Saturday and Sunday, July 14-15.
The Belvidere Happening will have cars from the 1920s up to the brand-new 2012 Dodge Dart. Sunday, more than 300 cars are expected to be on display. In addition to the car show, there is also a huge swap meet on both days. Saturday’s participants are also planning a trip to the Byron Dragway to catch some Mopar drag racing in the morning. The afternoon activities include a cruise to Belvidere Motors at 4 p.m. and then on to Anderson Dodge at 6 p.m.
Admission to the show is $3 per person at the gate and free for children 12 and younger and holders of military IDs. Saturday features a special entry fee of $5 per carload. The grounds are open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. The show goes on, rain or shine, and there is plenty of free parking available on the grounds.
In addition to the many parts and food vendors displaying their wares at “The Happening,” featured guest Mr. Norm will be on the grounds. He is best known as the “King of Hi-Performance.” He revolutionized how performance cars were sold, and went so far as to develop the prototypes for the 383 Dart GTS and the famed M-Code 440 Dart, both of which were subsequently put into production by Chrysler Corporation, in addition to delivering the most Hemi Darts of any dealer.
Today, Mr. Norm’s Garage carries on this legacy with a comprehensive lineup of new turnkey performance vehicles, vehicle packages, parts and accessories, and vintage muscle cars built to order. His garage is in the building that previously housed Strandquist motors at 610 W. Jefferson St., Rockford.
For more about this year’s Happening, call event director Dean Barker at (815) 878-0204 or e-mail him at CMCRVC@MSN.COM.
From the July 11-17, 2012, issue