Final 2014 Mopar ‘Top Eliminator HEMI Heritage’ winner to be selected

(September 27, 2014) AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — The eighth annual Mopar “Top Eliminator” competition went online Sept. 26 to find its fourth and final winner for the 2014 edition of the program that recognizes the most skilled Mopar enthusiasts and their restyled, accessorized and performance-enhanced Chrysler Group vehicles.

This year’s edition was renamed the Mopar “Top Eliminator HEMI Heritage” contest to encompass the brand’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the iconic 426 Race HEMI engine.

This is the third year that Mopar will give its passionate online fan community the opportunity to pick the final Mopar ‘Top Eliminator HEMI Heritage’ winner. Enthusiasts are encouraged to upload images of their personal Moparized ride with an emphasis placed on celebrating the heritage of the legendary 426 HEMI engine. Candidates can submit their entries via

Online submissions for the Mopar “Top Eliminator HEMI Heritage” competition will be judged on a number of criteria, including Mopar content, overall appearance, contribution to the 50 year heritage of the 426 HEMI, as well as additional benchmarks.  A panel of Mopar representatives will select 10 finalists from all electronic submissions and then provide the fan community a chance to a vote for their favorites from Oct. 10-17 online at  The final “Top Eliminator HEMI Heritage” winner will be announced on October 20 via the Mopar blog at

Earlier this summer, the first two winners were selected from competitions held at the 30th Annual “Mopars in the Park” car show in Farmington, Minn., and at the Carlisle Chrysler Nationals in Carlisle, Pa. These winning selections were showcased in the Chrysler Group space and Mopar display at metro Detroit’s renowned Woodward Dream Cruise, one the largest car shows in the world and one of the best places to be for true heritage, muscle and dream vehicles.

Patrick O’Leary of Lino Lake, Minn., won the first “Top Eliminator HEMI Heritage” trophy at the annual Midwest Mopars in the Park with his 1968 Matador Red Plymouth Road Runner equipped with a 426 HEMI V-8 engine, and automatic transmission with column-mounted shifter.

The second winner, chosen at annual Carlisle Chrysler Nationals, was a 1969 Dodge Super Bee with a 426 HEMI V-8 owned by Ron Dezsi of New Boston, Michigan, who purchased the limited edition car in July 2004. The vehicle had originally been bought to drag race and then spent 17 years in a garage.

A third winner was chosen from among competitors participating in the 14th annual Mopar HEMI Challenge at the prestigious National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) U.S. Nationals event in Indianapolis, Indiana, at the end of August.

The winner, a 1968 Plymouth Barracuda (pictured at top) powered by a Mopar 426 HEMI, owned and raced by Troy, Ohio, native Harold Leiter Jr., was one of only two original 1968 package cars to compete in the 26-car Mopar HEMI Challenge field. The HEMI Challenge is a drag racing competition between 1968 HEMI Dodge Darts and Plymouth Barracudas, the classic muscle cars that contributed to the Mopar brand’s legendary reputation and success at the drag strip.

This is the eighth year Mopar, Chrysler Group's service, parts and customer-care brand, has held the “Top Eliminator” challenge to help shine a light on passionate and dedicated muscle car enthusiasts who exemplify unmatched skills in modifying or preserving a classic or modern-day Chrysler Group vehicle.

Mopar Brand

Mopar (a simple contraction of the words Motor and PARts) was trademarked in 1937 with the launch of an antifreeze product but truly made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era. From Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, the brand soon expanded to include technical service and customer support.
Today, Mopar is Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand and distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in more than 130 markets, integrating service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance dealer and customer support worldwide. Mopar is the source for genuine parts and accessories for Chrysler Group brands as well as FIAT brands.

Mopar parts are unique in that they are engineered with the same teams that create factory-authorized vehicle specifications for Chrysler Group and FIAT vehicles – a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. A complete list of Mopar accessories and performance parts is available at