Winged Warriors/National B-Body Owners Association
2002 WW/NBOA Fall Meet at the Monster Mopar Weekend

Text and Photos by Sue George

On September 6-8, 2002, the Winged Warriors/NBOA held a fall meet in conjunction with the Monster Mopar Weekend XVIII. The weather was customarily hot and humid and the time flew by. Our headquarters hotel was the Ramada Inn in Collinsville, IL. Restoration Adviser David Patik drove all the way from Tallahassee, FL to be our special guest. On Friday morning, David set up a display with several tables full of detail parts he had brought with him. This was a great learning experience for the members who had never seen original parts or compared them to the available repros. Among the displays were an original-albeit bent (as they usually are)-SuperBird scissor jack and a real close repro, an original and incorrect repro voltage regulator, an original and repro headlight bracket, turn signal assembly, wing brace, etc. David even had half of an assembled Daytona nose on display!

That morning, we also had the extreme pleasure of meeting member John Houlihan (owner of the Cal Gas Daytona) who flew in from Middlesex, England to spend the weekend with us! We had a great time talking with John and hope to see him again at future club meets!

In the afternoon, David held seminars on Brent and Sherri Evans' red and white Daytona and on Danny and Reva Byrd's B5 SuperBird. There was also a lot to learn from these sessions. With our hotel mostly filled up with members by late Friday afternoon, most of us hung around the parking lot in the evening and talked, looked at each others cars and even swapped some parts. Ric LaFollette spent a good portion of the evening sitting on the parking lot, with a blanket covered with parts from inside of the door of daughter Anita's recently acquired '73 Charger. When they had taken Anita's Charger to dinner earlier that evening, they found out it had the optional "automatic dropping" passenger's side window! Not exactly a rare option with these old Mopars and not a fun one to fix.

Early Saturday morning, we all headed out to Gateway International. The entrance to the show area was at least 100% improved over previous years. Those of us who were pre-registered simply showed our credentials and drove right in. The winged cars were displayed together a short distance inside the entrance along the drag strip fencing. The B-bodies were parked across and next to us. We had initially worried about a dirt road that was located 150 feet from the cars since that area of the mid west was little more than a dust bowl during the summer, but a water truck kept the road dust-free all day for us.

At the end of the long line of winged cars, David Patik and his assistant Dianne Whitaker had a very impressive large club display set up. The club's 3/8 scale wind tunnel model was on display along with its various little parts, and this drew a lot of attention from passersby. David also had the original Sal Tovella SuperBird race car nosecone on display. The club advertising binder was on display under a tent along with lots of club fliers. A very big THANK YOU to David and Dianne for doing such a great job of promoting the club!

We were very surprised to see Ken Presley's SuperBird completely restored and looking like brand new. Just one year ago at the 2001 Monster Mopar Weekend, Ken had brought his car out of many years of storage and it was looking pretty icky. They did one outstanding restoration on it. We were glad to see Rich and Rhonda Kelley's red Survivor Daytona one more time before it was damaged just two weeks later in a tornado at the DSAC meet in Indy. And it was a real pleasure to lay eyes on Bill Hoehn's original-owner Daytona that had just been restored back to its original color. You'll remember Bill's car, featured elsewhere on this website, in its 33 years, has been vandalized, used to haul 28' steel joists, copper piping and even hauled a bridge home, been damaged in a hail storm, repainted in two different colors and then stored for 26 years while trees grew up in front of the garage door! You'd never know it now, as the body is tweaked to perfection and is wearing a new coat of gleaming F6 green paint!

The swap meet was huge, covering half of one side of the track complex where we were parked and half of the area on the opposite side of the track. Almost everyone found something to take home including literature, carbs, some much needed interior pieces, a set of wheels and even a SuperBird hood! There was drag racing all day long for those who wanted to watch some action and the Richard Petty Driving School was making use of the circle track most of the day.

After a long and very hot day, at 5pm Rich Bolzenius came over to the winged car area and delivered the news everyone had been waiting to hear. The winged cars could drive under the tunnel and get lined up in preparation to do some laps around the circle track! That's all it took to get everyone in their cars and engines started. At the tunnel entrance, everyone had to naturally sign their lives away and after all the cars were parked on the infield, the pace car official briefed everyone on the procedure. In groups of ten, we would do one lap at slow speed to get the feel of the track, two laps about 45mph and the final two laps at about 60mph. Everyone reported back that they thoroughly enjoyed it.

After the laps everyone headed back to the hotel. We regret that we didn't know about our two very special guests in time to announce it to everyone ahead of time, and obviously we did a poor job of getting the word out to those of you who were at the car show that day. We were honored to have Roger Gibson and Frank Badalson join us for the evening. In the Hamption Inn meeting room across the street from our headquarters, Roger gave a very interesting slide presentation on his restoration of the #71 race car Daytona that set the land speed records on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Roger told us about finding salt, 30 years later, packed into the most obscure places in the car and about the car being damaged every time it is sent to England for exhibition. He showed us all of the different parts on the car that are actually factory stock and explained what modifications were done to others, etc. It was a very entertaining and informative presentation. Afterwords, there were a lot of questions and answers exchanged.

Back at the headquarters hotel parking lot that evening, quite a few of the members said their goodbyes as they planned to take off for home on Sunday morning. About half of the members went back to the track on Sunday to brave another very hot day and they were rewarded with more laps around the circle track at the end of the day. During the awards presentation, Scott and Gloria Karns represented the Winged Warriors/NBOA and accepted a nice "Club Participation" trophy. Scott reports that we won the club participation hands-down with 23 cars registered for the show, while our closest contender only had 7 cars registered!

A very big THANK YOU goes out to Roger Gibson and Frank Badalson (Frank came all the way from VA!) and to all of you members who came to the fall meet and made it a success! A special THANKS to Scott Sieveking and Rich Bolzenius who arranged for us to have special parking and do the circle track laps.

Anita LaFollette's 1973 Charger from Indiana.

Bill Barne's SuperBird.
Bill Hoehn's original owner F6 Daytona from MO.
Bill Sam's SuperBird from TX.

Danny and Reva Byrd's B5 SuperBird from MO.
Denny Guest's SuperBird from IL.

Scott and Gloria Karns' SuperBird golf cart and remote control car from TN.
James Cordell's Daytona complete with A/C firewall added from MO.
Jerry Stricker's Hemi SuperBird from KS.
JoAnn Nabor's Hemi Daytona from IL.
Joe Murnan's F8 Daytona from NE.
Ken Presley's SuperBird from AR with restoration photos displayed under hood.

The Winged Warriors members lined up and waiting to do fast laps on the Gateway circle track.

Winged Warriors members doing fast laps on the circle track.

Mike Adams' 440+6 SuperBird from OH.
Rich and Judy Bolzenius' 440+6 SuperBird from MO.
Robert Barnick's B5 Daytona from IL.
Scott and Gloria Karns' Lemontwist SuperBird from TN.
Sectioned Daytona Nose.

This is the original nosecone off of Sal Tovella's #8 USAC SuperBird race car. Note the holes drilled across the bottom of the nosecone. We figure these were to help with air flow/cooling, however they would have severely compromised the strength of the nosecone.

Chrysler 3/8 Scale Wind Tunnel Model (now owned by WW/NBOA).


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