High Performance Auto Club

HPAC And Its Story

In the spring of 1985, Tom Hand, had gone to Olathe Chrysler to purchase some parts for his car. The owner approached him, and told him that he would give him $500 toward having a show, if he could arrange to have a car show at his place. There was an ordinance that said the car dealers could not be open on Sunday, except for a special event. This was great news to Tom and his friends, as they always complained that all of the shows were for Fords or Chevys, never any for Mopars.

How The Club Came To Be …

Tom contacted some of his Mopar friends, and they decided to try to get together enough Mopars to put on a show. These friends were: Kyle Drake, Dick Drake, Wayne Perkins, and two friends who worked near Dick—Ron Buffington, and Mark Redelberger. They met, and had flyers made up. They thought that if they all brought their cars, and any others they could find, maybe they would have 25 – 30 cars at the show. Kyle, who was working for AAA Diagnostic Clinic at the time, and drove their diagnostic van to various locations, said he could bring it to the show, and we could work out of it.

The six of them put flyers on each and every Mopar they saw. When the Saturday of the show rolled around, what a surprise there was! A total count of about 125 cars was at the show. The show was so successful that they decided to have a meeting to see if people wanted to form a club. At the show, many people asked how they could “join this club that wasn’t a club.” So a meeting was held at John Mahoney’s place of employment, and it was decided to form a club.

Through the years, membership has grown to over 350 members. The name – High Performance Auto Club – was chosen because most of the founding members had cars that were considered “High Performance.” An attempt was made to use the word Mopar in the club name. Our lawyer checked with Chrysler and they were not allowing the use of their trademarked name – Mopar, at that time. Dick Drake took the position of President, as no one else wanted it, and he was the oldest of the bunch. Kyle Drake was the vice-president, and Tom Hand was treasurer.

The newsletters were addressed by hand when we first started sending them. Then, for a time, Charter Member, Denny Daschke, ran labels for us. Later, we purchased a used computer, and we could run our own labels.

This year is our 32th show. We have 31 Charter members who are active and have been active over the twenty years. Their names appear on the back of our shirts for this, our 32th, show. In all, we had about 100 Charter members when we started the club. We have many members who joined in 1986 or 1987. However, it was decided that the Charter Membership would be cut off at 100 members.

The club is the oldest All-Mopar club in the Mid-West area. However, that same year Mopar clubs started in several other mid-west cities. They were Wichita, Kansas (WAM), Minneapolis-St Paul, Minnesota(Midwest Mopars), Des Moines, Iowa, Columbia, Missouri Mopars, and Omaha, Nebraska (Rapid Transit). These Mopar clubs still exist today. We have participated in each others shows through the years and have many friends in these clubs.


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