The Mecca Of Mopar – The McCandless Collection

Legendary Mopar Collection From NHRA Herb McCandless Family...

There exists a subculture of automotive enthusiasts, who are deeply rooted in vintage American automobiles. Among these passionate aficionados, the Backyard Barn Finds YouTube channel stands out for uncovering hidden treasures in the automotive world. Recently, they were able to tour the McCandless Collection – a haven for Mopar enthusiasts and a testament to the glory days of Chrysler’s “Forward Look” era.

Part of the McCandless Collection. (Backyard Barn Finds).

Managed by Mike McCandless, son of the legendary NHRA racer and revered engine builder Herb McCandless, the McCandless Collection is a mecca for vintage Mopars. Nestled in a museum, this treasure trove houses an impressive array of meticulously preserved classic Chryslers, offering visitors a glimpse into the golden age of American automotive design.

The expedition begins with an iconic 1955 Chrysler C-300, bearing the distinction of being serial number 0001. This historic vehicle, a pioneering force with 300 horsepower under its hood, represents the genesis of the renowned Chrysler 300 “letter series.” Steeped in racing heritage, this C-300 made its mark at the 1955 NASCAR Speed Week, etching its name in automotive history.

Part of the McCandless Collection. (Backyard Barn Finds).

But the allure of the McCandless Collection extends beyond singular rarities. Among its prized possessions is the inaugural 1957 Chrysler 300C, adorned with front bucket seats – a unique feature setting it apart from its counterparts. Moreover, the collection boasts the first-ever 1958 Chrysler 300D, undergoing meticulous restoration under Mike’s care, promising to reignite the allure of yesteryears.

Venturing deeper into the museum’s sanctum, visitors are greeted by a spectacle of rarities, including a 1958 Chrysler New Yorker Convertible and a 1961 Chrysler 300G Convertible – both exuding timeless elegance and scarcity with their limited production numbers.

Part of the McCandless Collection. (Backyard Barn Finds).

Distinguishing itself as a sanctuary for orphan brands, the McCandless Collection also showcases gems from DeSoto, exemplified by the exquisite 1959 Firedome Convertible and the exceedingly rare 1959 Adventurer drop-top – a flamboyant masterpiece boasting opulent aesthetics and unparalleled exclusivity.

For aficionados seeking adrenaline-fueled nostalgia, the collection houses vintage dragsters, epitomized by the 1967 Plymouth Belvedere R023 homologation special, equipped with the formidable 426 HEMI V8 – a rare breed among Mopar enthusiasts.

Part of the McCandless Collection. (Backyard Barn Finds).

Beyond its extraordinary automobiles, the museum serves as a gallery of automotive history, adorned with vintage signs dating back to the pre-Pentastar era, offering a glimpse into the bygone era of Chrysler’s storied legacy.

You can view the full entire video of the tour above.

Robert S. Miller

Robert S. Miller is a diehard Mopar enthusiast who lives and breathes all that is Mopar. The Michigander is not only the Editor for MoparInsiders.com, 5thGenRams.com, and HDRams.com but an automotive photographer. He is an avid fan of offshore powerboat racing, which he travels the country to take part in.

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Built my 69 Barracuda drag car closely copied off these A body cars. Using the Mopar guides and specs and photos and info from the era, my notch back Plymouth was a ultra consistent bracket car. Won some major races, featured in Mopar Muscle and local news media. All it took was following the best, some driving skills and a master tune up man, Tony April. Herb was the best and a nice guy. Miss it all, even the road trips.

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