In 2014, Bob Ashton was having a conversation with a member of The Brothers Collection. Ashton is the managing member of the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (www.mcacn.com) and the Brothers Collection focuses on rare muscle cars. The collection includes seven Hemi ‘Cudas and two Hemi Challenger convertibles.
Ashton casually mentioned that it would be cool to have a feature display of E-body (‘Cuda-Challenger) Hemi convertibles at his 2015 show. At that point he was thinking of just five cars from The Brothers Collection. What he wound up with was somewhere around 30 cars, all Mopar E-bodies, all ragtops and all Hemis. That is probably about half of all such cars ever made.
Muscle car collector wade Ogle, of California, got excited about the idea and told Ashton he would help him round up cars for display, starting with three of his own, two ‘Cudas and a Hemi Challenger. By the time Chicago-area enthusiast Tom Lembeck volunteered his rare Winchester Gray 4-speed export Hemi ‘Cuda convertible, the total count was up to 13 cars.
Other cars came from owners such as Phil Silva and Greg Nelson. Pretty soon Mecum Auctions-a title sponsor of MCACN-added some cars that it was auctioning. And then Hemi expert Dave Blake, of Arizona agreed that he and his son would bring four of their five Hemi E-body ragtops.
By this time, Ashton knew that the display of these cars at the Donald E. Stephens Convention center in Rosemont, Ill., would be a history-making exhibition. When the doors of the show opened on November 21, 2015, there sat a once-in-a-lifetime collection of drop top ‘Cudas and Challengers with 426 cubic inches of engine under their hoods. Believe us, photos alone do not capture the impact of that sight. But they are still amazing to see.