‘MoVenture Rally’ Winners
Brothers Ben, Chris Grasso Take Honors and Capture ‘MoVenture Rally’ Title
Pair wins $5,000 worth of Mopar accessories after 1,900 mile journey
July 28, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Taking a once-in-a-lifetime journey that traversed 1,900 miles on roads that are less traveled, and enjoying the sights that are true Americana, brothers Chris and Ben Grasso emerged from their new 2011 Chrysler 300 in Golden, Colo., as winners of the ‘MoVenture’ road rally that started six days earlier at Chrysler Group LLC headquarters in Auburn Hills. Mich.
Sponsored by Mopar, Chrysler Group’s service, parts and customer-care brand, the journey pitted 10 teams from across the United States, including Hawaii, driving a broad range of Chrysler Group cars and trucks on the ultimate summer road trip. Teams traveled on a mixture of highways and back roads throughout the Upper Midwest with stops including the birthplace of Michael Jackson in Gary, Ind.; the Bronze Fonz in Milwaukee; the Jolly Green Giant in Blue Earth, Minn.; and across South Dakota before heading south and parking their vehicles in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains outside of Denver, Colo.
“All the participants in MoVenture got to see just how deep Mopar blue blood runs,” Tricia Hecker, Head of Marketing, Mopar, said. “Knowing there is professional support close by along an entire journey, having confidence in your personal car in extreme 100-degree temperatures that these teams experienced along the way and meeting thousands of Mopar fans in new cars, trucks and vintage vehicles along the entire route, are testament to what the Mopar nation is all about.“
More than just a road rally, teams also participated in a scavenger hunt, picking up unusual items along the way at Colby, Wis., the birthplace of Colby cheese; they took part in a skateboard challenge in Mankato, Minn., and viewed the World’s Largest Log Chair in Deadwood, S.D.
“I’ve done a lot of traveling on many roads, but we couldn’t have plotted a better route with so many different places, ” said Chris Grasso of Clinton Twp., Mich. “There were so many places I hadn’t been before and things I never knew existed. When we started in Detroit and took in some of the local sights, I felt like a tourist. It was really cool to see all the places in the Eminem video.”
Traveling in style with a new 2011 Chrysler 300, the record-breaking heat that stretched across the Midwest was never a factor for the brothers.
“In Minneapolis, the heat index was 115 degrees with a dew point of 93 – both records,” explained Chris Grasso. “We had ventilated seats in the Chrysler and they kept us cool throughout the journey. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to travel.”
Teams also got to meet other members of the Mopar nation with stops at dealerships along the way. In Milwaukee, at the recently opened Bergstom Fiat, teams were required to hone their parallel parking skills and squeeze a new Fiat 500 in tight confines of a reduced parking space.
On day five, all 20 participants of the MoVenture rally took a detour from the highway and were hosted at an off-roading adventure staged by the Black Hills S.D. Chapter of the Jeep Club.
“We crawled on rocks and up hills that I thought were impossible in these totally stock Wranglers,” explained older brother Chris Grasso. “It was great to see the local Jeep club working with the Department of Forestry to maintain off-road trails for everyone to use.”
Driving a new Chrysler 300 with the HEMI® V-8 was a treat for brother and driving partner Ben Grasso of Buckeye, Ariz. An owner of a speed shop that caters exclusively to all things Mopar, Ben usually can be found installing late-model Chrysler HEMI engines in older model vehicles from the 1960s and 1970s.
“We were pleasantly surprised with our fuel economy on the long flat stretches across Wyoming,” Ben said. “Driving at a steady 70 mph, we actually reached 30.1 mpg. The fuel saver technology on this engine with just four cylinders operating really works.”
Brother Ben also explained that the rally was very competitive. “Running around and trying to find things in the Mall of America was a real chore,” he said. “And the raft paddling for the Katzkin interior proved to be a ton of work. We got beat on that one.”
Their winning efforts garnered the brothers $5,000 in Mopar parts. Other contestants received $250 in gift cards to the Mopar e-store, Oakley sunglasses and watches, and Shell gift cards. One team was awarded a pair of Katzkin leather interiors for their personal vehicles.
A total of 4,000 points were awarded for the various competitions. At the end of the rally, just 38 points separated the top two finishers.
“We both sweated things out with our hearts in our throats on the podium,” Ben Grasso said. “When they announced the runner’s up, it was a relief for us.”
All MoVenture participants also had the opportunity to meet with Pietro Gorlier, president of the Mopar. “It’s not often that you can get the ear of the president of the company,” Ben Grasso said. “Pietro and I were able to sit down face to face to discuss the challenges and opportunities we face as a small businessman.”
Following the rally, contestants participated in the annual Big Block Party in Golden and had the opportunity to view the NHRA Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.
Mopar has introduced numerous industry-first features including:
Camper trailers: first to introduce off-road camper trailers
Vehicle-information smartphone apps: first to introduce smartphone vehicle-information applications, a new channel of communication with consumers
Electronic owner manuals: first to introduce traditional owner manuals in a DVD and brief user-guide format
Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS): first to introduce new vehicle tracking system that sends owner a text when vehicle is driven too fast or too far based on set parameters
2011 Challenger Drag Pak: first to introduce a 500-plus cubic-inch V-10 drag-race package car
Wi-Fi: first to offer customers the ability to make their vehicle a wireless hot spot
Brand-specific customer-care telephone lines: first to offer Sunday service hours to customers
WiTECH: first to support vehicle diagnosis and software updates leveraging off-the-shelf personal computers and a dedicated wireless tool network
About Mopar Brand
Mopar is Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. Mopar distributes approximately 280,000 parts and accessories in more than 90 countries and is the source for all original-equipment parts for Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram Truck vehicles. Mopar parts are unique in that they are engineered and tested with the same teams that create factory-authorized vehicle specifications for Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram Truck vehicles – a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. A complete list of Mopar accessories and performance parts is available at Mopar - Authentic Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram Accessories, Service & Parts
More than 70 Years of Mopar
When Chrysler bought Dodge in 1928, the need for a dedicated parts manufacturer, supplier and distribution system to support the growing enterprise led to the formation of the Chrysler Motor Parts Corporation (CMPC) in 1929.
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words Motor and PARts) was trademarked for a line of antifreeze products in 1937. It also was widely used as a moniker for the CMPC. The Mopar brand made its mark in the 1960s — the muscle-car era. The Chrysler Corporation built race-ready Dodge and Plymouth “package cars” equipped with special high-performance parts. Mopar carried a line of “special parts” for super stock drag racers and developed its racing parts division called Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use.
Nitro Year: 2007 (1 of 91,815 sold in 07)
Nitro Model: R/T 4X4 Stone White
CAT-BACK Exhaust, CAI, Projector Head Lamps
Fully-Equipped w/all factory options