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Howell man is maniac for Chrysler parts arm Mopar

Livingston County Daily Press & Argus

December 29, 2008


If you're wondering if John Field's matching blue 1969 Plymouth GTX and GTX Wagon have matching engines, the answer is yes. The living room of Field's Howell home even has a Hemi engine. It sits on a stand beside the television as if its location is typical.

Nothing about Field or his home is typical because the 51-year-old lifelong car enthusiast has a Mopar obsession that has "gotten way out of hand."

"I couldn't tell you how many model cars and Matchbox cars I have. There's so much stuff they call me Mr. Mopar," Field said. "I saved all of my Hot Wheels from when I was a kid. Someone told me I can get $500, $600 per car at some trade shows."

Strewn about Field's basement rec room are boxes of toy cars, automotive magazines, toy gas pumps, and a replica of the General Lee Dodge Charger from "The Dukes of Hazzard."

"Like my ex-wife says, 'You're out of control.' I am out of control," he admitted. "I'm Mr. Mopar."

Another basement room contains more memorabilia -- mostly trophies, some 3 or 4 feet high, that are lined up across the floor. The trophies are reminders of Best in Show honors Field received while showing his classic cars side by side in auto shows across Michigan. In 2004, Field won Best in Show at Detroit's famous AutoRama for his 1969 GTX Wagon.

The wagon was Field's brainchild, converted from a green 1969 Plymouth Satellite. It was completely restored, remodeled and repainted to replicate Field's 1969 GTX down to the matching fire extinguishers located between the front seats.

If people had logos instead of names, Field would be the man otherwise known as Pentastar. The Pentastar is Chrysler's throwback logo which was prominently featured on Mopar products in the past. The Pentastar is slowly making a comeback with Mopar and Chrysler LLC by replacing the current winged logo, but in Field's home, the vintage logo never left.

Field has a giant neon Pentastar on his garage, all over his living room and painted on his trailer, which faces a nearby playground.

"I'm influencing them at a young age," Field said. "When they play on the swings, they're thinking, 'Buy Mopar."'

A friend engraved a Pentastar logo on Field's deck. Field also has a Pentastar tattooed on his arm; his other arm has a Pontiac heart tail logo. He likes the brand so much he named his cat Mopar.

Chances are, if there is a Mopar product, Field owns it, or has owned it.

"I had a Chrysler boat but I traded it for 40 model cars," Field said.

Of course, one of the cars was a 1969 GTX -- too bad it wasn't blue. Field stores the model cars in another basement storage room full of automotive trinkets he purchased from a supplier that went out of business.

Also in the basement are the hoods to both of Field's classic cars -- covered in dust. They are the only parts of his cars that haven't been waxed to perfection, and that's only because he doesn't drive with them.

"The paint jobs are like glass," Field's friend and fellow car enthusiast George "Hemi" Douglass said. "It doesn't come easy. John's spent a lot of years working on those vehicles, scrubbing and polishing."

Douglass said an infatuation with cars is the reason he and Field aren't married, because the girls get "jealous of the vehicles."

There's no doubt Field's hobby continues to be a major roadblock in his love life. He hinted his cars contributed to the breakup of his marriage, but he has come to terms with it.

"This is the love of my life," Field said, referring to his GTX. "It has been with me longer than any woman."

The newest hurdle is trying to find a car-friendly home for him and his girlfriend, Teresa Heximer.

The couple lives a quarter-mile apart -- an 11.3 second drag in Field's GTX, but Mr. Mopar won't consider moving to Heximer's home.

"He is serious that he will not live on a dirt road," Heximer said. "I guess we would have to look for pavement or concrete, but if we found the right home, we'd be willing to give up both of ours. That's our two compromises right there."

When asked if she'd compromise by allowing the Hemi engine in the home as a piece of living room furniture, Heximer said she didn't know.

"I think he'd need a special room for all of that stuff."

Not just stuff. Mopar stuff.


Howell man is maniac for Chrysler parts arm Mopar --
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