9 September 2011

Our Cars: Independent Agent Zach Smiley's Mopar family

Independent Agent Zach Smiley grew up in a “Mopar family,” and has owned various Dodges with his dad over the years, including a ’71 Challenger that was featured in a Rascal Flatts music video.

Agency: Blevins Insurance Agency, Inc., Lafayette, Ind.

Years working with Hagerty: Two

Cars: 1971 Dodge Challenger R/T (sold in August 2011); 1974 Dodge Dart Swinger (sold in 2007); 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 HEMI

Background: I was brought up in a Mopar family. My dad had numerous Dodge and Plymouth muscle cars in the 1960s and ’70s, and 13 years ago he decided he wanted another one. I bought a 1974 Dodge Dart Swinger in 2005, but I didn’t have enough time to restore it, so I sold it to a good home and it is now in Wisconsin running around restored and painted.

Why Dodges? My dad and I found the ’71 Challenger in California, and it just stood out to us. We bought it and restored it, and had a lot of good times with it, including going to Nashville, Tenn., where the car was featured in a Rascal Flatts music video for the song “My Worst Fear.” It was also a featured car in Mopar Muscle Magazine. The car was a way for my father and I to spend time together restoring and attending car shows. We have since sold it and he purchased a new 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8; the color is called “Green With Envy.”

Repairs and modifications (planned or completed): Everything is done – OK, maybe a supercharger on the new one!

Hobby activities (clubs, events, etc.): I enjoy attending car shows and talking with car guys about their cars, their restorations and any future modification plans. Our office has participated in many car shows to get the Hagerty name out there in our community, and we have used the Operation Ignite! program from Hagerty and sponsored an award for the shows we have participated in. 

Favorite drive: My favorite drive in the ’71 Challenger was the Mopar Super Cruise in Heath, Ohio, during the Mopar Nationals.

Best and worst moments: The worst moment was when we decided to sell the 1971, but it was time to let it go and start a new adventure. The best moment was seeing it in the pages of a major magazine and on CMT in a music video. I also enjoy watching people admire any type of a collector car, new or old.

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