Engineering Editor for Mopar Action for the past 25 years, and was the Technical Editor of High Performance Mopar and Musclecars Magazine. Completed the One Lap America about ten times usually winning his class.
Rick Ehrenberg has been building, tuning, and racing Mopars since 1957, with a concentrated field of expertise in Mopars built from 1962 through 1980.
With a technical education background (electronics, mechanics, and physics), Ehrenberg was, for many years, the Technical Editor of High Performance Mopar and Musclecars magazine, and has been Engineering Editor for Mopar Action for 25 years.
Rick’s mantra is simple: Well-rounded performance. If he builds a Mopar that runs 11s, that’s great, but it should also stop on a dime and give a nickel’s change, corner on rails, get decent fuel economy, be reasonably comfortable and quiet, and run on pump fuel only. Ehrenberg is well known for not changing things just for the sake of change. You’ll never find braided hoses, chrome trinkets, etc., on any of Ehrenberg’s Mopars – if it isn’t functional, it isn’t there. Period. Better it should look stock and clean clocks.
One example of Ehrenberg’s performance-is-everything viewpoint: While he agrees that 2G Chargers are beautiful to look at, E-berg would much rather have a ‘62 Savoy. We asked him why:
“Hey, they are both B-bodies, with great suspension and a taut platform. But a centerpost sedan wins the rigidity race every time, all else being equal. The ‘62 had the shortest wheelbase, least overhang, and lowest mass. People call ‘em ugly, but to me it is the inner beauty that counts”.
One of Ehrenberg’s earliest Mopar “races” was an attempt to traverse the Trans-Canada highway from Toronto to Vancouver for a fuel cost of 1¢ a mile (This was in 1964, the car was a ‘64 Cuda 273-2 with 2.94 cogs). He came close. And he didn’t go slow! His first foray onto a drag strip was 1962, and he first set rubber on a road course in 1965, with Autocrosses, rallies, and dirt and paved ovals soon following. He has competed in the One Lap of America about ten times, usually winning his class and finishing near the top overall. Against Vettes, Porsches, and Lombos. In a 1969 Valiant 100.
Incidentally, Ehrenberg’s first new car (a ‘65 Valiant 200) was totally paid for – every dime – bank payments, insurance, maintenance, upgrades, gas, and plenty of tickets – via street racing winnings.
Today, E-booger busies himself with maintaining his fleet of Mopars (11 at last count, most ready for a coast-to-coast shlep at a key-turn), bringing the driving and performance parameters of classic Mopar iron up to 21st-century levels. Such goodies as a radical steering gear change, 6-speed automatic swap, and SMPI conversions (which he has been doing for almost 20 years) keep the old coot from turning to stone.
Owner of the “Trans Am Museum”, restored and owned hundreds of Trans Ams
Rick’s first car was a 1978 Y88, and was immediately hooked on Trans Ams to this day. Rick’s mother was even a fan of Pontiacs, purchasing a new 1973 Grand Prix, then another one in 1975, which she let Rick take to his high school prom. She then talked him into buying a used ’75 Trans Am in 1977, which he traded in on the new Y88. Shortly after that, Rick then purchased two new ’79 10th Anniversary Trans Ams, blaming his weakness for these cars on his mother.
Owning hundreds of TAs led to Rick opening the McLaughlin Museum , which specializes in low-mileage TAs. The “Bandit Run” once made a visit to the museum in 2007, leading to a one-of-a-kind experience with enthusiasts from all over.
Rick has spent his life in the pursuit of primo-condition Trans Ams, and he keeps a stable of at least 20 of them in his museum at all times.
With Rick, the love for Trans Ams is real, stating, “Pontiac excitement truly lives!”
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