Giving Back

Street Rods on Sunday in Succasunna; Not Just for Motorheads

Credits: NJSRA
Credits: NJSRA
Credits: NJSRA
Bob O'Malley and his Chevy Credits: NJSRA

ROXBURY, NJ – Will you enjoy the 46th Annual Charity Rod Run taking place Sunday at Horseshoe Lake Park in Succasunna?

Here’s a little test.

Q: What does MOPAR stand for?

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If you answered “Move Over, People Are Racing,” or at least smiled at that answer, you should head to Horseshoe Lake on Sunday.

If you didn’t find it funny because you have no idea what MOPAR really means, you might not fit the Rod Run’s target demographic. Or you own a Chrysler product.

But wait; there’s a caveat: Even if you didn’t get the MOPAR joke, never knew that FORD stands for “Fix Or Repair Daily” (or “Found On Road Dead”) and think a supercharger is a device that gets your smartphone up and running quickly, you might still be a good match for the Rod Run. All you really need to be a perfect Rod Run attendee is someone who wants to help a kid fight cancer.

The proceeds from this year’s Rod Run will go to 10-year-old Sussex County resident Jacob LoRe to help him fight non-Hodgkins lymphoma, said Bob O’Malley of the New Jersey Street Rod Association. “We hope to raise as much money as we can to help the little fellow,” said O’Malley, a Wharton resident. “He’s in remission now, which is great … We will raise money for the young fellow and we will give it to him. This is not done as a money maker for the club.”

It costs only $5 to be a spectator at the 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. event. Children under 12 get in free, but pets and alcohol are not permitted. The forecast is iffy, so packing an umbrella might be a good. The Rod Run will happen even if it rains, said O’Malley.

He said past Rod Runs have featured as many as 500 souped-up old cars. Those who own such vehicles can bring them over and display them for $20, but the vehicles must pass an inspection by the club.

There will be food vendors on hand as well as activities for kids, including the popular “valve cover races.” Again, if that sentence had you thinking about the little plastic caps you unscrew to put air in your tires, you might not be the perfect Rod Run spectator. However, attending on Sunday could be a learning experience.

And if you are “up there” in years and figure hot rods are the playthings of juvenile delinquents, well those days are long gone. Yesterday’s tire-smoking, highway troublemakers are today’s gray haired and friendly NJSRA members. O’Malley said most of the Rod Run’s car owners are in their 60s.

“We’re a group of about 30 people who have a deep interest in cars,” he said. “Each of our cars has either been built from scratch or resurrected from a junk yard. They’re all modified.”

O’Malley, who owns O’Malley Electric in Wharton, will be at the Rod Run with his blue 1956 Chevy Sedan Delivery, one of the two beloved "money pits" he proudly calls his own.

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