Mopar has announced the return of its popular ?Top Eliminator? awards recognition program that showcases the most skilled Mopar enthusiasts and their restyled or customized Chrysler, Plymouth and Dodge vehicles. Mopar, Chrysler LLC?s original equipment parts manufacturer and supplier, launched the national program in 2007.

Mopar will look for meticulously customized and modified vehicles at popular enthusiast and car collector events in 2008 including:

Detroit Autorama, March 7 ? 9
Mopars at the Strip in Las Vegas, March 28 ? 30
Carlisle All-Chrysler Nationals in Carlisle, Pa., July 11 ? 13
Mopar Nationals in Columbus, Aug. 8 ? 10
Mopar will select three vehicles on display at these events and showcase them in Mopar Alley at the 2008 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show from Nov. 4 ? 7 in Las Vegas.

?The exterior, interior customization and mechanical upgrade work done by the 2007 Mopar ?Top Eliminator? Award winners was outstanding,? said Rob Richard, Director ? Mopar Parts, Sales and Service Marketing, Chrysler LLC. ?For our 2008 ?Top Eliminator? program, we?re looking for that same spirit, craftsmanship and attention to detail in this year?s enthusiast-crafted Mopars.?

As part of its first ?Top Eliminator? awards, Mopar showcased enthusiast-built vehicles at the 2007 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The modified and customized vehicles displayed included: a rare 1964 Dodge Ramcharger, a rare 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T, a 1969 Dodge Dart Swinger 340, a 1973 Plymouth Barracuda, a 1970 Plymouth HEMI®Cudzter, a rare 1971 Plymouth ?Cuda 440-6BBL and a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T.

According to SEMA, retail sales of specialty automotive products reached $36.7 billion in 2006. Retail sales of the industry?s niche categories reached:

$2.1 billion for Street Performance ? products to change the vehicle?s appearance, performance and handling
$1 billion for Street Rod and Custom - products to construct, modify, maintain and operate street rods and custom vehicles
$1.4 billion for Restoration ? products to restore a vehicle to its factory/showroom operational condition
$1 billion for Racing - products for ?off-street" professional and amateur racing and motorsports competition vehicles