RENO, NV — We’ve heard of plenty of husbands and wives that share a passion for classic vehicles.

In the case of Renee and Jon Vesik of Fernley, NV, they share a love for Mopars specifically, and their affinity for all-things Pentastar was on full display at Hot August Nights in Nevada. The question is, who owns the family bragging rights for top Mopar.

It depends on which Vesik you ask, but from where we stood, it’s too close to call.

On one hand, you have Jon’s 1971 ‘Cuda.


“It’s a ‘Cuda. Enough said,” Jon said. “I’ve always loved ‘Cudas, and I’ve owned a few of them. I like the Shaker hood, but I’ve done some hard burnouts and if you break the motor mounts that engine’s going right into the hood. So I’ve got some special motor mounts on it now so I can really stand on it and it’s not going to break. It’s a real louver car, it’s got the gills on the side, and the cheese grater grill. You either love it or hate it, and I love it!”

Jon found the ‘Cuda about five years ago, and it was in good shape. It’s all original-looking and has the original numbers-matching 340, but he decided to put some of his spin on it.


“It’s got the original exhaust manifolds so it’s all period-correct,” Jon said. “But it doesn’t like those exhaust manifolds so much—the headers breathe better and it’s so much faster—but that’s how it came, so I put it back to the way it was. I have it set up so I can take those (manifolds) off any time after the season and put the headers back on and let it breathe. It’s just a fun car.”

Then you have the Challenger…Renee’s 1970 Challenger.

Her Mopar is numbers-matching and just 1 of 6,014 built.


“I was very insistent that it had to be back to original,” Renee said. “Everything that was done had to be replaced with period-correct stuff. I spent months and months trying to find some of the original components. If I find something aftermarket on it, I’ll try to swap it out to get it back to period-correct. It’s getting there.”

Renee is proud of the fact that she’s done much of the work on the car herself, including many of the small details to bring the car close to its original state.


“A lot of people pick on the car but that’s OK,” she said. “They don’t remake these things. This is a rare-option Challenger and so you can’t find these things easily. Most people say why don’t you put in a Hemi, because the new Challengers have that. But I’m like, ‘this (the 383) is all numbers-matching and original to this car so I would never do that.'”

Renee’s Challenger sports the numbers-matching 383 Magnum and 727 Torqueflite transmission, 15-inch Rallye wheels and B5 Blue paint.

Tackling about a resto project? Find plenty of good automotive restoration parts here.


“My favorite thing about the car is when the kids come up and say one day I would like to have that, especially the young girls,” Renee said. “They ask if they can just look at it or look inside, and I say, ‘you want to start it?’ They can’t even reach the pedal, so I put my hand down there and tell them to turn (the key).”

Last year, the Challenger won an award at Hot August Nights and was in the show parade.

Which would be your first choice to own?

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Author: David Fuller

David Fuller is OnAllCylinders' managing editor. During his 20-year career in the auto industry, he has covered a variety of races, shows, and industry events and has authored articles for multiple magazines. He has also partnered with mainstream and trade publications on a wide range of editorial projects. In 2012, he helped establish OnAllCylinders, where he enjoys covering all facets of hot rodding and racing.