Welcome to Mister Mopar; a website I know will become an exciting, informative and ever evolving part of your life and mine!
My nickname is “Mister Mopar” but my actual name is Les Hastings. I’m a car fanatic, with a passion for muscle cars and sports cars that I have had my entire life. I grew up on Challengers, Chargers, ‘Cudas and of course other amazing cars in the genre (notably GTO’s, 442’s, Hurst/Olds etc).
A little background on me. I was enamored with cars instinctively and my Father encouraged this behaviour at a young age with many “dinky cars.” However I developed a skill for drawing and designing at a young age so my father decided to get me into 1/25th plastic kit modelling. My first attempt was a 55 Chevy my Dad chose for me. I thought more cement would make it work better and the project ended up looking like a spider web. My Father then told me what I did wrong and said he’d let me pick out my own model for my next attempt as long as I followed his instructions. Well what do you know, I went out and instinctively fell in love with one particular car on the shelf. My first car purchase ever was a Dodge, specifically a 1970 Challenger R/T in 1/25th scale! It turns out Challenger has been in my veins long before I ever brought my two current Challengers into the fold!
The Challenger kit turned out very well for a child my age (5). I ended up painting it yellow! I wish I held onto that kit to this day, as it not only was a special chapter in my relationship with my Dad, but it was an early childhood reflection on the passion that I have for Challengers today!
The rest is history! I dove head first into the lifestyle of collecting models and developing high-detail customization on them, attempting to make them more lifelike, or in more daring cases BETTER than stock! I lived for car shows, cruises, great songs about cars, which of course lead me to find an ageless love of ‘America’s Band’ The Beach Boys! Their songs were summer, surf, sand, cars, women, love of country and school; these are the things that made me who I am today. These things all revolved around my passion for cars, and evolved into an entire lifestyle I thrive in more than ever today!
The thing that always amazed me about Mopar muscle cars is that while GM and Ford guys would always argue about the inferiority of the each other’s cars, very rarely did you hear someone knock a Mopar. Pretty much the only cars that seemed immune to bashing were Mopars, GTO’s and 442’s. If you notice though, the two GM cars I mentioned are very legendary but don’t represent an entire company, nor even an entire division. Mopars (Dodge, Chrysler, Plymouth) cars in their ENTIRETY seem to be safe from ridicule! What does that tell you about them? Bulletproof, legendary, powerful and spectacular!
When the Challenger came out as a concept in 2006, I saw it at the auto show in Detroit and was in love immediately. Once the car came into production in 2008 with looks far superior to the concept, I had an idea permanently in the back of my head. This would be the first time in my lifetime that I could purchase a full size muscle car, brand new and say years later that she’s only EVER been mine!
Once the SuperBowl Half-Time commercial for 2012 hit my eyes, I was done! Clint Eastwood narrated a touching and patriotic commercial that was so artistic and powerful that I got chills and teared up by the end of it! It pulled at the heartstrings of anyone that had love for Detroit and Muscle Cars and Americana! Once I caught my breath I immediately said to my girlfriend at the time, “Tomorrow I’m going to the Chrysler Dealership and ordering a custom Challenger!” It’s been full speed ahead ever since!
I found a dealership in my town and the next thing you know I’m a regular at the dealership; hanging out, talking cars with my salesperson and discussing my car projects. Little did my salesperson know that the car ordered for me would become the world’s only 2012 Hurst Challenger, complete with a 440 stroker and a 1970 tail end among a myriad of amazing one-off features.
In the fall of 2015 I decided to try my hand at being on the other side of the desk. If I was loving cars that much, and hanging out at the dealership that much already, I may as well be productive and get paid too right? LOL. So began my career selling Mopars!
Come the spring of 2016 a Plum Crazy Purple Challenger joined my 2012 Hurst Challenger in a large fold of Muscle Cars that I hope to own into my golden years. She will also be a beautiful beast when she’s complete.
HOW MOPAR HELPED SAVE MY LIFE – Fall of 2013 I had a list of symptoms that came on quickly over the course of 24 hours. They were unrelenting and nearly destroyed my life for 2 years. From my research they all fit something dreadful, Lymphoma cancer. I went to hospitals and paid for scans in the USA trying to save my life. The Canadian health care system didn’t want to take me seriously.
in mid 2015 my body started defeating it, and my symptoms started relenting. When only 2 were left, I decided I needed something to push me back into the real world and out of the 4 walls of my house. That is when I took my job as a car salesman selling Mopars. The first year and a half it helped get me nearly better.
But like anything in my life, I try to do my best. I ended up working open until close voluntarily delivering sometimes 4 or 5 cars a day during busy season and doing too much work in my free time as well, with very little rest. This wore down my system that was beating my cancer. So the cancer started growing and finally in 2018 I demanded an appointment with an ENT who diagnosed the lump in my parotid gland as a tumor. Eventually it was determined to be Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Thankfully I permanently defeated the dreaded beast through an integrative approach and a lot of hard work. So once again, like in 2015 I needed to get back into the world and I decided to take a job selling Mopars again. My good friend was managing at Motor City Chrysler, and it was a great decision.
I never take a day, or a person or a deal for granted, and feel blessed to have a chance to live the rest of my life healthy and working with cars that I love! This job got me back in touch with old friends and colleagues, and into the swing of things. It’s great!
And just like before, it’s an special honor and extremely memorable as a muscle-car fanatic when I deliver a gorgeous Challenger or Charger whether it be an SXT all the way to a Hellcat or Demon. These really are some of the cars that will be stared at during classic car shows decades from now; and old will be as new….nothing will top Challenger in this modern era of retro muscle car rebirth. In a world of imports and pony-cars, Challenger stands alone and is the muscle car king!