Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ol' Marais River Run in Ottawa, Kan., had many cars, mini cars, and a park full of family fun. Coverage and pictures!

There are lots and lots of car shows in and around the Kansas City area, and some of them have great turnouts. But three events stand above the rest. They include the World of Wheels, which is usually held in Bartle Hall in February; the Goodguys Mid-Western Nationals at Kansas Speedway, which we covered here two weeks ago, and the Ol' Marais River Run, which was held this weekend in Ottawa, Kan.

O'l Marais has been expertly presented by the Over the Road Gang Car Club for 24-years now, and the turnout well-exceedes 1,000 hot rods, muscle cars, and specialty vehicles.

For this story, one of the cars that I think is worth highlighting is the '49 Mercury Dwarf. This is one of the darndest things I've ever seen in all my years of going to car shows. It was a perfectly proportioned '49 Mercury, down to the bumpers, grille, doors, even the dashboard. But it was completely rendered in an amazing half-scale size. The owner, Ernie Adams, said he built it himself, and everyone wondered how he could actually fit in there and drive it. So he hopped in there and started driving it. And he drove, and drove; he must have made 20 passes around the Forest Park driving pass.

By the way, Forest Park is a huge, very picturesque location to have this event, with plenty of trees and shade, and lots of space for cars and vendors. Some folks decided to drive around the park most of the day, which is what you do with cars, I suppose. But the trail was easily clogged with cars and foot traffic, so a pass took some patience.

I went out with my dad and his '61 Corvette. We were out there pretty early, so we took a nice shady spot by the road. For much of the morning, we just sat in our folding chairs in front of the car and watched a steady parade of cars drive in and scope out their parking spots. It was a really fun way to "watch" a car show. And you sure get a different perspective on how good or bad some of the bodywork is on many of these cars from that position.

Later, we went for the walk-through. And we walked. And we walked. My dad told my mom later that we must have walked 24-miles. That was probably a bit of an exaggeration, but as humid as it was out that day, and as many cars as we stopped and looked at, it was easily 24-miles on the "feels like" index.

After the car show, Ottawa opened up their downtown area for a huge cruise night. We actually headed home before that because we were worried about the ominous weather reports and dark clouds that were developing later in the day, but we met plenty of cars that were actually heading into town just for the cruise.

The 2010 Ol' Marais River Run is a very fun show with an endless supply of neat cars. But my favorite part about it was that I was able to hang out with my dad and enjoy a nice day. That's something that gets less and less common all the time, as the pressures of family and work often put our time together on the back-burner. Old cars are great, and I love 'em. But that father-son time is what really made the show for me.

Check out more than 300 pictures from the 2010 Ol' Marais River Run by clicking this link.

1 comment:

  1. What a mass of cool old iron. I can see how it would wear you out trying to see all of these great rides. Nice job!