Saturday, April 30, 2011

April Downtown Liberty Cruise took the word "cruise" literally, because there wasn't anyplace to park

We arrived thirty minutes after the Downtown Liberty Car Cruise was to begin. The entire downtown square was available on both sides of the street all the way around the courthouse. And yet, we were too late to get a parking spot.

This was one big turnout. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the weather was perfect in every way. And it was the first Liberty cruise of the year. And this is always a popular gathering. And people learned all about it by reading the upcoming events story here on Hover Motor Co. OK, maybe that last one was wishful thinking.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Nice day, nice cars at the April Adesa Corvette and Specialty Car Sale

One thing's for sure--when the temperature goes up, the crowds go up at events like the Adesa Corvette and Specialty Car Sale, which was held on Thursday and Friday in the sprawling Belton, Mo. location.

And the cars weren't bad, either. Thursday is the Corvette only sale, and there were plenty of nice examples of the featured marque on hand. The oldest one that I saw was a nice Fawn Beige '62, and my favorite was a pretty red '67, but all generations of America's Sorts Car were well represented.

Now Friday is when you got to see some variety. You name it; they had it. Everything from hot rods to Ferraris were there for you to climb in, dream about, and (if you're one of the lucky ones) drive home in.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Check out the toy cars and trucks in the World's Largest Toy Museum in Branson, Mo.

One of the sub-categories we delve into here from time to time is the fascinating world of toy and model cars, and it so happens that there is an impressive public collection just south of us in Branson, Mo.

The World's Largest Toy Museum is full of all kinds of toy cars and trucks, both rare and common. It would be easy to get caught up in all of this for hours once you get through the doors, but Branson has so many other things to do that you had better plan your time accordingly.

Some of the more interesting transportation toys included cast metal trucks like the popular and valuable Smith-Miller line, a smattering of dealer promos, old slush metal cars and trucks from the 1940s and earlier, a large Hot Wheels collection, vintage tin litho gas stations, and more.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Van show reveals that a van might be a comfortable way to enjoy a car show

In our never-ending quest to bring you a variety of automotive events, this Saturday we made a stop at the Vonarchy Vans and Vans R Us clubs' van, truck, and panel show at the Ranch Bowl in Kansas City, Kan.

As I understand it, some of the trucks and vans had left by the time we made it there, but there were still quite a few folks taking in the cool fall evening.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

From 1957-1981, the Omaha Tangier Corvette Patrol wowed crowds with their precision driving skills

Omaha, Nebraska. Maybe not the location that you would expect to find one of the most unique, history-altering Corvette clubs in the country. But from 1957 to 1981, that’s just what they had.

The Tangier Shriners are headquartered in Omaha, and during that 24-year period, about 13 members formed the Tangier Shrine Corvette Patrol. Each year, these members would purchase a fleet of brand-new, identical Corvettes. They would then take these unique cars to parades, circuses, and other events around the country, and perform precision driving demonstrations to bring attention to their children’s burn hospital efforts.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Rennaisance Center - GM's awe-inspiring world headquarters in downtown Detroit is a symbol of American automotive excellence

With an auto plant in the Fairfax district, a district office in Corporate Woods, plus hundreds of area dealership locations, Kansas City is a major market for auto giant General Motors.

But whenever you watch local news coverage about GM on television, they will often cut to stock footage of GM’s corporate headquarters in Detroit, Mich.

That massive structure of seven meticulous skyscrapers is called the Renaissance Center, or “RenCen” as it is known by insiders. It houses the GM world headquarters, as well as a downtown shopping district that includes storefronts, a food court, a Marriott hotel, and a movie theatre.

Lakeside Speedway 2011 Season Opener may have saved lives

For race fans in Kansas City, Budweiser Opening Night at Lakeside Speedway is the only thing that helps them survive the winter. Many of these people wouldn’t make it one more week. And yet, the cold, rainy weather nearly resulted in tragedy, as opening night was postponed from its usual Friday night time slot.

Luckily, they only had to hold out a couple more days, because Sunday was nice and sunny, and track owner Marc Olson opted to run this event then.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

April 2011 Platte City Cruise may have been a little down on attendance, but there is some great potential

Saturday night, we made it out to the first Platte City cruise of the season. It was a beautiful night, and this is typically a strong cruise, but it was a little down on attendance.

I guess the issue is that Righteous Rides, the car club that organized this event in the past, decided not to be involved this time. So putting this together seemed to fall on the shoulders of one guy, Larry, who enjoys this event too much to see it go.

Larry might need to work on his pre-promotion efforts, but the cruise still has some good bones to work with. There are several sponsors on board already, including All Star Towing, O'Reilly Auto Parts in Platte City, the Leavenworth Cruisers, Bash Excavating, Knighton's Body Shop, Larry's Automotive and Machine, Platte Valley Construction, and Rusty's Auto Sales.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bob Bond, pinstriper extraordinaire, continues to add his artistic touch to cars all over Kansas City while passing his skills on to others

One of the reasons the old car hobby is so interesting is that it takes such skilled people to make it all work. Mechanics that are patient enough not to throw their tools through the garage wall, body men that are skilled enough to massage metal panels and lay smooth paint, even shade tree engineers who can design everything from brackets to headlight buckets, all deserve way more respect than they usually receive.

One of my favorite side skills in the automotive world belongs to the graphic artist. When you see flourishing pinstripes, faded flames, and hand-painted signage on an old vehicle, it doesn’t take long to determine how skilled that artist was. And if you are paying attention to what’s out there in the Kansas City area, you realize that some of the best stuff flows from the steady hand of Pinstripers Hall of Fame member Bob Bond.

Monday, April 11, 2011

An epic event for an epic movie. The 2011 Bandit Run passes through Kansas Speedway

I have been within three feet of the guy who played Mini-Me. I have watched stock car football at the county fair. I have been to Comicon, and seen grown men dressed up like Storm Troopers. Needless to say, I have seen my share of awesome stuff.

But today, I attended an event that topped them all. I am certain that all will agree that Smokey and the Bandit is the greatest movie of all time. This fact is un-debatable. So when something like the Bandit Run passes through the Kansas City area, you can bet that I will be there to cover such an epic event.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Ararat Shrine Swap Meet was full of bargains and bargain-hunters. That's a pretty good combination

Piles of crap. Some guys got it. Other guys want it.

Back in the old days, if you wanted that special part for your old car project, you couldn't just plug it in on eBay and expect it to be sitting on your front porch in three-to-five days. You had to search for it. You looked in junk yards. You watched for old cars at the side of the road. And you went to the swap meet.

Well, this past weekend, that last time-tested tradition was alive and well in Lee's Summit, as the Ararat Shrine Swap Meet took place at the old marshalling yard at the vacated Adesa Auction facility.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The top ten greatest car show TV tunes of all time

When you were a kid playing with your toy cars, did you just line them up and look at them? Did you just inch them along in traffic and patiently sit at stoplights? Did you spend a lot of time pretending to conserve fuel? Did you worry about routine maintenance and car washes and where to park and any number of things that suck the life out of driving in the real world?

No, you didn’t. I’ll tell you right now, your cars were involved in high-speed chases. The fast cars ran away from the police cars. Everything could jump the coffee table. Nobody got hurt. And no car would suffer any damage, unless it played into your chase scenario.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The 2011 car cruise season finally kicks off in Historic Downtown Parkville

Finally! After several long, cold months of suffering, the car cruise season is officially underway in the Kansas City area. And the first one I hit was able to hit was the Parkville Cruise in Historic Downtown Parkville.

Last week it snowed around here, so it would have been easy to be apprehensive about the weather for this event. Those fears were unfounded, however, because it couldn't have been any nicer.

You can tell people were suffering from cabin fever, because there was a very large selection of hot rods, classics, and muscle cars in the English Landing parking area. Burgers and hot dogs were grillin', the D.J. was spinnin', and everyone was having a good time.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Funny stuff in Chinese car brochures

“In fact, even the Liebao CS6 runs over besides you, tightly grasp your eyeballs will be the pure metropolitan feeling reflected by its appearance.”

I know what you’re thinking—I’ve converted the blog over to poetry as an April Fools’ Day joke. But you’d be wrong. In fact, that beautiful quote was taken word-for-word from a recent Chinese car brochure.

There are usually a few Chinese auto manufacturers that set up hasty displays at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit each year. And to catch the attention of the demanding journalists in attendance, they hand out brochures that look to have been converted from Chinese to English in some sort of computerized translator.