Monday, August 22, 2011

2011 Midwest Camaro Fest defies the odds

Originally, it was supposed to take place in the tree-lined E.H. Young Riverfront Park. But then the park flooded. Then, it was moved to the Red X store parking lot in Riverside. But there were thunderstorms. Big thunderstorms. Two nights in-a-row. Water stood in the parking lot. The power was out in the Red X. Lunch was not served.

No doubt about it, the Midwest Camaro Fest was snake bit. But it was far from dead.

Against the odds, a full-field of cars turned out under overcast skies for the premiere Camaro gathering in the Kansas City area. Cars from every generation of Chevy’s popular pony car lined the lot where people used to park to go to the races at the now defunct Riverside Stadium. And as is the tradition with this event, there were some very special cars in da’ house.

There was a maroon ’69 convertible out there done to Baldwin-Motion specs. Baldwin-Motion was a collaboration back in the day between Long Island, N.Y.-based Baldwin Chevrolet and Motion Speed Shop. They upgraded a limited number of mostly Camaros and Corvettes with goodies like 427 engines, stripes, spoilers, and wheels. I’m definitely not an expert on these, and I don’t know it this one was real or not, but it looked pretty authentic to me.

Parked right next to it was a black ’69 Yenko coupe. This was another deal where Yenko Chevrolet, in Canonsburg, P.A., would beef-up cars with desirable options like 427’s, wheels, badges, stripes, and the like. They’re probably a little more well-known than Baldwin-Motion, due in part, no doubt, to the proliferation of fake Yenkos that appear at nearly every car show. They converted everything from Camaros to Corvettes, Chevelles to Corvairs; even some Vegas received a little Yenko magic. At any rate, I would have looked good in that black car.

I had never seen a 2011 Camaro Indy Pace Car in person, but they actually had two of them on display at this show. They’re nice looking rigs, to be sure.

On the other hand, the car from which their paint schemes were cribbed, the 1969 Camaro Indy Pace Car, had no representation at this show. I thought that was notable if for no other reason than the fact that I see those things at car shows all the time.

There were lots of current-generation Camaros out there, proving that the 2010 redesign is resonating with enthusiasts. But there were also several of the last generation, reinforcing the misery I feel for selling the 2001 I used to own. They had a couple of mid-‘80s IROCs, which I’ve always loved. Heck, they had everything.

The annual Camaro Fest is put together by the Camaro Club of Kansas City. They’re one of the more prominent car clubs here in town, and always do a nice job with these events. I mean, if they can fill a parking lot with Camaros under these conditions, they must be doing something right.

Superior Chevrolet also had a strong presence at the show, with a display of new Camaros and performance parts taking up a prominent space among the show participants.

Let’s round out this story with a slideshow from the 2011 Midwest Camaro Fest. I tried to get every Camaro that was there when I was. In all, it ended up being 170 pictures. Not a bad turnout for a rainy, sloppy parking lot.


  1. Defies the odd? You sure.

    There are 100 million billion Camaro's in the world. the odds are in their favor.

    Btw, the nice little art car thingy Sunday for Ford Falcons was alright. some really nice cars.One problem though. 2 Late, Late, model Mustang owners felt that their cars should be in between the Falcons as well. They ruined the shots.

    Who wants to see one more Mustang? they're boring cars that had no place in between the lovely old school Fords. If I want to see another Mustang, then I'll just go to any parking lot in town.

    The world would be a much better place if all cars shows banned Vette's, Camaro's and Mustang's.

    The GoodGuys show would be a much better show without them.

  2. Never had anyone diss the cars in an article before. Personally, I like lots of different kinds of cars for lots of different reasons. Hot rods, Corvettes, Camaros, "Kustoms", originals, race cars--it's all good to me. Everyone's entititled to their opinion, though. To each his own, I guess.

  3. Ah, the first post clown is obviously just trying to compensate for his homosexuality and lack of sufficiency in size of primary organ by overt pseudo aggression aimed at those more masculine and intelligent than himself. Or more accurately ITself...
    There's a REASON there are "millions and billions of Camaros and Mustangs ; because they're cool! Thanx for the photos of the event.
    Methinks 'bwah ha ha' is merely what you internet-savvy-hipsters call a troll. Delete it's post and deprive it of it's satisfaction is the wise course of action imho.