Thursday, September 29, 2011

Adesa Auction's Fall Corvette and Specialty Car Sale gives you a real-world perspective into the old car hobby

“I’mana eighteen, eighteen, eighteen; lookin’ for eighteen-five. Eighteen-five. Come up and look at this car. Sixty-two-thousand actual miles. Pay attention, folks, you’ll never see another one like this. I have eighteen. Lookin’ for eighteen-five. Eighteen-five. Eighteen-five going once. Eighteen-five going twice. It’s gonna’ take closer to nineteen to buy this car. Roll it on through.”

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Refined sledgehammer. The Cadillac CTS-V coupe and sedan test drive review

Carmakers often try and tell you they have a sporty version of some mid-sized car, and for the most part, they’re just a tweaked version of a non-sporty car. There’s a compromise there, because that vehicle has to be all things to all people.

The CTS-V is an exception. First of all, a regular CTS is a world-beater in-and-of-itself. But when you add the massive suspension and brake tweaks, plus this engine, my God the engine, you’ll absolutely believe there were no compromises here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Annual shows, final cruise nights, and Corvairs. The Kansas City car show, car cruise, and car racing schedule for September 30; October 1 - 2

Another beautiful fall weekend means another full schedule of Kansas City-area car shows, cruises, and races.

One of the bigger season-ending events comes from an unlikely source. The Basehor Project Grad Car Show at the high school packs in hundreds of cars each year.

Other big, annual shows are taking place in Lone Jack, Lawrence, and countless smaller communities all within a day’s drive of the KC Metro area. This is a busy time for these shows, and they tend to draw strong car counts every time. You can also go to Excelsior Springs and check out the big Corvair meet.

Where are you going to be this weekend? If you’re having trouble trying to decide, I am including the complete schedule of Kansas City car shows, car cruises, and car races below.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Southern invasion. The Belton Car Cuise brings in the big numbers

When some people think of Belton, Missouri, images of the big Quick Trip distribution center or the railroad depot may come to mind. But for area car enthusiasts, the monthly Belton car cruise is the first thing they think of.

This may very well be the biggest monthly cruise in Kansas City. I don’t have the official count from Saturday night, but I’d guess around 300 classic cars and trucks lined Belton’s historic downtown Main Street and various parking lots and side streets nearby. It was a very impressive display.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The 10th Annual Mid-America Chevelle/El Camino Show at the Great Mall was a showcase of big blocks and beautiful rides

Earlier this week, I visited the GM Fairfax Assembly Plant, where they build the current Chevrolet Malibu. So it seemed only appropriate that I explored the history of that nameplate this weekend when I checked out the 10th-Annual Aces Mid-America Chevelle/El Camino Show at the Great Mall of the Great Planes in Olathe.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

While other car cruises are ending for the season, the Longbranch cruise keeps getting stronger

As many of the car cruises are starting to end around town, I decided to take the trek to Overland Park on Friday night to check out one of the latest-running cruises of the season at the Longbranch Steakhouse on Metcalf Avenue. Not only does this event run all the way until the end of October, but it happens every single Friday night.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The General Motors Fairfax Assembly Plant open house reminds us how important the auto industry is to Kansas City

Some people don't realize how big of a car town Kansas City really is. I mean, you kind of get an idea of what kind of classic car scene we have here if you look at all the car show reviews on this website. But even more importantly, there are thousands of people that make their living in Kansas City's thriving automotive industry.

Nowhere was that more obvious than at the Fairfax Assembly Plant open house, which was held this week in the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Kansas City, Kan.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Chevrolet Suburban is the longest-running nameplate ever produced. A history and pictorial review of Chevy's heavy hauler

When you think about what model of vehicle has been around longer than any other, several candidates might come to mind. Iconic nameplates like the Porsche 911, Chevrolet Corvette, Chrysler 300, and the Ford Crown Victoria seem like they’ve been here forever—but they’re not the champs.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A little rain doesn't dampen spirits at the 25th Annual Ol' Marais River Run. 714 pictures from the big show in Ottawa

There are car shows, then there are car shows. And the 25th Annual Ol' Marais River Run in Ottawa, Kan., was a car show. This is always one of the biggest hot rod, custom, vintage, and muscle car events in the area.

How big? Well to give you an idea, consider that Saturday's forecast called for rain. Saturday's forecast proved to be correct from the moment the sun came up. And they still managed to draw in more than 1,300 entries.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Midwest Ford Fest, Shrine Swap Meet, and Ol' Marais. The Kansas City car show, car cruise, and car racing schedule for September 16, 17, 18

September continues to be a busy month for Kansas City car events. One of the biggest is the Ol’ Marais River Run in Ottawa, where some 1,600 cars will blanket Forrest Park.

If you like Fords, the Midwest Ford Fest is always a big draw at KCIR. And if your old car needs parts, or if you are looking for a new project, the Ararat Shrine Swap Meet in Lee’s Summit may have just what you need.

As the season winds down in Kansas City, there is no shortage of car shows, car races, and car cruises to check out this weekend in Kansas City. Take a look at the full schedule of events below.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The 12th Annual Midwest All Truck Nationals brought trucks and truck fans from all over America to the Riverside Red-X

They say that one of the dangers of owning a pickup truck is that all your family and friends will ask you to use it to haul things for them. If that's the case, Riverside was the location of the most popular people in town, because the 12th Annual Midwest All-Truck Nationals was wall-to-wall trucks.

For the past few years, this event was held at the E.H. Young Riverfront Park, but that location is still suffering from the ill effects of too much water and not enough riverbed. So the festivities were moved to the grassy lot out behind the eclectic Red-X general store. I haven't been to this exact location since the old Riverside Stadium dirt track resided on this spot.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

14th Annual Bill Cliff Memorial Car Show highlights the final 2nd Saturdays cruise in North Kansas City

Throughout the summer, one of our regular stops has been the "2nd Saturdays" North Kansas City car cruise, which took place every month on the corner of Fayette Street and 18th Avenue. There was something for everyone at this cruise, as they combined it with an art fair and jazz music concerts. The event this Saturday night was especially significant, because it was the last one of the year.

I had the old Hovermater at the All Truck Nationals most of the day, so I went home to eat and let some rain showers pass. When I got to North Kansas City at about 6:15 or so, I didn't even realize this was more than a normal cruise. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

History of the Model T Ford. The car that really did change everything

When many people think of the Ford Model T, two things come to mind—they came in “any color, as long as it’s black,” and Henry Ford invented the assembly line to build them on.

Neither one of those things is true, of course, but why would anyone be expected to know or care about a rickety old car that went out of production 84-years ago? Well, we do lots of stories here about the history of certain makes and models of cars. But an overview of the Model T is more than just the history of another car. It is American history. It is world history. The Model T impacted us in ways that are still felt today.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Midwest All-Truck Nationals, local festivals and shows, final cruise nights and more. The Kansas City car show, car cruise, and car racing schedule for September 9, 10, 11

It seems like lots of area cities have festivals and car shows this time of year. I guess they figure this is the last chance to get them in before it snows. You'll see these type of car shows in Shawnee, Olathe, and St. Joe, to name a few.

Me, I'll be spending most of my time at the annual Midwest All-Truck Nationals in Riverside. This is a big, three-day event, and it usually brings a really impressive collection of trucks to check out. Plus, since it occurs on the weekend of September 11, it seems appropriate that they have a big Toys for Tots drive at this event with the U.S. Marines.

Wherever you live in the KC Metro area, and whatever kinds of cars you like, you are sure to find an event to enjoy near you. See the full schedule of car shows, car cruises, and car races, plus the NASCAR schedule from Richmond, in the list below.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

2011 Goodguys Midwestern Nationals pictures and coverage. More than 780 photos mean there will be something you love

When it comes to car shows in Kansas City, Labor Day weekend is one of my favorites of the year. And there are no bigger shows in this area than the Goodguys Rod and Custom show, held in the infield of Kansas Speedway.

The attendance seemed to be down a little compared to previous years, but even at that, it was a hell of a lot of cars. We were talking about this at lunch today, and came to the conclusion that the flooding along I-29 had to hurt participation. I know that there were guys in Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, etc., that didn't want to take that long detour with all kinds of semi trucks on two-lane roads to get to this event. It'll be nice when the river finally gets all back where it goes, and travel gets back to normal around here.

The 2011 Greaserama had it all - Freaky cars, freaky folks, and freaky fun. 722 pictures of double coverage from the Boulevard Drive-In

If you like your music angry, your women tattooed, and your beer, uh, Pabst, you belonged at the 2011 Greaserama car show at the Boulevard Drive-In in Kansas City, Kan. Sure, there were a bunch of--how can I put it delicately--freaks there. But they were nice freaks, and certainly seemed to know how to have a good time.

Of course, I've been there several years in a row, and as it turns out, I know a lot of people there, so perhaps I'm a bit of a freak myself.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Art of the Chopper display in Kansas City's Union Station showcases exquisite workmanship and creativity

I’ve always been more of a car guy that a motorcycle freak, but I can certainly appreciate fine workmanship and creativity when I see it. And did I see it. Kansas City’s Union Station is hosting the Art of the Chopper display for a limited engagement, and we spent some time checking out the beautiful custom bikes under gallery-quality lighting.

This exhibit took place in the same area as they had the Princess Diana stuff, the Dinosaurs Unleashed thing, and other similar displays. And the one thing it had in common with all of those other displays was that it was expensive. We’re talking $12.50 for each adult ticket, and $9.50 for kids. That ain’t chump change, Charlie. And that was really the reason it took me so long to get there. At least there was a slight discount if you ate at the Harvey House upstairs.