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.

This year, we went to the show with Pat Casey from Colorado Springs. Pat has been one of my dad's friends since back when they were in high school. The relevancy to this blog is that he used to pick up cars and run errands for the actual Hover Motor Company car lot with my dad back in the early '60s. There aren't too many people out there that have firsthand accounts of that place anymore, and it's always fun to see them get together.

This event is held at Forrest Park, a sprawling, tree-lined locale that stretches on forever. So when I was half-way around the path, and it started to downpour, I really wished I was carrying my umbrella. Of course, that was in my truck, and I wasn't about to go back there. So many of the pictures of this show were taken while smarter people were standing in shelters and under tents.

Favorites ... where to begin? When there are this many cars, it gets difficult to break them down. But I'll take a crack at it.

There was a black '55 Chevy two-door sedan with Spider Caps and Rings, a Corvette grill, '50s-style pinstriping, and other spot-on retro touches that really caught my eye. You'll see a lot of pictures of it in there--I was really smitten with it.

There were several exceptional stock vehicles in the house, including a '53 Buick Skylark (!), a '57 Chrysler 300, a '64 Grand Prix sporting 421 badges on the front fenders, and a really pretty '53 Mercury coupe with Cadillac wheel covers.

I like '57 Chevys; I really do. But my gosh, there were a lot of them out there this weekend. I think every row had two or three of them. They seem to be multiplying like rabbits. It's not a huge surprise, though. I still think they are the most recognizable, iconic car of all time. As long as they allow fossil-fuel cars to roam the streets, there will always be '57 Chevrolets at car shows.

There were a few unusual examples that you really don't see very often, though. Those would include things like a Willys Jeep made into a sort of rat rod/hot rod-type creation, a '72 Chevy Suburban ambulance, a Texaco fuel truck that the entire cab tilted forward while the fuel tank tilted back dump truck-style, and a little lawn mower engine-powered hot rod thing that the guy sort of sat on the back to operate, while kids could sit in the normal driver's seat and pretend they were in control.

In the end, I took more than 700 pictures of the 2011 Ol' Marais River Run Car Show, and I am including them in the slideshow below. But I'm warning you, there is no commercial break, so if you need to use the restroom, do so before you start the pictures.

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