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.

You might think the frequency of this cruise would hurt attendance. You wouldn't think that anymore if you were at the last one. Back when I worked at the weekly stock car tracks, I learned that nothing kills your attendance like breaking momentum. If there was a rainout or two, it might take a couple of weeks or more of nice nights to get the crowds back up. I think the same theory is in play here. As people get in the habit of bringing their cars out every week, it does nice things for car count. This cruise isn't in my neighborhood, so I don't get to it every week, but it was easily the best-attended one here that I've ever been to.

And there were a lot of really nice cars to look at. I really liked a little, black '50 Ford club coupe with a flathead V8 and '59 Dodge wheel covers. That car looked like it came straight from the '50s.

Last weekend I talked about a white '64 Grand Prix that was at the Ol' Marais River Run. Well, it showed back up at the Longbranch cruise, and this time it was all opened up because it wasn't raining. Just as the fender advertised, there was the 421 under the hood with three carburetors, and acres of real red leather in the interior. What a car.

There had to be maybe a half-dozen Midyear Corvettes out there, several Chevelles and El Caminos that were probably here because of the Mid-America Chevelle show that was also taking place in town this weekend, what I'm guessing was about a '73 Plymouth Satellite "Sundance" with some of the wildest striped '70s interior you could ever hope to see, a '58 Eldorado convertible, a '61 Impala coupe, and a pretty red (I'm gonna' guess again) '71 Firebird with a 455 and a shaker hood.

As opposed to the rest of the summer, the weather was gorgeous; it wasn't hot, it wasn't raining, it was just perfect. Maybe other cruise organizers around Kansas City should look at the success of this event, and consider extending their schedules a little later in the season. Why do so many of these things end in August?

At any rate, I took the usual big ol' slideshow of pictures for your viewing satisfaction below. And if you like what you see here, you can also be a part of this in person, because they've got another cruise scheduled at the Longbranch next Friday night.


  1. I love this cruise! It is just a relaxed venue--every type of car is welcome, from the beautiful restored classic to low riders. It also often catches spill over from whatever events are coming up--I can remember one week being up to our eyes in Model Ts because the Model T show was the next day. I don't go every week--I try to go about once a month. And I always bring out my camera.

    See some HPAC folks there tonight--good, good. I wish I'd been there--we might have run into each other taking pictures. Next week for me if our weather is good for sure.

    The Observer

  2. Well, er, the HPAC folks were there Friday night. Got a little excited there.

  3. There were several interesting MOPAR's out there, so that makes sense.

  4. Some great looking cars - and a very cool Triumph motorbike... Sure wish i was closer - I'd be there Friday fer shure!