Saturday, October 1, 2011

Perfect weather draws another huge turnout to the 2011 Basehor-Linwood Project Grad Car Show

When you think of big car shows around Kansas City, events like the World of Wheels, Goodguys, or Ol' Marais may be what come to mind. A small-town high school fundraiser usually isn't where you'd expect to see several hundred nice cars. Which is why the Basehor-Linwood High School Project Grad Car Show is such a surprise.

It certainly didn't hurt that the 2011 event was blessed with breathtakingly perfect weather. I don't know the official car count, but I'd guess it was north of 400. That's like 1,600 tires on the ground, and close to 2,000 if you count the spares.

One of the more interesting cars out there was a 1941 Ford owned by George Mallory. This car was built into a "Kustom" by none other than George Barris in about 1951. And if it looks like it came straight out of an old magazine, that's because it actually did appear in several of them in the '50s. George Mallory will talk your ear off about every detail of his historic lead sled, which is almost as much fun to be around as looking at the car itself. We learned details about its invitation to the Grand National Roadster Show, the perils of re-chroming a '47 Chevy grill, and how hard it was to locate and modify a '50 Ford accessory steering wheel to work on this car's steering column.

George's twin brother Steve was parked right behind him with his '40 Ford coupe. His black, flamed, hoodless hot rod should be familiar to everyone in these parts, because it rarely misses a local car show. The Mallorys don't just like old cars; they live the hot rod lifestyle like few other people you'll ever meet.

I walked through the show with my dad, and he had a dilemma. If he could choose between the pretty black '60 Impala convertible, or the pretty red '53 Bel Air convertible, which one should he take? Now, I liked them both, but with its tri-powered 409, the '60 seemed like a no-brainer. But then, dad countered with the '53's split manifold and three-speed transmission, making a good case for the elder Chevy as well. Tough choice, this.

The vintage MOPARs were out in full-force at this show, with rows of purple, lime green, and eye-searing yellow Chargers, 'Cudas, Challengers, and Superbees making a bright statement in the high school parking lot.

Other cool and interesting rides included an early, rare Ford jeep, a Scooby Doo Mystery Machine made out of a Corvair van, a V8 '31 Cadillac roadster, and loads of great hot rods, muscle cars, and vintage trucks.

This car show is a fundraiser for the Basehor-Linwood High School, and with this many vehicles, it had to be considered successful. No, it isn't held in a tree-lined park or in the middle of a race track, but that doesn't stop some of the heavy-hitters in the local car scene to make this fall event one of the most well-attended of the season.

Did you come here wanting to see pictures and not read to my blathering opinions?  Don't feel bad--most people do.  So I'm including close to 400 pictures in the slideshow below.

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