Sunday, November 27, 2011

Quality over quantity at Wagner's Classic Cars in Bonner Springs

We're only about a month past car show season, and I'm already getting a little stir-crazy. I know there are cars out there, but they're hiding in peoples' garages. This must be why people are willing to pay ten-times our cost of living to be in places like Los Angeles: car shows all year long!

Of course. there are still cars around Kansas City to see, you just have to know where to look. One of the nicer places to check out is Wagner's Classic Car Sales in Bonner Springs, Kan. Wagner's has a neat little showroom that is usually stocked with high-quality collectibles. It's a great place to go window shop on a cold, fall day.

Actually, there weren't tons of cars there when we went to visit over the weekend. Wagner's does a lot of business through collector car auctions, and several of them were at the Mecum event in Dallas.  There was still some good stuff there, though. Included among them were one of each year of the first generation Camaros. The '67 was an RS/non SS with a 396-c.i. engine. Personally, I thought that red-on-red example was the prettiest.

The '68 was a loaded SS with houndstooth Custom upholstery and a 396 engine. When you first look at it, the wheelcovers hit you between the eyes. What you tend to assume is that it has '63 Chevrolet Impala SS covers, and they don't seem right on this beautifully restored car. So I went back and did some research when I got home. Evidently, you could order these as accessory wheelcovers through your dealership's parts department for a Camaro in 1968. Yes, they are exactly like those from a '63 Chevy, except that they have some black painted trim in some of the recesses. You learn something new everyday.

The silver '69 was a rare Z/28 RS with an even rarer dual carburetor cross-ram intake. I'm not sure about the history on this particular car, but I know that this setup is among the most coveted of all first-generation Camaros.  Z/28's were the corner-carvers in the Camaro line, which is why they came with small block engines and features like disc brakes.

One of the most interesting cars to look at was a black 1950 Studebaker Starlight Coupe. Now honestly, I've never been a fan of Studebakers in general, and I really never cared for these models in particular. But maybe, since you don't see them much anymore, they're starting to grow on me. For as much as I thought I didn't like these, I really did enjoy looking at this one. It was a really nice car, the maroon wheels looked great against the black paint, and the crazy wraparound rear window and bullet nose made this car almost so ugly it was appealing.

Other notables included a '54 Chevy Bel Air two-door sedan that was as nice as you'd ever want to see (modern carpets notwithstanding), a '66 GTO that I've seen in there before, but had obviously undergone an extensive detailing to make it even better, and a wild, customized '61 Ford unibody pickup.

The slideshow below contains pictures from my latest visit to Wagner's. And for more pictures and information, check out


  1. for me, their website is a weekly visit at least. same for the crew over at 435 and lackman.

  2. Looks like some good stuff... Hey, I noticed you put bows on the cars and lights on the building... very nicely done! :)

  3. mike - I like going over to the KC Auto Display sometimes too. I'm sure I'll do a story or two over the winter.

    john - Yeah, gotta have that Christmas spirit!