Monday, April 30, 2012

2012 GMC Terrain test drive review. The official small crossover of B.A. Baracus

If you are an American male between the ages of 35 and 45, GMC trucks should hold a special place in your subconscious. That’s because from the late 1970s through the mid-to-late 1980s, GMC executed the greatest product placement campaign targeted at seven-to-thirteen-year-old boys in the history of the world.

The onslaught of TV shows and movies that featured GMC vehicles jumping over construction sites, sliding around corners, and dodging bullets and explosives was nothing short of marketing brilliance. For your consideration: The A-Team van, The Fall Guy pickup, Rocky’s pickup in the Rockford Files, Hardcastle’s pickup in Hardcastle and McCormick, the “Robin 3” Jimmy in Magnum P.I., Hooper’s red stepside in the Burt Reynolds’ movie Hooper, Snowman’s rig in Smokey and the Bandit II, and the mobile repair semi in Knight Rider, just to name a few.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Clouds don't keep the cars away from the Liberty Cruise

How strong is the monthly Liberty Cruise?  As I headed up there at about 6:30 Saturday night, I would have sworn there would be no cars there.  The skies were cloudy and ominous, and there were spits and sprinkles all along the way.

But to my surprise, there were still better than 100-150 cars spanning the entire distance around the historic downtown square.  This may not have been the best car count for this cruise ever, but most any other monthly event would kill for this kind of turnout.

Adesa Corvette and Specialty Sale brings big-time collector cars to a big-time auction

Everybody knows when the big Mecum classic car auctions come to Bartle Hall, but that's not the only place in Kansas City where people bid on their favorite collectable cars.  The Adesa Auto Auction in Belton holds their Corvette and Specialty Car Sale a couple of times a year, and sellers and buyers from all over the country get together to swap a little vintage metal.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

One-owner Cobra and vintage car crashes in this week's Thursday Drive-By

Week after week, there's just more neat stuff to see out on the Internet for the Thursday Drive-By.

This time, we've got an original, one-owner Shelby Cobra, vintage car crashes, and an amazing car-themed orthodontists office. What's the greatest V8 engine of all time? And what happens to an Enzo Ferrari when you abandon it in Dubai?

The answers to all of these questions can be found in these links below.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

2012 Chevrolet Equinox test drive review. Warm cinnamon rolls and brown sugar

The Chevrolet Equinox. You see them everywhere. My mother-in-law has one. This is definitely not a controversial vehicle choice.

This week I had the opportunity to test out a new 2012 Equinox front-wheel-drive 2LT. And while I wouldn’t say it stirred me to my very soul, I can certainly see why this medium-small crossover has become so popular. The Equinox is not as cumbersome as a full-sized SUV, it’s more practical than a car, and it does it all in a neat little package that has a fit and finish that rivals luxury SUV’s costing much more.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

From Belton to Liberty, and all points in between, the Kansas City car show, car cruise, and car racing schedule for April 27, 28, 29, 2012

Well it’s not like there isn’t anything to do this weekend. You can find huge cruises in Liberty and Belton, Weston and Overland Park. There are so many places to go look at old cars, you might get sick of them. OK, not really. But you can see a lot of them around town.

Meanwhile, check out the races at Lakeside or I-35 Speedways, or one of the many other great tracks around town. You got a taste of racing last week at Kansas Speedway—now it’s time for some real racing.

Need a little more inspiration? Check out the entire Kansas City-area car show, car cruise, and car racing schedule below.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hamlin wins the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway

The NASCAR weekends at Kansas Speedway are among, if not the biggest events in the area.  I'm not just talking about car-related.  I mean biggest period.  The sheer number of people in attendance is staggering, and the number of people who are watching it via TV or Internet, or listening to it on the radio, is several times bigger than that yet.

Since the focus here is Kansas City car events, I would be remiss if I didn't talk about this weekend's STP 400 for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and of course the SPF 250 for the NASCAR Camping World Trucks.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Outta' Control Hot Rods takes control of the April Platte City Cruise

In Kansas City, many people think of Platte City as the place where Sonny Hill used to sell cars, or maybe where you stop to grab a Whopper before you head up to St. Joseph.  Well, there is at least one more thing that is worth checking out in Platte City, and that's the Outta' Control Hot Rods Car Cruise in the Pizza Shoppe/Mr. Goodcents parking lot.

Last year, the hot rod club that organized this monthly event pulled out of it, so it was kind of left in limbo for awhile.  Larry Colstion was a big fan of the Platte City Cruise, though, and endeavored to make it thrive again.  Attendance was a little weak in 2011, but all of Larry and the crew's work from Outta' Control Hot Rods is finally paying off, because there were easily 100 cars there for the first one of the 2012 season.

12th-Annual KCCA Corvette Show brings fancy fiberglass to Wal Mart

Any day that starts out looking at a bunch of Corvettes is bound to be a good one, so I was definitely pleased with the way Saturday shaped up when I took a few minutes to check out the Kansas City Corvette Association Wal Mart Cruise for Camp Quality.  It was KCCA's first cruise of the year, and they had a great turnout of cars at I-29 and Barry Road in the Northland.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Petersen Automotive Museum features '41 Buicks, Italian masterpieces, and automotive history galore

Last week I was in Southern California test driving some new cars. I really wanted to hit one of the many local car cruises that this area is known for, but there just wasn’t time at night to pursue that. Luckily, I had one more shot to check out some vintage vehicles on my way to the airport when we stopped in at the legendary Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

I’ve wanted to go to the Petersen for a long time. I mean, it was founded by the guy that started Hot Rod Magazine. Any car lover worth his salt should go there at least once or twice in his lifetime. There’s some real automotive history here

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Vintage Corvette footage, Motorama concept cars, and local racing in this week's Thursday Drive-By

When I was a kid, there were things that my dad taught me about cars that I figured no one else knew about. I just never ran across anyone in my social sphere that had much knowledge or interest. But the Internet changes everything. Clearly there are thousands of people that are interested in the same things I am, and most of them know more than I could ever hope to.

We look at some more of those people in this week’s Thursday Drive-By. Do you like car jumps? Watch the General Lee take to the skies courtesy of the Hemmings Blog. Concept cars your thing? The Palm Springs Automobilist has you covered. You’ll even find a little local car racing mixed in with a vintage California Corvette club. See all the good stuff below.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

2012 Ford Focus Electric test drive review. Ford sets the pace on electric vehicles

On Monday, Ford announced that the new 2012 Focus Electric would pace the NASCAR Sprint Cup Race in Richmond on April 28. As I was listening to the Ford official talk about this on my Sirius NASCAR Radio, he stated that electric vehicles like the Focus are the cars of the future. And while I have no doubt that he knows what he is talking about, I would also contend that electric vehicles are deeply rooted in the past. This technology has been dealing with the same issues and perceptions since the beginning of the automobile, and simultaneously, electric cars have been ahead of their time for more than 100 years.

Monday, April 16, 2012

2013 Ford Escape test drive review. Pug no more

One of the most popular dog breeds in America is the Pug. Pugs are little. Pugs are tough. They’ve got that flat little nose that means business, and they are one of the oldest dog breeds. Sure, others come and go—Poodles may be big one year, Dalmatians may be popular another—but the Pug always seems to hang out toward the top of the list.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ads, auto shows, and bank robbers in this week's Thursday Drive-By

I guess I should apologize right off the bat. If you click the links in this week’s Thursday Drive-By, you are going to eat up most of your day. There are so many great stories and vintage photos in these five links that you aren’t going to have time to get anything else done.

We’re looking at an infamous lead-sled, a compelling first car, old school auto shows, and about a jillion old car brochures. I think this is a really good installment of the Thursday Drive-By. Check it out and see what you think.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Australian hybrid. History of the Chevrolet El Camino

It’s a car! It’s a truck! No—it’s an El Camino! Chevrolet’s light duty hauler is one of the most versatile machines out there. From hauling hay to heading to church, the El Camino is one of the best examples of sport plus utility ever to grace America’s highways.

The idea for the El Camino isn’t exactly American, though. Long before this concept had legs in the U.S., Australia had fully embraced the car/truck concept. Known down-under as the “Ute,” these hybrid Fords and Chevrolets were rolling through the Outback as far back as the 1930s. Even today, long after the El Camino’s exit from the American market, Utes are still a popular mode of transportation in Australia.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Shrine Swap Meet, Red X Cruise, and more. The Kansas City car show, car cruise, and car racing schedule for April 13, 14, 15, 2012

We’ve got another huge weekend of car events in Kansas City. You definitely want to check out the season opener Friday night at Lakeside Speedway. If you’ve never been there, you’re in for a real treat. We’ve also got a car show in Grain Valley, the Mustang Cruise in Shawnee, and a car show in Olathe.

Details, you need details! Luckily for you, we have some. See the complete list of car shows, car cruises, and car races below. Plus, you’ll get the TV schedules for all three major NASCAR series.

Friday, April 6, 2012

New Impala, Viper, and MKZ top picks at the 2012 New York International Auto Show

When I think of the most significant American auto show, Detroit generally is the one that comes to mind. But with all the new vehicle introductions taking place in New York City this week, the Big Apple is looking more important all the time.

With all the emphasis on fuel prices and economy lately, it may come as a surprise that most of the introductions in New York were full-sized sedans, as well as other decidedly non-eco-friendly rides. Chevrolet (Impala), Lincoln (MKZ), Acura (RLX Concept), and Toyota (Avalon) all revealed the latest versions of their flagship sedans. Chrysler eschewed any hint of economy by bringing out a new Dodge Viper and Ram pickup. And Hyundai, Buick, and Honda were among the manufacturers to show off their latest crossovers.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Edsel's hot rod, Packard mysteries, and celebrity cars in this week's Thursday Drive-By

Once again, we're traveling the net to bring you a few interesting car websites to check out on a lazy Thursday afternoon.  Do you like celebrity cars?  Old advertising slogans?  Vintage pictures?  We'll cover them all in this week's collection of links.

Normally I don't want to send people away from here, but I guess we'll make an exception this time.  See this week's top five below.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Events from Parkville to Ottawa. The Kansas City car show, car cruise, and auto racing schedule for April 6, 7, 8, 2012

Now this is more like it! After months of relatively no activity, the list of Kansas City car events explodes this weekend. We’re talking about the Longbranch Cruise in Overland Park. We’re talking about the Parkville Cruise. We’ve got a Corvette Show in Ottawa. We’ve got races. We’ve got swap meets. We are going to be busy!

Where are you going to be this weekend? If you have an old car, now’s the time to dust it off and get out there. And even if you don’t, you’ll have fun checking out other peoples’ rides. Whether you like car shows or car races, this is a good weekend to be in Kansas City.

This is also Easter weekend, so there is no NASCAR racing scheduled. See the entire list below.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Affordable bargains, six-figure gems, and one heck of a car show. 750 photos from the Mecum Spring Collector Car Auction in Kansas City

The inside of Kansas City's Bartle Hall is 388,800-feet. Now they can do lots of things in there--home shows, religious conventions, RV shows--you name it, they can fit it in there. But as far as I'm concerned, the best way to utilize eight football fields of indoor space is to fill it up with cars.

Luckily, the folks at Mecum Auctions share that opinion, and once again they managed to draw more than 750 sparkling vehicles to the Kansas City Convention Center for the Mecum Spring Classic Auto Auction.