Sunday, May 13, 2012

Longbranch Cruise not dead after all

For several years, when you talked about the best weekly car cruises in the Kansas City area, the Friday night gathering at the Longbranch on Metcalf in Overland Park was usually right at the top of the list.  Even at the end of last season, they were pulling in what appeared to be well over 100 cars per event.  It was a social hot spot.

This year, I kind of wondered if it was going to happen.  The Longbranch shares the parking lot with what was a vacant Chili's, so they had lots of unused space to spread out.  During the off-season, that building was re-inhabited by an IHOP.  The scuttlebutt among cruise participants was that it would put an end to the weekly festivities.

After visiting the cruise last Friday night, I'm happy to report that it appears to be as strong as ever.  Cool cars were parked curb-to-curb in that parking lot, the music was playing through the P.A. system, and everybody seemed to be having a great time.

There were a few changes.  The Longbranch Saloon has become the Longbranch Ale House. 

And unlike last year, they didn't actually block off the main parking lot for show vehicles.  That means you'd get the occasional filthy Camry slithering its way through, parking between the hot rods so the car-averse occupants could go get a Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity.  I don't really mind that they're there, but sometimes I worry about kids walking out in front of them.  People that don't attend car shows don't always understand the sort of mindless, carefree atmosphere.

They had some great cars there.  There was a red and white '59 Impala parked to the side that was pretty interesting.  Tack on Continental Kits were never my favorite, but I believe this one was a genuine Chevrolet accessory that didn't look out of place here.

A couple of classy rods were also in the house.  One of them was a '31 Packard sedan with pretty chrome wire wheels and side mounts.  I didn't see under the hood, but judging by the interior, it was going to have some sort of modern drive train.  There was also a '47 Cadillac Sedanette there that was motivated by none other than a late-model Cadillac Northstar power plant.

There were lots of familiar cars from last year, and several new ones at the Longbranch Friday night.  But the bottom line is that rumors of this event's death have been greatly exaggerated.

Take a look at the pictures below.


  1. Longbranch Ale House has been notified by its landlord that it can no longer sponsor in any way, the awesome car show. We, however, do welcome your continued business and loyal patronage and will honor your discounts. Jay

  2. Jay, are you with Longbranch? Does that mean the cruise will not happen anymore? I'm sure people will show up tomorrow night. Will they be asked to leave? I'm not sure of the details here ...