Friday, June 29, 2012

Hover Motor Company milestones and shameless panhandling

This week, the Hover Motor Company blog hit a couple of pretty neat milestones. And while I do try and keep this sort of thing to a minimum, sometimes a guy just has to toot his own horn.

I posted the first car story here on August 18, 2010. The weekly car show calendar that went up on Tuesday marks the 400th story here on I can hardly believe that I can come up with one 400-word story sometimes, not much less 400 different stories!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fritz's car cruise in Shawnee is the only place you can look at old cars and have your food dropped off by a train

Most Kansas Citians are familiar with Fritz’s burger joint over there in Crown Center, because if you have kids or want to take an out-of-town guest someplace fun and different, that’s just the place to go. And really, what’s not to like? They deliver your food with a model train. That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

What you may not realize is that there are two more Fritz’s locations in addition to the Crown Center restaurant. The original Fritz’s is on 18th Street in Kansas City, Kan. And then there’s the newest location, the subject of our story today, at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Pflumm in Shawnee, Kan.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Armacost Museum is a Studebaker paradise

Last year, HMC reader Dan McConnell provided some pictures from the incomparable Armacost Museum in Grandview, Mo. From that time on, I really wanted to see that collection for myself. And last weekend, I finally got my chance.

People who had a car on display at the 6th Annual Art of the Concours were given the opportunity attend a private showing of the museum, and since my dad’s car was in the show this time, I tagged along with him. I’m glad I had that chance, because even though looking at pictures is nice, it doesn’t tell the story quite like seeing this great collection in person.

Monday, June 25, 2012

2012 Art of the Car Concours at the Kansas City Art Institute gets award for "most prestigious"

Many of Kansas City’s car shows are the best of their kind for one reason or another. The World of Wheels may be the oldest. The Goodguys show is likely the biggest. The Greaserama is the most eclectic. You can go on and on. But if you want to give out the award for the most prestigious car show in Kansas City, look no further than the Art of the Car Concours, which was held on the campus of the Kansas City Art Institute.  This show was created by Kansas City attorney and avid car collector Marshall Miller, and is a benefit for the KCAI scholarship fund.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Nearly 200 fine Fords occupy parking spots at the Bass Pro Shops in Olathe

Kansas City has a lot of great automotive traditions.  From our auto assembly plants to our local car racing, this cowtown keeps the wheels turning.

We also have several significant, long-running car shows here.  And for 28 years, one of those shows has been the Mustang and Ford Show, presented by the Mustang Club of Kansas City.  Held at the Bass Pro Shops in Olathe, this is the show where all the high-interest Blue Ovals, both old and new, gather each and every year.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Past, present, and future in this week's Thursday Drive-By

A new week, a new selection of links for this week’s Thursday Drive-By. Gotta love the Internet.

Two of these are inspired by Disney, including the new Carsland at the Disney California Adventure Theme Park, and a great look at cars of the future—as told in 1958.

From the same era, we have another Hollywood-inspired link with the classic TV show Highway Patrol. Man, those old mid-‘50s Buicks really leaned over in the corners!

Check out all the fun links in this week’s Thursday Drive-By.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Good things come to the small crowd at the Riverside Red X Cruise

The Riverside Red X monthly cruise has the potential to be a pretty nice gathering.  Too bad more people don't attend it.

It seems like the eclectic shopping center has been trying to have a successful cruise for years.  Sometimes they get a few cars, but for the most part, attendance has been fairly spotty.  So instead of scheduling it in the evening like a normal cruise, this year they decided to try and have them on Saturday afternoons at 2:00.  The idea was to keep it from conflicting with other cruises in the area.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Titans of design represented at the KCI Airport Cruise

One of the car cruises that everyone seems to look forward to in Kansas City is the KCI Airport Cruise, which is held at the old Ambassador Building in northern Kansas City.  But if you had been paying attention to the weather forecast for this year's installment, you may have had your doubts that it was even going to happen.  Storm warnings were north of town, the wind was blowing like 100-miles-per-hour, and there were some spooky looking clouds off in the distance.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dale Wilch's Man Cave is Kansas City's dark underground secret

If you look around at some of Kansas City’s vintage architecture, you’re probably noticed that many of the buildings, walls, and structures are constructed of limestone. That’s because there are tons of limestone deposits around here, and it makes a cheap, durable, and beautiful construction material.

Obviously, to get to the limestone, they had to mine for it underground. And an interesting side effect of that mining is that Kansas City now has a huge underground cave system. Most of these caves were carved out in such a way that now retail businesses are able to set-up shop in the strangely comforting, almost surreal lair that limestone mining left behind.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rotting Corvette headlines this week's Thursday Drive-By

We’re looking at old cars and new cars, new cars built to look like old cars, restored show cars, and old cars that need to be restored in this week’s Thursday Drive-By.

Confused yet? That’s OK; I’m not doing much better. But we have links from sources like Autoweek, Hemmings, Automotive Traveler, and the Autoextremist.

So get on out there and explore the World Wide Web. Just try not to get so excited that you forget to come back here sometimes. Check out the links below.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dad loves cars because granddad loved cars. I love cars because dad loves cars. My son loves cars because I love cars. We may have a Father's Day theme here

My dad and my son at Lakeside
Of course, Father's Day is Sunday, and it makes me think about a couple of my favorite people: my dad and my son.

The only reason I bother doing this silly blog is that I love cars. I place the blame for that affliction squarely on the shoulders of my dad. He forced me to do car stuff constantly. Against my will. He ruined me.

In fact, I am so screwed up, I am doing the same thing to my son. He’s only eight, but he is getting an extensive early automotive education. He has been to races, car shows, auctions, demolition derbies, monster truck shows; I make him help me wash my car. I feel sorry for him.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tables of talent at the Heartland Model Car Nationals in Overland Park

Model cars are great, aren't they?  You can build or own anything you want, and it really doesn't matter how weird or crazy it is.  Nobody wants a '57 Chevy Bel Air with a six-cylinder in it, but put one in a model and it's kinda neat.  Likewise, most people don't have a stock-appearing V8 Chevette, but in a model, why the heck not?

For skilled model builders, the only thing that limits what gets produced is their imagination, and honestly, there aren't many restrictions on that.  So it can be a real treat to go where some of the best modelers in the Midwest have gathered to check out the Heartland Model Car Nationals.  As in most years, this was held at the Overland Park Convention Center, and there were lots of great models to see, critique, and even buy if you are so inclined.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Extensive coverage of the North Kansas City 2nd Saturdays Cruise misses out by a nose

Here we are, closing in on the dog days of summer.  Temperatures were over 90-degrees on Saturday, and air conditioners were getting a workout.

Of course, that also means that the car cruise season is in full-swing, and evidence of that could be found in North Kansas City during their "Second Saturdays" event.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A little nostalgia in this week's Thursday Drive-By

We’re taking a look back in time for this week’s Thursday Drive-By. We’re looking at automotive styling from the past. We’re looking at shopping malls of the past. We’re looking at magazines from the past. We’re looking at Ferraris of the past. And we’re looking at roadside signage from the past.

One thing you’ve got to love about the Internet is that no matter how old or obscure the subject matter is; no matter how much you thought certain things only existed in your memories; somewhere, someone has pictures and information that they are willing to share. You wouldn’t think something like the Web would be the quintessential source for all things nostalgic, but in some ways, it really is.

Take a look at all the cool car-related stuff in the links below.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fiesta Italiana Car Show. That's amore!

The smell of fried ravioli was in the air during the Fiesta Italiana at the Zona Rosa shopping area. And although most people were there for the live music, the street vendors, and the cannoli eating contest, there was, in fact, an Italian car show tucked quietly in one of the side streets.

I actually didn’t even know about this one until I saw a poster hanging in an Italian restaurant the night before. That’s why it wasn’t in my weekly calendar. And I didn’t really know what to expect.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

All kinds of cars, big and small, in the Kansas City car show, car cruise, and car racing schedule for June 8, 9, 10 2012

Whether you like your cars full-sized, or you’re into something a bit smaller, there’s plenty to do around Kansas City this weekend.

For scale model enthusiasts, the Heartland Model Car Nationals will showcase all sorts of talented scale model builders, plus there is a nice swap meet where you can buy model cars of your own. It’s a pretty big event in the model car world around here, and one you won’t want to miss.

If you like your cars in 1:1-scale, there’s plenty for you too. North Kansas City, Basehor, and Independence all have big cruises this weekend. There’s a big MOPAR show in Olathe. Or check out the Fieros at the City Market.

I didn’t write a story about it, but I watched the races at Lakeside Speedway last Friday night. They had at least 100 race cars, and the action was fast and entertaining. BHo is eight-years-old, and he was glued to every single lap. Oh, and they’re back at it again this Friday.

The entire car show, car cruise, and car racing schedule is listed below.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Whoo whoo! Talking over the trains at the Parkville Car Cruise

I like the Parkville Car Cruise. Not just because it is close to home, but because it has a nice vibe, and lots of cars show up. The latest edition of this monthly event was Saturday night, and as expected, the nice weather drew in nice cars like a moth to a porch light.

One thing that is not particularly peaceful about this event is the train traffic. The Farmer’s Market parking lot at English Landing Park is right next to a railroad crossing, and a Burlington Northern locomotive seemed to be blasting through there every five minutes. I’m not sure if it’s all that annoying. Maybe it just adds to the charm. But at any rate, the constant rail activity is part of the downtown Parkville experience, whether you like it or not.