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.

Of course, this is a car blog, so there’s obviously a reason I’m bringing this up that doesn’t include a food review. Every fourth Saturday of the month, the Shawnee Fritz’s hosts a car cruise. With trains on the inside, and automobiles on the outside, the only thing missing is planes for a great movie idea.

I was strangely attracted to a mildly customized ’55 Ford Victoria two-door hardtop with ’60 Dodge taillights. Finished in an aqua blue and white color combination inside and out, it sort of drew me in like a refreshing oasis in the desert on this hot 100-degree day.

And in keeping in the mid-‘50s Ford theme for a moment, there was also a ’57 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner, finished in Inca Gold and Colonial White, that caught my attention. The Skyliner was, of course, an innovative hardtop convertible made from 1957 to 1959. Also known as the “Retractable” for obvious reasons, the criticism the Skyliner endured because of complexity and storage limitations was more than made up for in the novelty and wow factor. This one was pretty nice, and even had a Ford mirrored spotlight and continental kit. Plus, the top was displayed in the half-retracted position, which is obviously a requirement that must be outlined in the Skyliner Owners' Handbook.

There was a red ’72 GTO convertible there with white interior and black carpets. The old car showed really well, and even featured a set of Pontiac honeycomb wheels. The owner seemed to be pretty proud of the accessory eight-track player in the console. It was a sweet piece of audio equipment, no doubt, but his Freddy Fender musical choice left something to be desired.

There were several nice Camaros, a black ’62 Corvette, and even a “Superbird” convertible on display. In all, it was a nice little selection of cars to check out.

The Shawnee Fritz’s Cruise is relatively new in town, and working to build a following. It’s nice to have another Sunday option out there, and the location doesn’t get much more family-friendly than this.

And guess what? I took some pictures. They are in the slideshow below.

Or, click this link for a better version of the slideshow.

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