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.

But off in the distance is exactly where they stayed.  In fact, the majority of the cruise was 100-percent sunny, the wind died down later in the evening, and more and more cars managed to pack into the already crowded parking lot as the night wore on.

All the legendary car designers were well-represented.  Virgil Exner's "forward look" styling was especially prevalent.  Among the sweeping Chrysler Corporation products were a 1958 Plymouth coupe, a '58 Dodge convertible, a '63 Imperial, a '55 Chrysler 300, and a '61 Dodge Matador complete with cross-ram induction and swivel seats.

From the Harley Earl studios, there was a rare and fabulous 1953 Buick Skylark, a '56 Buick Century four-door hardtop, and a whole herd of Tri-Five Chevys.

From the Bill Mitchell era of General Motors, there was a '64 Grand Prix with a 421 and luscious red leather, a few first-series Camaros including an outstanding blue '67 with dog dish hubcaps and redlines, a silver '65 Riviera with a beautiful blue vinyl interior, and several mid-'60s Corvettes.

Another heavy-hitter in the world of classic design was Raymond Loewy.  From his pen we had a '54 Studebaker Champion and a '62 Studebaker Gran Turismo, among others.

One of the more popular aspects of this show is that they give out all kinds of door prizes.  We bought $20 worth of tickets, but we ended up with a car wash bucket and a $25 gift certificate to Zona Rosa.  That's perfect, because Abuelos was in my future for Father's Day.

Raffle ticket money went to charity, and the person who won the 50/50 pot took home more than $800.  It's no wonder that people hand around until the end to hear the results of the drawings.

So, um, yeah, I took a couple of pictures.  362 of them to be exact.  And I didn't even get every car.  That should give you a pretty good idea what kind of turnout they had there.  Check out the slideshow below.


  1. C,
    Saw truck but never saw you....
    Dang it ...

    Fun it was ! Joe does a good job.

    Basehor, Ks

  2. So THATS what that engine is! Interesting...
    Some really great cars and trucks there; a few appeared to be outstanding. Youre gonna make me drive to KC some weekend... :)
    Thanx for the pictures.