Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Kansas City car shows, car cruises, and car races for August 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 2012

Another hot weekend brings more hot car events to the Kansas City area.

The Puddle Jumper Days car show has been an Odessa tradition for years, so if you’re east of town, you’ll want to check that out. Abundant Life Church in Lee’s Summit is having a car show, so there’s something for you southerners. And the Falcon Club will be at the City Market, so that’s something for the folks in the heart of the city.

Cruise nights are everywhere. I usually hit the downtown Parkville cruise, but there are others in Harrisonville, Raymore, Blue Springs, and Lenexa, just to name a few. Or hit one of the great local short tracks for some racing action.

The entire Kansas City car show, car cruise, and car racing schedule for this weekend is listed below.

Monday, July 30, 2012

32nd Annual Kustom Kemps Lead Sled Spectacular in Salina. This is one of the biggies

We had every intention of heading to Salina over the weekend and checking out the Kustom Kemps of America Lead Sled Spectacular at Oakdale Park in Salina, Kan. My dad and I were going to meet up with Patrick Casey, a Colorado Springs native, family friend, and someone dad has been hanging out with since high school. The hotel room was even booked.  I was going to dazzle you with a 500 photo slideshow.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Weston Moonshiners Cruise was like taking a trip into the past

The Downtown Liberty Cruise was Saturday night.  I know that's a huge monthly event, and I live north of the Missouri River, so it's only natural that I make that a regular stop.  But this weekend I wanted to try something different.  I mean, I've taken pictures of most everything in Liberty 100 times.  So I looked at the handy weekly calendar here on HMC, and decided to give the Weston Moonshiners Cruise a try.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Quality and quantity at the 39th Annual Show and Shine at the Ag Hall

One of the better car shows of the year was held on Saturday when the Genuine Chevy/GMC Truck Club of Kansas City hosted the 39th Annual Show and Shine at the Agricultural Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs.  You can tell that this is one of those shows that people go that extra step to make sure their cars are perfect.

The Ag Hall of Fame is actually a really picturesque place to hold an event like this.  The show field is surrounded by vintage-looking small town buildings, a big pond with lily pads lines one end of the field, and a miniature train clicks its way around the perimeter taking kids for rides.  And there were close to 100 cars and trucks, so you can bet that there were some cool ones to choose from. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Checkin' out the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum at Graceland

Like most good Americans, I like Elvis.  Yeah, he was a bit of a nut burger, and his later persona was a little over the top, but dang it, he was The King.  You think The Beatles, or Michael Jackson, or Justin Bieber were the first guys to turn a huge sold-out crowd into a blubbering mass of screaming idiots?  Hell no.  Elvis did that.  He’s the biggest, most enduring entertainer in history.  And he even served in the U.S. Army.  You just gotta have a soft spot for the big guy.

Each year, some 1.4-jillion fans make their way to Graceland, Elvis’ mansion in Memphis, Tenn.  The place still looks about like it did when Elvis died in 1977, and people want to cast their eyes upon the stuff that Elvis cherished when he wasn’t on the road.  Oh, and did I mention that there is a car museum there?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The King of stock car racing meets the King of Rock and Roll at the Tupelo Automobile Museum

If it seems like I didn’t get to any local car shows last weekend, you’d be right. I was in Memphis attending a wedding. But I didn’t forget about you. We actually took a whole extra day to shuffle on down to Tupelo, Miss., and check out the great collection at the Tupelo Automobile Museum.

The museum was the work of southern communications magnate and car aficionado Frank Spain and his pal Max Berryhill. Spain actually started buying cars in the early 1970s, and the collection became so big that the 120,000-sq/ft museum was opened in 2002.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dreaming of the good life at Drivin' Dreams

Taking a drive through southern Missouri can be an enjoyable opportunity for car aficionados. Once you get away from the big cities, the houses might be few-and-far between. But when you do see one, there are often lots of interesting old vehicles parked around the property.

As someone who lives in a typical landlocked sub-division that is tightly controlled by a homeowner’s association, I’m actually a little envious of people that can spread whatever junk they want all over their property. I’d love to have a lot full of beater cars that I could putz around with.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Attack of the fins!

Na na. Na na. Nananananananana!

I’ll bet reading that sent chills down your spine. Why? It’s the Jaws theme, of course. Scary stuff!

As we know, one of the last things that victims of the massive shark ever see is the ominous dorsal fin skimming over the surface of the water. Which brings us to today’s automotive theme—fins. Usually they aren’t as deadly as an attack from a great white shark (although people have hurt themselves and even died by banging into a car fin), but they’re still an interesting aspect of classic automotive styling, especially in the late ‘50s/early ‘60s.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Several trucks and a few cars at the Sonic Cruise in Bonner Springs

I decided to visit a car cruise that I’ve never been to before, so we loaded up the truck and headed to Bonner Springs and the Sonic cruise hosted by the Genuine Chevy-GMC Truck Club of Kansas City.

It was hot and sunny out there late Saturday afternoon, and the boiling temperatures probably kept some of the cars away. It was a fairly light crowd. But those who were there seemed to be enjoying the music, snacking on mozzarella bites, and savoring cool confections from Sonic’s ice cream menu.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Vineyard Church Grand Classic Car Show better than you might expect

At first, you might not think that an annual church car show would be that big of a deal.  But if that's the case, you've probably never been to the Vineyard Church "Grand Classic" Car Show, which is held every July just north of Smithville.

Organizers clearly are doing a good job of promoting this event, because they are getting a large selection of quality cars and trucks.  Even with the toasty temperatures, the cars made this a pleasant place to be.

Friday, July 13, 2012

2012 Dodge Charger test drive review. Would Bo and Luke approve?

I was actually kind of excited to try out a new Dodge Charger for a couple of days. I’ve driven several Chrysler products on the LX platform over the past couple of years, but only for short jaunts. And as someone who uses a ’96 Impala SS as a daily driver, I was looking forward to testing out a modern, full-sized, rear-wheel-drive sedan on my commute.

As new Chargers go, this one was about as bland as they come. Of course, even as a base model, the Charger comes with a nice array of features. 17-inch, five-spoke wheels are standard, as is the touch-screen stereo with CD and mp3 connector. The silver paint didn’t do much to spice things up though.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Searching for car stuff at the First Fridays event in the West Bottoms

Do you like treasure hunting? Discovering that rare vintage car collectable can be pretty exciting, but traveling from antique store to junk shop can be expensive and time-consuming.

There is a trending pastime in Kansas City known as “First Fridays,” and more and more collectors are doing their shopping all in one place.

Most of this is happening on the first weekend of the month in Kansas City’s West Bottoms area. Primarily known in modern times for Halloween haunted houses, the historic landmark buildings are now homes for several antique and vintage clothing shops.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet in Kansas City

You may have noticed that the MLB All-Star game is in Kansas City this week, and Chevrolet is a major sponsor. I’ve been seeing Suburbans with manufacturer tags and the full decal packages all over town over the last few days. Chevy is involved in a big way.

Of course, it makes sense, given the traditional tie in that Chevrolet has with baseball in general. And that has a lot to do with one of the most successful ad campaigns in history—Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Maker Faire at Kansas City's Union Station opened up your right brain

From near to far, from here to there, creative people are everywhere.

Car shows are great, and we go to them all the time to see what there is to see. But sometimes, it’s easy to forget that there are other places where fun and interesting automotive-related activity may be happening.

Take the other day. I was sitting around working on my sunburn at a car show, while the 2012 Maker Faire was taking place at Kansas City’s Union Station. I never would have even considered going to that, but luckily my wife Maria and BHo were on the case.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Renamed drivers and a re-bodied Cadillac in this week's Thursday Drive-By

Today’s Thursday Drive-By has some cool stuff, and a couple of self-serving links that are still cool.

We’ve got a bit of vintage racing, with a great story about undercover drivers from the Midwest Racing Archives. We’ve got a little automotive mayhem with a video compilation. There are some awesome old drag racing photos from the Jalopy Journal. And a famously hideous Cadillac returns to Le Mans.

I’m also including a couple of links from Dale Wilch’s Man Cave and Tallant’s Hot Rod Shop. These two get special treatment, because they are the first two paying sponsors ever on the Hover Motor Company blog. I am very proud that companies are starting to take notice, and very excited to have these folks on board. I’ve written stories about both of these businesses in the past, and am honored that they chose to take a chance with me here.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Parkville Fourth of July Parade. My vote goes to the cars!

Small town Fourth of July parades.  Blech.  Basically you just sit in the heat with a bunch of other sweaty people, and watch an endless stream of politicians pass out their junk mail.  Why does anyone want to go to these?

But then, every once in awhile, something shows up that makes it worthwhile.  Usually it's some sort of Veterans' salute, or maybe a moving color guard display.  And, if you can make it through the trailers full of dance and karate students, a neat car or truck will usually appear to break up the monotony. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Amazing automotive assembly lines

Did you know that in 1985, a record 11-million cars and light trucks were sold in the United States? Today’s sales are about half that, but 5-to-6-million cars each year is still nothing to sneeze at. When I think about those kinds of numbers, it seems like a miracle to me that the world can build that many cars. I mean seriously, how is that even possible?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The North Kansas City Centennial Car Show was hot

Let's face it.  If you have a car show during one of the hottest days in the history of June, schedule it during the absolute hottest part of the day, and locate it in the middle of an un-shaded asphalt parking lot, you're not going to get much of a car count.

To wit: the Centennial Car Show hosted by the North Kansas City Rotary Club.  This thing was Saturday from noon to 4:00.  I almost can't think of a more miserable scenario.