Friday, August 24, 2012

Ararat Shriners bring cars to the 44th Annual Parkville Days Riverfest Parade

Walking around a car show and looking at all the cars can be fun, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could just sit in one place and have the cars come to you? Well, that’s how it works when you visit the annual Parkville Days Riverfest Parade, which made its 44th trip down Main Street last Saturday morning.

I had been thinking about entering this parade to promote the blog, but it conflicted with the Corvette show in Olathe, so I had to pass. Luckily, my wife Maria and my son BHo went to the parade in my absence, and provided us with some nice pictures of the cars.

The Ararat Shriners are the reason that this event is appealing to car people, because they tend to bring the best selection. Shriners have been bringing the coolest stuff to parades for as long as I can remember.

When looking through Maria’s pictures, this Eldorado convertible caught my eye. These were only available for two years, 1984 and 1985, and I remember studying the brochures back then and thinking they were really beautiful, especially the interiors. Hey, it was the ‘80s—cars weren’t all that exciting back then. ASC did the convertible conversion on these for Cadillac, and they only built about 3,000 of them over the two-year run. They were extremely expensive in their day, so they’ve always been a rare sight.

Members of the Ararat Shrine Sandbuggies club also brought their sparkly gold, Myers Manx-style tubs to the parade. This group has been together since 1968, likely in some of these same vehicles, performing in parades and other venues ever since. I think they’re neat, because they’re like little rolling time capsules. People have been watching these very guys drive these very cars since before I was born.

The Shriners also have a Corvette club, and several of those made it to the parade. That seems like an accomplishment all by itself, because there were so many Corvettes at the show I was at in Olathe, it’s a wonder that there were any left to be in the parade. And the only thing better than looking at Corvettes at a show is to see them in motion.

Other notables included a ’64 Corvair convertible, a red ’74 Camaro, a nice ’72 Chevy long bed pickup with a billet style grille, a ’65 Cadillac convertible, a neat ’68 Malibu two-door hardtop, and a variety of hot rods from the Shriner’s “Ole Cars” unit.

Of course, I appreciate Maria snapping these shots for us. Check out her work in the slideshow below, or click this link for a nicer version.

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