Sunday, September 23, 2012

2012 Mid-America - Aces Chevelle/El Camino Show brought big blocks to the Great Mall

The Great Mall in Olathe has been the site of some pretty big car shows lately, and that tradition was continued over the weekend with the Mid-America - Aces Chevelle/El Camino Show, which filled the north parking lot with gleaming mid-sized Chevys.

I know the Chevelle contingent has been getting strong around town lately, because I see several of them whenever I hit a car show.  But it’s hard to realize just how strong until you see them all in one place.  It would be hard to assemble a bigger gathering of hood pins, stripes, and Chevy Rat motors.

There are so many nice ones that it’s hard to pick favorites, but I’ll give it a shot anyway.  I really liked David Jamis’ ’70 SS, with that all-important 454 big block under the cowl induction hood.  This car stood out not because it was perfect, but because it wasn’t.  It looked mostly original, and had the scars to prove it.  But it was obviously used and enjoyed over the years, as evidenced by the aftermarket headers and very old B.F. Goodrich tires.  I can barely remember when those Radial T/As even looked like that.  In a sea of beautiful, perfect, restored cars, this one just spoke to me for some reason.

There weren’t a ton of wagons, but there was a handful of worthy long-roofs.  My pick had to be Rich and Natalie Cummings’ 1965 SS two-door, which featured some pretty cool modifications.  First of all, it was painted in a lavender hue that Chevrolet called Evening Orchid with a white interior.  And I’m comfortable enough in my manhood to admit that I think it’s a gorgeous color.  When new, the top engine in one of these wagons was the 327-c.i. small block V8, but this one was very tastefully upgraded with a 427 and a four speed. 

And behold this black-over-red ’67 SS that Jack Jenova brought to the show.  This baby had everything going for it.  It’s the perfect color.  It has a four speed.  There’s a 396 big block between the front wheel wells.  And those little hubcaps and redline tires look simply awesome.  And the Hicks Brothers dealer badge on the back indicates that it was a local car, which makes it even better.  This was the first car I spotted when I walked into the lot.  It just has that kind of instant appeal.

Sometimes cars that you wouldn’t have given a second look to several years ago seem to stand out from the crowd now.  Take this little ’66 Malibu two-door hardtop.  At first blush, there isn’t much here to get excited about.  It's not flashy.  Those full wheelcovers were, um, homely.  It isn’t even a spectacular color.  But it does have a 396 with a four speed.  That silver paint is laser-straight.  And the wheelcovers are so unusual now days, they’re even growing on me.  Time has been pretty good to this old car.

If I could make one change at this show, I’d open up the field to 1970-1988 Monte Carlos.  They’re a pretty close cousin to the Chevelle, and share a great deal of components.  I’ve always been a big Monte Carlo fan, and even though there are a few around, there never seem to be enough to start their own club.  It’s not really a big deal just something I think about whenever I see these cars together.

The omission of Monte Carlos obviously didn’t deter me too bad, because I still took 307 pictures.  They include two ’57 Chevys and a ’75 Caprice convertible that were there to see the show.  As usual, you can check out the entire slideshow below, or click this link for a better version.


  1. Well... I can't get the whole slideshow to play, but thats OK. I can still tell that there were a metric tonne of cool cars there and appreciate the coverage. And I ask you ; are there many things automotive better than a marina Blue 67 Chevelle? Of course, the answer is no...

  2. Finally got to go thru the whole show - thanx again. Some really great cars, and I think every 4 speed car left in the world was there! Hafta say tho...that Orchid 65 wagon takes the cake for cool[est] imnsho.
    And who at the mall did the signage?!? Putting a 70 RoadRunner / GTX on a sign advertising a CHEVELLE show?!? :)