Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The glare is there at the Hartman Heritage Center Cruise

As the sun sets figuratively on the 2012 car cruise season, the sun was setting literally on the monthly Hartman Heritage Center Cruise in Independence on Saturday night. Talk about harsh conditions for picture taking. It was like I was taking pictures of the sun directly, and a car would sneak in and spoil the shot.

Stifling sunshine aside, there were still lots of great cars there. This was taking place at the same time as the huge monthly cruise in Belton, but they still managed to bring in a good crowd at this weekly event.

One car that I immediately took a shine to was this ’54 Chevy Bel Air two-door hardtop. I had a good friend in high school that had one almost exactly like this. It had been sitting a long time, and that red paint was pretty oxidized. He brought it over to my house, and we rubbed it out and waxed it. That paint shined so nice that his dad got mad at him when he got home from work because he thought he had it painted. I really did enjoy riding around in that old car. This one just brought back a nice memory from the past.

Yenko Chevrolet didn’t modify many Vegas from 1971-1973, but there were a few. Known as the Yenko Stinger II, the turbocharged four-bangers were good for 155-hp. I couldn’t tell you if this little orange coupe was actually modified by Yenko or not, but it looked pretty legit. And anyway, how often do you see a nice Vega that isn’t a drag car or Cosworth? Besides, I don’t care what anybody says, I think these were great looking little cars.

Here’s a real gangster ride. This ’32 Packard 901 Sedan looked pretty regal in there among all the hot rods and muscle cars. I liked this car because the paint was old and weather checked, and it just looked like something you could have a lot of fun with. Back in the ‘50s and ‘60s these big Classics weren’t worth much, and I could see this one sitting on the back lot of a used car lot in this condition in about 1962. It was just a nice old car, and fun to see it in this condition.

This ’52 Chevy two-door hardtop was a pretty neat little car too. I thought it looked pink, although we’ve already determined that most of what I was seeing was sun spots. They had a color called Bittersweet back then, though, and that may be what it was. The car was really slick, with chrome wheels with baby moons and pleated upholstery being the main deviations from stock. Sometimes when you look at several cars in a row, one manages to stand out, and this one stood out for me.

This little ’70 Buick GS 455 had a lot of curb appeal, too. That turquoise paint and white interior is downright refreshing. And did anyone ever make a better looking wheel that Buick’s classic Road Wheel? These old Buicks are a nice change of pace from all the Chevelles and Cutlasses that you normally see around. Especially when they’re this pretty.

Well, I took 267 pictures from this cruise, which you can see in the slideshow below. I did my best to avoid the sun, but sometimes you just can’t do anything about it. Anyway, here’s the link to a bigger version of the slideshow as well.


  1. I'm with you on the Vega - way cool. As is that Pre Runner Ranger. And the 66 Hemi powered Satellite. And...
    Thanx for the photos as always - and the lighting isnt nearly as bad as you make it sound... :)

  2. Yenko did not modify the engines of the new "Stinger II Vegas he sold because he didn't bother to get the engine EPA certified which meant testing the engine for 50,000 miles first. He sold the turbo as a seperate kit. Only the Yenko side stripes and front and rear spoilers differentiated a "Yenko Vega''