For many years, this was the destination for old cars on Friday nights. It wasn’t unusual to see 150 or more cars packed into the Longbranch and adjoining closed-up Chili’s parking lots. People would file into the Longbranch, and sit out on the patio listening to the D.J. and keeping an eye on their rides.
I was at this event earlier in the year, and there was no indication that it would be slowing down. But change was on the horizon. The abandoned Chili’s became an IHOP, and the Longbranch would eventually close down for a major remodel. One of the best car cruises in the Kansas City area was dead.
As I was leaving work Friday afternoon, I noticed a few interesting cars heading in the direction of the Longbranch. So I picked up my family, and we headed back down to the O.P. The restaurant was still closed, and only a handful of cars were there. But the guys that brought them were sitting in a circle of lawn chairs, having a good time, and enjoying the unusually warm fall evening.
I love old cars—you know I do. But I have to admit that if someone were to give me one of the cars there that night, I’d have to take this beautiful, blue Corvette Z06. I mean, come on—how could anyone not like this thing. I can close my eyes and just imagine myself behind the wheel of that car. Heck, I’m even having fantasies about waxing it.
This ’64 Impala SS convertible is a neat old car, but not for the reasons you might think. Yeah, it’s a nice car, but what really makes it interesting is that it’s loaded with period-correct aftermarket accessories. Everything from the gauges to the floor mats are like something that would have been added to this car when it was a year or two old. And when was the last time you saw Cragar wheels like these?
The guys were starting to leave right about the time we got there. And as this little Model A coupe drove off into the sunset, it pretty much marked the end of the car cruise season in Kansas City. But I expect this event, along with many others, to be back and better than ever in 2013. Yeah, we’ll have a few months to think about it, but it will be worth the long, drawn-out wait.
The slideshow below is pretty small, but you know, there weren’t many cars. You can also click this link for a nicer version of the slideshow.