Thursday, February 28, 2013

Own a piece of Kansas City's automotive history at Dale Wilch's Man Cave

I admit, I haven’t been writing as much as I probably should here lately.  My excuse is that there aren’t enough car shows and other automotive-related activities to cover this time of year.

But then my excuse gets blown out of the water when you consider that Dale Wilch’s Man Cave is open for business every Wednesday night, snow or shine.  15,000-sq/ft of vendor space is crammed full of car stuff.  And since it actually takes place in an underground cave, the thermometer always hangs in at 68-degrees no matter what’s going on in your neighborhood.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Stuck in the snow? How about a Jeep?!

Well, the weather is pretty nasty around Kansas City.  We don't exactly have ideal conditions for cruising around in the ol' '32 Ford Highboy.  But hey, there is at least one old vehicle that was made for this stuff.  Let's take a look back at the history of one of the most popular off-road vehicles ever made.

For a vehicle that looks like it hasn’t changed much in 40 years, The Jeep Wrangler has an awful lot of history. Of course, today the Jeep brand makes the Grand Cherokee, the Liberty, and other SUVs in addition to the Wrangler, but for the purposes of this story, we’re going to refer to the Wrangler, and all of its predecessors, simply as Jeeps. Sorry, lovers of the Commander.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Monster truck history and Hot Wheels Monster Jam diecasts

When I was growing up in the ‘80s, one thing I always looked forward to was the annual visit from the traveling monster truck tour.  Of course, it wasn’t like it is now.  Back then, monster trucks crushed cars.  And that’s really all they did.  They really were monsters, weighing in at some 18,000-lbs.  They didn’t jump things.  They didn’t race.  They didn’t do “freestyle” competitions.  They just lumbered over a line of old cars, crept up over them, and buckled the tops and popped the windows out.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Like the delicate pedals of the rose, I give to you the red cars of St. Valentine's Day

Can you smell it? The distinct aroma of love, lingering in the Valentine's Day air. Of course, readers of this blog know that aroma hints of burning rubber and gasoline.

Today, we're going to take a look at red cars. What other color has been more of a staple in the show car world than that of Marilyn Monroe's lipstick? "Arrest-me red." "Resale red." They can come up with as many new-fangled custom colors, metallics, and fades as they want to, but none of them have the lasting impact of good, old fashioned bright red.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

2013 Monster Jam in Kansas City. Just fun, nothing too serious

You can argue that Monster Jam monster truck events are staged, redneck, whatever.  But I think they put on a great, kid-friendly show, and the trucks themselves are nothing short of amazing.

The Monster Jam tour made its annual stop in Kansas City’s Sprint Center over the weekend.  As usual, this isn’t one of their major events.  It’s not televised.  Most of the big name drivers don’t make it.  And the Sprint Center is too small for these trucks to do anything very spectacular.  But they still draw big crowds for these events, and it really is a fun atmosphere.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

53rd-Annual World of Wheels brings life to the Kansas City car scene

Winter in Kansas City can be rough for car guys.  Practically all the car races, car shows, cruises, and anything else we might be interested in just shrivel up and die.  But every year, the first signs of life begin to bud when the World of Wheels hits Bartle Hall.  The 53rd installment of this Kansas City tradition took place this weekend, and just like tulips sprouting in the garden, it gives you hope that we’ll have a good year.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The big engine story. What's under the hood?

Smooth paint and shiny wheels are nice, but the engine is the heart of any car.  It’s the reason old cars are fun to drive.  It’s the first thing you look at when you walk up to a car at a car show.  It’s the one piece of optional equipment that drastically changes the value of any old car.  And it’s the first thing that hot rodders turn their attention to.  Through the years, there have been lots of fan favorites when it comes to engines.  Here, we’ll take a look at just a few of the most popular.  What’s under your hood?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

What do hidden headlights have to do with Groundhog's Day?

Well, it’s official. Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow!  That means we’re going to have an early spring.

In an effort to cover all the major holidays with a car-related story—Christmas, Thanksgiving, Groundhog’s Day—I’m once again stretching the bounds of logic to bring you a story about the history of hidden headlights.