Saturday, March 16, 2013

C.A.R.B. Race-On Car Show and Snake Saturday Parade bring lots of great cars to North Kansas City

Since 1977, the Central Auto Racing Boosters (C.A.R.B.) has hosted a racecar show in conjunction with the Snake Saturday parade in North Kansas City, and as usual, there was a decent turnout in spite of the cold, cloudy weather.

C.A.R.B. is one of the most dedicated, hardest-working clubs you'll ever encounter.  They've been around for more than 60 years in the Kansas City area, and during that time they have done an outstanding job of promoting local drivers and tracks.  Currently, C.A.R.B. supports four area tracks, including Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., I-35 Speedway in Winston, Mo., and Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Mo.  C.A.R.B. members get free admission to these tracks on C.A.R.B. nights, a membership roster, and other perks, all for only $15.00/year.

This year's Snake Saturday event, known as the Clyde Ellis Race-On Car Show (named after Seeburg Muffler owner and well-respected racing supporter Clyde Ellis), was held in the parking lot across from the NKC Pro Bowl.  In addition to the cars, there was a carnival, a petting zoo, a train for the kids to ride, and food vendors.  This has been going on for a long time in North Kansas City, and they know how to do it up right.

Several cars were on hand to represent the four C.A.R.B.-supported tracks.  Everything from late models to sprint cars, modifieds to factory stocks were there to make people crave the start of the 2013 season.  I even crashed the party with my old ’63 Chevy pickup for its first car show of 2013.  It might not be much of a racecar, but some of the racing folks seemed to like it, and it gave us a place to get out of the wind once in awhile. 

One of my favorites is still this ’56 Ford sedan that Damon Clevenger runs in vintage races at tracks like Valley.  This is a real car, with the original body, dashboard, and bumpers.  It even still had the Hayward Talbert dealer badge attached to the rear panel.  I know Damon from my I-70 Speedway days, because he was almost unbeatable with his four-cylinder Mustang in the pony stock class.

If you like something more modern, Shelby Manthe is moving up from the street stocks to the modified class in 2013.  Shelby designed her own graphics for this car, and even cut them out on her own vinyl cutting machine.  Her efforts paid off with the award for most popular car at the Snake Saturday show.

Believe it or not, there is an even bigger event going on here than the racecar show.  North Kansas City’s Snake Saturday Parade is a pretty big dealio.  And luckily for us car nuts, there were several car clubs making the super-slow trek down Armour Road.  They included the Camaro club, the Mustang club, the Miata club, and two Jeep clubs. 

I actually used to be in the Camaro Club of Kansas City, so it was nice to see them there.  One thing I’ve noticed is that the new style Camaro has really taken off with these guys and gals.  When I was in the club, Chevy quit making the Camaro.  No one was really sure if they would ever make another one.  The future of the car was in question.  But judging by what you see at these club gatherings, all that worrying was for nothing.

I used to arrange to have the Mustang Club of Kansas City come out once a year and drive around Lakeside or I-70 Speedway back when I worked there.  They had several nice cars in the parade, but none of them stood out more than the two Grabber Blue examples.  One was a late-model GT, and the other was this ’70 Mach 1.  Gotta love those bright colors.

There were lots of fun things to look at both in the car show and in the parade.  Take a look at the slideshow below, or click on this link for a better version.

To learn more about how to become a member of C.A.R.B., to read the newsletter, or to find out about upcoming events, visit the Central Auto Racing Boosters website at


  1. Great report Craig, thank you from C.A.R.B. and Northland Festivals.

  2. Thanks, JD! I don't think I've missed this show for over 20 years. You can always count on me being there to check out the new cars!