Sunday, May 19, 2013

West Bottoms Car Show is the beginning of a fun Kansas City tradition

Dad:  What the hell is that supposed to be?
Me:  Well, it’s art.
Dad:  What?
Me:  Art.
Dad:  I mean, what is it?
Me:   I think it used to be a Plymouth.
Dad:  I’ll give ‘em one thing, they are creative.
Me:  Yep.
Dad:  I’d be scared to death to ride in the damn thing, though.

My dad and I went to the “first annual” West Bottoms Car Show on dad’s 69th birthday, and that was representative of the conversations we had as we checked out the rat rods and other wild rides under the 12th Street Bridge.  And dad was right; there were definitely some creative cars and motorcycles out there.  But there were also some pretty nice mainstream rides out there as well.

The location of this thing was actually pretty cool.  Surrounded by old industrial buildings, haunted houses, and girls in pinup outfits, it almost felt more like a movie set than a car show.  No doubt about it, this was a fun environment.  The worst part about it was the dust from the fine, white gravel, but most people didn’t seem to mind.

Here’s a ’60 Cadillac coupe.  This car was obviously lowered (probably bagged) and had some nice custom pinstriping.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was a nice, straight car.  I think a person could have a lot of fun with this one because it isn’t a concours-quality show car.  Plus, it just looked cool sitting there in front of the Macabre Cinema.

When I saw this ’61 Plymouth sedan from a distance, I really wasn’t that excited about it at first.   But once I got up close it didn’t take long to realize that it was actually a very nice car.  It even had the old lady clear plastic seat covers over an exceptionally nice interior.  These cars were so weird they were charming.  From the push-button transmission to the squared-off steering wheel to the a-symmetrical front seats, everything was full of great early ‘60s kitsch.  It even had an extra chrome tailfin in the middle of the trunk lid to house the emblem.

I’m not an expert on International pickups, but I think this one is about a ’67 or ’68.  I do know that you see a lot of Fords and Chevys, but these are pretty rare.  This one was in good shape, especially for a tool that was designed to do work.  But it wasn’t all about work, because it had some fancy trim with a horn ring steering wheel and a hang-on swamp-cooler style window air conditioner.   15-20 years ago, most people wouldn’t have given this truck much thought, but I think it aged rather well with time.

If you don’t like the cars I pulled out, don’t worry.  I took 225 pictures, and you can go through them in the slideshow belowOr click this link for a better version of the slideshow.


  1. Thanks for coming out craig.. for our 1st show, we had no idea we would have that many great cars show you said their was some wild rides..we have some things to fix for next years show & we will..but not a bad 1st show for only 2 guys putting it on...Thanks to all that came out.. hope all had a great time... see ya next year!!!!! (it will be bigger & better) Scott

  2. C,

    Happy belated Birthday Dad !!!!!!!!

    I'm still rolling on the floor laughing !

    I know my Father would have said the same thing,
    "Lets get out of here those guys are crazy" !!!!!!!!!

    Don - Basehor , Ks

  3. Nice slide show, I'm glad you took a pic of my car, the 66 Impala hardtop. I agree the venue was really cool! I'm looking forward to next year :)

  4. Craig, thanks for taking me to a show that I didn't know about until after it was too late. I will make plans to be there next year.

  5. I thought it was a great show. It was like going to Good Guys, Greaserama, a Low Rider, a custom and an almost Concours show at this show.

    Can't wait til next year.

    I guess you've never taken your dad to Greaserama.

    Btw, a friend told me that Greaserama is moving to the Platte County Fairgrounds this year. Don't know if it's true or not.

  6. I have also heard that the Greaserama is moving to the Platte County Fairgrounds. I believe that is true.

    Thanks, guys!

  7. You always take such great pictures at the shows! Thanks!

  8. For a first time show it was a great turnout. Lots of fun, cool venue. And yes greasarama is at the platte co fairgrounds this year. Thx for the photos