Longbranch Cruise coverage whether they want it or not
I know I shouldn’t bring this up, but I’m going to anyway. Over the years, I’ve listed the Longbranch Cruise in Overland Park on every weekly calendar I’ve ever published without anyone there asking me to. I’ve driven from Parkville to Overland Park specifically to cover this event maybe a dozen times. And as sort of a last-minute idea, I loaded up my family Friday night and headed down there to write about it again.
People seem to like to look for their cars in these slideshows, so when I think about it, I’ll let the D.J. know that people can check out this website so he can make an announcement. And I have never had anyone refuse to make that announcement. Until now. Apparently I had to have a printed flyer before he would even consider saying anything. Me being there telling him I just took over 200 pictures was not sufficient. Whatever. I know I’m a nobody, and I shouldn’t let my fragile ego get bruised over something so stupid, but it just bent my nose out of shape. OK, rant over. On to the cars.
There were several very traditional customs at this cruise, including this stellar ’51 Mercury. It had what looked like a later-model engine, but the rest of it was right out of 1957. The door handles were shaved, it had ’57 Cadillac wheel covers with bullet centers, and the white and blue pleated seats were perfect. It also had a vinyl top, which may not seem good when you say it, but looked awesome in person. In spite of a big electric fan, it appeared to have boiled over when it got parked there. But I guess that recalls the days when it had a flathead. I really liked this car.
Here’s something that you won’t see very often. It’s a 1979 AMC Spirit AMX. These would have been the American Motors answer to a Camaro Z/28 or Mustang GT. They were the last AMC car that came with a V8, which was probably 304-cubes. This was a very nice one, with wide factory turbine-style wheels and even wider fender flares. It might be the nicest one I’ve ever seen. And in the past 20 years, it might be the only one I’ve ever seen.
Of course, I like bright colors, stripes, and cartoon characters, so this ’73 Plymouth Road Runner stood out. First of all, could there be any other color than this Petty Blue (I’m sure it has another name, but we’ll stick with Petty Blue here)? It had a four speed with pistol grip shifter, a contemporary license plate, and Cookie Monster behind the wheel. There was no way not to be attracted to it.
If I could take one car home, I would pick this ’67 Corvette convertible without hesitation. Judging from what I could see with the hood closed, it was the full package. 427, side pipes, Rally wheels, four speed, and factory air. Yeah, it had it all. Plus it was sitting on some nice red line radial tires, so it was all ready to hit the road. I seriously dream about owning a car like this. I doubt that I’ll ever be able to, but I’m glad that people who can get them out so I can look at them.
OK, so in spite of being a whiny little baby at the beginning of this story, I still took more than 230 pictures at this cruise, which you can see in the slideshow below. Or click this link for a nicer version.