Monday, July 8, 2013

Plain Ol' As featured at the City Market's Art of the Machine

If you haven’t been to Kansas City’s City Market area on a Sunday morning, you might want to check it out.  They really seem to be trying to make it a fun place to go, with several activities for adults and kids alike.  The big draw is the farmer’s market, where you can buy everything from fresh fruit to flowers to spices.  But there is also a little flea market or community garage sale or whatever you want to call it, and they offer barrel train rides to the kids.

Of course, the big draw for me is the “Art of the Machine” series, which usually brings out a local car club to put their cars on display.  This weekend it was the Plain Ol’ As club.  This is a Kansas-based group that likes to go tour around in their Ford Model As.  They had about a dozen cars at the City Market this time, and I enjoyed looking at them.  Even better, I enjoyed watching other people look at them.  This is not, primarily, a car enthusiast crowd, so watching their reactions to old cars that they rarely see otherwise can be entertaining.

This yellow speedster seems to draw the most attention.  It was built out of a real Model A, but the boat tail body was hand-built by the owner.  It reminds you of something that would have raced at Indianapolis when it was new.  Or at the very least, Henry Ford would have used it for some type of performance campaign.  I just think it’s cool that there are people out there who can build stuff like this.  It would definitely be beyond my skill set.

This looks a lot like the other Model A Roadsters in the lineup, but it has a secret.  This is actually a Shay Model A Roadster, which was a 1929 Model A replica that the Shay company built from 1979 to 1982.  Later, these components were sold as kits that the owner could assemble himself.  These had Ford Pinto underpinnings, but they had a lot more charm than a Pinto.  Incidentally, they also built Shay ’57 T-Bird replicas, so if you’re looking at a ’57 ‘Bird and something looks a little odd, it might be one of these.  This Model A doesn’t look all that different than a real one, and most people wouldn’t be able to pick it out of the lineup.

There were also a few interlopers in the display, including a Studebaker pickup (the owner also has a Model A, but recently had heart surgery, and the truck has power steering), a ’39 Ford Four Door Sedan, and a ’40 Ford Four Door Sedan.  The ’39 was completely stock, while the ’40 had been hot-rodded somewhat.  It was neat to see them sitting next to each other to compare the differences between the two years.  I think this was a really high water mark in Ford design.

Check out all the cars from the City Market’s Art of the Machine Series last Sunday.  Of course, you can look at them in the slideshow below, or click this link for a better version.

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