Saturday, August 24, 2013

Hot cars at the Smithville Hot Summer Nights Cruise

So on Friday nights throughout the summer, Smithville has this Hot Summer Nights event where people gather for live music concerts and stuff.  That’s OK, I guess.  But then there’s one week in August where the “and stuff” part of the equation is a huge car cruise.  That event was last Friday.  And as expected, we were there with our camera to capture everything.  The good part for you is that you can see all the cars from Hot Summer Nights, and you don’t actually have to get hot.

Here’s a ’37 Dodge.  I love the way this little blue coupe looks.  The tires, the color, everything is just as it should be.  It even had its flat six under the hood.  This car looks like it could have been taken straight out of a Bogart detective movie.  Well, that, or it would fit right into the picture of my granddad’s car lot at the top of this page.  There's already a '37 Plymouth coupe up there, and this Dodge is pretty similar.  Anyway, I wouldn’t change a thing on it—it’s perfect for what it is.

The Kansas City Arrowhead Chapter of the Pontiac-Oakland Club was the host club for this event, so naturally there were lots of cool Ponchos on the Square.  This ’71 GTO had a lot of curb appeal, with its shiny Cardinal Red paint with white interior and vinyl top.  This car had a window sticker that stated that the original price was $4,904.  If you could even find them as nice as this, I’d buy ‘em all day for that price now.

Sometimes it seems like ’55 Bel Airs are a dime-a-dozen.  They turn up as street rods, gassers, and modernized hot rods all the time.  But what you see fewer and fewer of are really nice, stock ‘55s.  Take this convertible.  With its Gypsy Red over Shoreline Beige paint, perfect interior, and optional bumper guards, I would contend that there is nothing that a person could do to modify this car to make it any better.  Those GM stylists knew what they were doing.

Here’s a pretty appealing ’69 Dodge Coronet R/T convertible.  The pale yellow combined with the white interior was as refreshing as banana cream pie.  This had a big ol’ 370-hp, 440-c.i. Magnum V8 under the hood with the desirable Ramcharger fresh air induction option.  This would be a great car to take out on a Fall day, drop that top, shift into drive, and listen to that exhaust rumble.

Get offa my lawn!  If you saw the 2008 Clint Eastwood movie Gran Torino, you saw a ’72 Gran Torino Sport that looked a lot like this one.  But this one wasn’t squirreled away in some cranky old guy’s garage.  It was right out here in Smithville for everyone to see.  I’d actually be surprised if the one in the movie was really as nice as this one is.  Heck, if I owned this, I’d probably want to shoot at people that wanted to mess with it too.

There are 348 pictures from the 2013 Smithville Hot Summer Nights Car Cruise in the slideshow below.  Not only will you see cars, but there are even a couple of shots of the stage entertainment, including a pretty decent Elvis impersonator.  Or, click this link for a nicer version.

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