Perfect conditions at the Turkey Creek Car Show in Merriam
Car shows can suffer from all kinds of problems—heat, rain, location. But every once in awhile, everything comes together exactly like it should, and what you’re left with is a huge turnout of nice cars. That’s what happened on Saturday for the annual Turkey Creek Car Show in Merriam, Kan. This was a massive event, complete with sponsors, a mini swap meet, and hundreds of shiny rides sparkling beneath the comfortable Johnson County sunshine. Conditions don’t get much better.
One of my favorites was this 1951 Chevrolet Deluxe convertible. I normally have to travel south to see it, and it’s worth the trip every time. It has spotlights, fog lamps, and that great Deluxe steering wheel. That burgundy paint combined with matching interior gives this an upscale look that defies its entry-level nature. And it looks great everywhere—inside, outside, under the hood, and in the trunk. There was a for sale sign on it, so someone has the opportunity to get a really slick Chevy convertible.
Here’s another pretty Chevy convertible that was also for sale. This one’s a ’64 Impala, finished in a lovely turquoise-over-white color combination. The interior is where it’s at on this car, with that turquoise loop carpeting and machine-turned trim. This one had small-block power and wire wheel covers. Just imagine how nice it would be to drop this top on a cool fall day and take this car for a drive in the country. Nestled in those white seats, it would be like floating on a cloud. Ahh, heavenly.
This ’46 Ford Super Deluxe Tudor is part of the Iron Misfits Car Club. You can easily identify a ’46 on these because of those little rectangular parking lights above the grille. This one is mildly customized, with sky blue paint, a nose-down stance, and bullet wheel trim. Inside you’ll find white-and-black pleated seats, some hand-painted pin striping on the dash, and a shrunken head hanging from the mirror. Not sure why the shrunken head phenomenon ever went away. Anyway, I think this is a really good looking car, and evokes the time-period it is trying to capture quite competently.
This one evokes a much different time-period. It is a ’65 Ford Econoline Van that the owners dubbed as the “Love Machine.” It has slick, custom paint, a 289 between the front seats, and Daisy Mag wheels. More importantly, the entire back was made into a bed. The only accoutrement is fan, which can be switched on if things get, um, hot back there. The owners were listed as Don and Carla Stroud, which I assume are a married couple. I doubt Don let Carla’s dad see this rig when they were dating, or things might have turned out differently.
This 1948 Willys Jeepster was another unusually nice vehicle. This was built not long after World War II as the company famous for military vehicles was trying to make headway in the civilian market. It obviously shared some design cues with an Army Jeep, because Willys manufacturing equipment was more suitable for sharp bends and angles than flowing curves. But they tried really hard to market this as a carefree convertible, and even equipped them all with wide whitewalls and trim rings. They were relatively expensive, however, they didn’t have roll-up side windows, and they all came with an anemic flathead four-cylinder engine. This pristine example was in the Suburban Rod and Custom display.