Wednesday, October 2, 2013

2013 Basehor-Linwood Project Grad Car Show: Better late than ever

Organizers at the Basehor-Linwood High School Project grad Car Show had a big decision to make.  Keep the original Saturday date, or listen to the rain-soaked weather forecast and move it to Sunday up against the Chiefs Game.  They chose the latter option.  And even though the turnout was a bit lighter than in years’ past, it was still a nice bunch of cars.  Saturday indeed ended up being a washout, and Sunday was one of the most beautiful days of the year.  They clearly made the right decision.

Check out this Artesian Turquoise ’66 Chevy station wagon.  First of all, who here didn’t have a wagon like this as part of their lives?  My mom’s was a ’67.  This one was a lot prettier than mom’s, though, and in better shape too.  It had a neat 327 with factory air conditioning, rally wheels, and a cargo area full of vintage picnic paraphernalia.  That color just glowed under the midday sun, like tropical rays over the ocean.  Wagons may have been the minivans of their day, but they sure are cool now.

This one looked like the sun itself.  It’s a ’57 Ford Skyliner retractable hardtop that looked resplendent in bright yellow and white.  I think this yellow is a little brighter than the greenish-tinted Inca Gold that was available on these from the factory, but it is sure pretty.  Wikipedia describes the top hardware as, “a complex mechanism which folded the front of the roof and retracted it under the rear decklid. It had three roof drive motors driving four lift jacks, four door-lock motors, ten solenoids, four locking mechanisms for the roof, and a total of 610-ft (185.9 m) of wiring.”  I thought I might want one until I read that.  They really are neat cars, though.

Here’s a pretty interesting 1928 Buick two-door sedan that was being cared for by, well, an old guy who would have a car like this.  As you could guess, he knew a lot about his Buick and was fun to talk to.  He bought it out of a field and brought it back to life over several years.  He was particularly proud of the radiator mascot.  The original was made from pot metal, and suffered from the usual pitting.  But he “found a guy in Australia” who was casting these reproductions out of brass and having them chrome-plated.  And I have to admit, it was a nice touch.  This old car had as much character as its owner, which is a hard combination to beat.

This is a 1969 Dodge Family Wagon Camper.  It had a stand-up ceiling, picnic table with white vinyl seats, and a place to cook beans.  This was probably a pretty expensive conversion when it was new, and not many of them survive today.  The van had a little rust and wear, but most of these big things spent their lives outside, so that can be expected.  It just reminds you of a time when families spent their summers traveling across the United States, taking in all the attractions that our country has to offer.  It’s such a piece of Americana.

This 1967 Rambler convertible is a pretty interesting.  They made a Hurst/SC version of these that had the big 390-c.i. engine, a giant air scoop on the hood, and this red, white, and blue theme that carried from the body to the headrests.  I don’t know a ton about these, but I don’t think they put the Hurst package on convertibles when they were new.  But hey, if you had a Rambler convertible, why wouldn’t you make it into one of these?  It’s like the ultimate 1967 Rambler.  And you know this thing draws a lot of attention.

This ’54 Chevy sedan has a bit of a modern take on the old school custom look.  Under the hood, it has a fully dressed  Stovebolt, complete with finned Wayne valve cover.  Inside, you’ll find swivel seats a-la 1970s GM intermediate.  Climate control comes from an old swamp cooler hang-on window air conditioner.  And outside, you’ll find plenty of way-back pinstriping, and a set of Unique wheels wrapped in wide, white rubber.  Overall effect: cool, daddy-o.

And finally, just to prove that I can notice things other than Chevys and Fords, here’s a cute little ’64 Beetle.  Really, what is there to say about these that hasn’t been said?  At any rate, this one looked great with its minty green paint job and wheel spats behind the hubcaps.  The funny thing about these is that they used to be absolutely everywhere.  Now when you see a really nice one like this it stands out.  What was once a commodity has become a classic.  That’s especially true when they’re as nice as this.

So even with the lighter crowds, I still managed to click off 480 photos at the 2013 Basehor-Linwood Project Grad Car Show.  Check ‘em in the slideshow below, or click this link for a better version.

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