I always feel mixed emotions when I go to the annual Turner Days Car Show at Turner High School. On one hand, I’m happy, because there are always a bunch of really cool cars and trucks out there. But on the other hand, I’m sad, because it usually means we’re getting to the end of the car show season here in Kansas City. But for the purposes of this story, let’s focus on the positive, and take a look at some of the rides on display at Sunday’s big event.
I have always been a fan of ’40 Ford coupes, and this one really has “the look.” Glossy black on the outside. Rolled and pleated white Naugahyde on the inside. Chrome wheels with spider caps. And the perfect stance. Little touches like the front nerf bars and a miniaturized ’59 Impala steering wheel all add to the early-‘60s hot rod look. I just can’t think of any other car that lends itself to this look better than a ’40 Ford Deluxe coupe like this. John and Glenda Carter brought this one in from Lawrence.
This ’79 Chevy pickup really stood out for me as well. First of all, by 1985, most of these were already dealing with severe rust issues. The bodywork on this C-10 long-bed Custom Deluxe was laser-straight, however. It appeared to be mostly stock, save for a tube grille, modern steering wheel, and Cragar mag wheels. But really, the condition is what makes Greg and Terrie Copeland’s truck stand out among the crowd. This one made the trip in from Belton.
Another blue Chevy truck (cruck?) from two years earlier that deserved a second look was Mark Schick’s ’77 El Camino. My dad owned one of these back when he was teaching me how to drive, so I suppose I have a bit of a soft spot for them today. This one is two-tone blue with light blue vinyl, and the owner claims that it has around 30,000 miles on the clock. I wouldn’t doubt it—this car is neat as a pin. You don’t see two ‘70s Chevy trucks this nice in one place very often, but the Turner Days Car Show defied the odds.
Are those trucks a little too soft for you? Well, how about this 1954 Dodge M37 military pickup? They made about 115,000 of these brutes between 1951 and 1968. You don’t really seem to see them all that often these days outside of museums, though. This one looked pretty good—nice overall, but ugly in all the right places. The 230-c.i. Flathead six was still doing its job beneath that tinny, flat hood. It looked more like something that would be on an episode of M*A*S*H than a participant in a high school car show. These old rigs have a special history and aura about them that most civilian cars can’t duplicate.
Finally, here’s a ’62 Cadillac Sedan DeVille.it wasn’t perfect, but it wouldn’t be impossible to get it there. It looked like a mostly original car with an extremely untouched interior. As four-doors go, these were among the most stylish, with their hardtop configuration and thin pillars. The fins were obviously smaller than, say, a ’59 Cadillac, but they made up for it by adding two more fins at the bottom of the quarter panels. General Motors really had their act together when they were designing cars back then.
I took 291 pictures at the 2013 Turner Days Car Show, and most of them didn’t come out too bad for a change. You can check them out in the slideshow below. Or, click this link for a nicer version.