Keeping the flame lit at the Fritz's Cruise in Shawnee
The opportunities to attend a cruise night in Kansas City are just about over, but Dick and Judy Rule are doing their best to extend the season as long as possible. They organize these gatherings at restaurants all over Johnson County, and usually work in some kind of food discount to participants. Last Sunday, the action took place at Fritz’s hamburger joint in Shawnee. So while the cars were gleaming in the late-day sun outside, folks were getting their food delivered with a model railroad train within. Now that’s an unbeatable combination.
As we were headed out, this ’57 Pontiac Star Chief four-door hardtop caught my eye. They had three different colors of red in ’57, but I think this one is a medium shade called Tartan Red. Whatever it’s called, it’s a good color. It gives this car a rich, upscale look that some of the lighter ‘50s choices can’t duplicate. This was especially true on the interior, where the owner had reupholstered the seats, but left everything else original. Whoever did this work did it right, because it was really attractive in there. This was just a nice, mostly original car that turned a lot of heads when it appeared on the scene.
Here’s another car from the same era that I don’t recall seeing before. It’s a ’55 Packard Clipper four-door sedan. These weren’t styled that much better than a Checker Cab, until you got to that radical two-tone paint job. This one was done in Jade and White Jade, and the moldings, emblems, and ornaments looked great. Really, the whole car was pretty great. This was another one of those nice, basically unrestored cars that you see so few of anymore. I wouldn’t touch a thing on this car.
This is something you don’t see every day. I’m going to guess that it’s about a 1983 (?) Dodge Shelby Charger. Essentially, they were a Dodge Omni that was beefed up by Ol’ Shel from 1983 to 1987. Shelby upgraded these with a different intake and supercharger, which resulted in 175-hp. That’s not very amazing these days, but I suppose it was as good as it got on a little car like this in the 1980s. This one looks as nice as it did 30-years ago, which is to say it is in excellent shape. With a predominance of ‘80s Mustangs and Corvettes out there, not many people commit to something like this, but it’s nice that someone did here.
There were several ’32 Ford hot rods at this cruise, and this little three-window coupe really stood out to me. Every time I see this car, I can’t resist taking a picture of one of those genuine Zenith wire wheels. They’re just so pretty; like bits of jewelry. That bright red paint and tan leather interior is pretty attractive too, though. I like this car because it is obviously a modern hot rod, but it still retains much of the vintage look. And did I mention those wheels?
There were lots of other great cars at this show. I’ve written about some of them earlier in the year, which is why there are some particularly sweet ones that I’m not mentioning here. But you can see them all in the slideshow below, or click this link for a better version.
And if you think this looks like fun, Dick and Judy have another one scheduled for Sunday, November 3, 2013, at Mafia Pizzeria (12627 Metcalf) from 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.