Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dale Wilch's Man Cave is the cure for winter carlessness

You’ve seen me complain about the lack of winter car stuff to do around Kansas City before.  Well, this year, I’m doing something about it.  Wednesday night I joined the ranks of swap meet merchants at Dale Wilch’s Man Cave, a 15,000 sq/ft treasure trove of car parts and other eclectic junk located near the Fox 4 Television studios.  Once a week, Kansas City’s car community converges on this eerie underground lair, buying parts, sharing stories, and just spending time in one of the only places that never gets colder than 70-degrees.

So what kind of stuff can you expect to see in the Man Cave?  Well, if you stop by my booth, you’ll see a variety of tires and wheels from my various phases when I had my Impala SS.  I’ve got toy and model cars, emblems, hubcaps, and auto sales literature.  I actually crammed so much stuff in my space, I didn’t leave enough room to put a chair to sit in.  Also, this is where you can buy an official Hover Motor Company T-Shirt for $15.00.  So as much as I want everyone in the cave to be successful, I would be especially appreciative if you stopped by to say hi while you’re there.

Of course, the other vendors had some neat stuff too.  More than one of them had one or two vintage slotted mag wheels mounted on equally vintage tires.  You’re probably not going to drive around on these, but they really look cool.  I’ve seen people make glass-top coffee tables out of things like this, or just use them as room art. Or, you could dismount the tires and have some authentic back-in-the-day wheels for your old car.  Just seeing them for sale was fun without even buying them.

Other booths were full of car toys and Hot Wheels cars.  You could find anything from 1960s Red Lines to modern cars still in their blister packs.  I found a couple of new Pixar Cars die casts from my next door neighbor.  I’ve been on the search for these lately, because Christmas is coming up, and my son traditionally gets a bunch of these every year.  I can just stare at a case full of shiny little cars, though.  I get helpless like a kitten with a laser pointer.

There weren’t a lot of complete cars for sale, but there was at least one.  This is a Gazelle kit car, which was supposed to look like a 1929 Mercedes SSK roadster.  These were built on Ford Pinto or Mercury Bobcat chassis, so I guess they were still modern 30 years ago.  This one actually appeared to be pretty nice.  I don’t know that a car enthusiast would necessarily want this, but I could see a normally uninterested spouse thinking it was cute.  Anyway, if you’re looking for one, here it is—come and get it!

There was plenty of other stuff to look at there.  The Man Cave featured glass display cases, old license plates, vintage signs, spotlights, gas pumps, engine blocks, and blue dots.  You could buy 8-track players, 8-track tapes, a three-wheel bicycle, and the rear glass for a ’66 Barracuda.  It’s hard to really describe the variety and selection at the cave.  You just have to see it to understand it.

I snuck away from my booth for a few minutes to take some pictures of various things throughout the cave.  Check them out in the slideshow below, or click this link for a bigger version.

And if you’d like to come see it yourself, swing by between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday night.  The address is 1501 W 31st Street, Kansas City, Mo., 64108.  For more information, call Dale at (913) 788-3219.  See you in the cave!


  1. Wow, where did you find all this stuff Craig? I haven't seen a lot of these pieces. I need to walk around the Man Cave once in a while myself. See you all next Wednesday night!

    1. I had fun there. If you haven't been, you don't know what you're missing!

  2. That looks cool. I'm going next week!

  3. The thing I never liked about the Gazelle kit car (or any car kit for that matter 90% of the time) which was supposed to look like a 1929 Mercedes SSK roadster was the fact the car never looked right. Sorry but a Ford chassis is not sitting on the ground like a real 1929 SSK did. You as a rule can spot these so called kit cars from a mile away.

  4. Yea, Your Right Superdave. But This Is A Nice Replica, A Fun Alternative Car, For Someone That Can't Find Or Maybe Not Afford The Real Deal.