Monday, March 17, 2014

C.A.R.B. Clyde Ellis Race-On Car Show highlights the Snake Saturday Parade in North Kansas City

The Central Auto Racing Boosters (C.A.R.B.) Clyde Ellis Race-On Car Show has been a tradition during the Snake Saturday Parade in North Kansas City for a long as I can remember.  This event is often cold, miserable, riddled with rain and sleet, and oftentimes snow.  But somehow, they avoided all that this weekend.  The weather couldn’t have been nicer for this event , and there were some interesting things to look at both in the car show and in the parade.

C.A.R.B. is one of the most dedicated, hard-working clubs you'll ever encounter. They've been around since 1952 in the Kansas City area, and during that time they have done an outstanding job of promoting local drivers and tracks, as well as raising tons of money for charity. Currently, C.A.R.B. supports four area tracks, including Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., I-35 Speedway in Winston, Mo., and Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Mo. C.A.R.B. members get free admission to these tracks on C.A.R.B. nights, a membership roster, and other perks, all for only $15.00/year.

The racecars are the focal point of this show, and none were nicer than this vintage dirt track sprint car, which was originally built in 1966 by Wes Farrand of Raytown, Mo. It was restored in 2007 by Layne Automotive. The Laynes have successfully campaigned modifieds at dirt tracks in the area for years, but rarely have they looked as pretty as this car. This thing was so nice, it’s hard to imagine that it ever participated in the cut-throat, wheel-to-wheel action that took place back in the day. From that jet black paint, to all the chrome, to the gold-leaf lettering, this was certainly more of a show piece than a piece of racing equipment.

The Midwest Outlaw Vintage Racin’ Association still puts vintage iron on dirt tracks around the area, and they usually bring a few out to this event.  I’ve never seen this ’51 Studebaker Starlight coupe, but it’s definitely different.  I think maybe the front fenders, quarter panels, top of the roof, and bullet nose center are original Studebaker, but a lot of it is modern fabricated racing stuff.  It still draws you in, though.  I can picture this in a black-and-white photo at some short track in the ‘70s.  There was also a ’56 Ford, a ’68 Camaro, a ’69 Chevelle, and a handful of ‘30s/’40s jalopies in the display.

Here’s what a modern Modified stock car looks like.  This one is driven by Kerry Davis at Lakeside Speedway and other local tracks.  Kerry’s Van Chevrolet-sponsored #68 has been a fixture at dirt tracks around Kansas City for many years.  He has always been a strong competitor, and his cars always look first-rate.  Some of these cars get pretty rough by the end of the season, but this car seems to be ready to put in the car show every week.

C.A.R.B. opened up the car show this year to hot rods and classics in addition to the racecars, and a handful of folks took them up on it.  My favorite was this ’65 Corvette convertible.  The thing that strikes you on this car is how original it is.  I even think that Nassau Blue paint was factory-applied.  The blue leather is as nice as could be, and even the full wheel covers and skinny whitewalls look good here.   Tom Strongman even wrote a feature about it for the Kansas City Star, which is on display in the passenger’s seat.  This old car is exceptional.

The parade had a few notable participants as well.  The “Kansas Zombie Squad” had a couple of entries, including this converted mail Jeep.  The guy behind the wheel was wearing a helmet, so his brains will not be eaten.  The problem is that the Jeep wasn’t running, so they had a guy out there pushing it through the parade.  I hope they get it fixed, because if we have to rely on these guys to save us from a zombie attack, we’ll all be screwed.

Not to be outdone, the Mustang Club of Greater Kansas City had a nice group of cars, including this Bullit Mustang that also required a push.  I’m not pointing this out because I’m a Camaro owner and I’m going to work for General Motors … or am I?  At least the Mustang guy was able to get two pushers.  The Zombie Squad guy looked like he was working way too hard on his own.  I have actually always liked the looks of these Bullit Mustangs.  I’m sure it just needed a little gas.  All of the other Mustangs in the group seemed to be moving under their own power.

There are 265 photos in the slideshow below.  Or, click this link for a nicer versionHappy St. Patrick’s Day!

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