Tuesday, June 10, 2014

C.A.R.S. Car Show at McPherson College was very educational

McPherson College in McPherson, Kan., is well-known for their automotive restoration program. So it stands to reason that they would have an extracurricular club devoted to the subject. For the past 15 years, C.A.R.S. (College Automotive Restoration Students) has put together a big car show at McPherson College that brings together an exceptional collection of cars from throughout the Midwest. This year, my mom and dad met up with our good friend from Colorado Pat Casey to check out all the happenings. Pat was kind enough to send some pictures to share with HMC readers.

I can’t imagine a car show where this 1954 Cadillac Eldorado wouldn’t be one of the biggest stars. ’54 was the second year for the outrageously priced Eldo, but the car was considerably different. In ’53, it had a unique, hand-built body, while in ’54 it shared panels with the production Deville. But it wasn’t a Deville. This car had more chrome, leather, glitz, and gold than most humans could stand. I mean, just look at this thing in the picture there. It’s like something sent down from heaven. By the way, I have seen this car before, and it is even lovelier in person.

Look at how pretty this ’48 Ford F-1 is. This right here was the beginning of Ford’s F-Series, which is the largest-selling vehicle in the United States to this day. With the bright red paint, wide whitewalls, and chrome bumpers and grille, this would have been like a top-of-the-line Platinum Series truck today. Back then, trucks were considered work tools, so it would have been very rare to see one decked out like this. No one is using it for work purposes now. You can tell this one is living the pampered life.

’57 Chevy Bel Air Coupes are pretty much at every car show, but this one stands out to me. Back when I was a kid, my dad owned one exactly like this. I mean, it was Tropical Turquoise, white top, bumper guards, the whole bit. His had some awful mirrors that someone had bolted to the fenders, but otherwise we could be looking at the same car. Dad sold that Chevy to buy his ’61 Corvette, a car that he still owns to this day.

As popular as the ’57 Chevy was, is, and will always be, Ford actually outsold Chevy in 1957. And here’s a body style that Chevy didn’t have—the retractable hardtop known as the Skyliner. You might think a car with a complex hydraulic top mechanism built with ‘50s technology would have been a tough sell, but Ford moved more than 20,000 Skyliners out the door in 1957 alone. The color here is Colonial White over Thuderbird Bronze, and it is displayed in the “top half up” position that seems to be mandatory for all retractables.

And while we’re on the Class of ’57, how about this Corvette? I guess it might be a ’56, I honestly don’t know how to tell the difference by looking at them like this. This one is finished in Venetian Red, which isn’t terribly unusual for one of these. But the coves were not two-toned in white, which is a little rarer. Most people know that ’55 was the first year you could get a V8 in a Corvette, but ’56 was the year they became a real car. Suddenly you had roll-up windows and a removable hardtop. Then in ’57 you could get fuel injection. Corvettes regularly entered racing competitions under the guidance of Zora Arkus-Duntov around this time. This is when they transformed into the modern, powerful, livable form that we still enjoy today.

Pat sent me 75 great shots from the 15th-Annual C.A.R.S. McPherson College Car Show, and you can check them out in the link below. Or, click this link for a nicer version. Thanks, Pat!


  1. This was my favorite car show ever. The weather was perfect .

  2. The 57 Corvette was also available with a 4 Speed Transmission after July 1st of 1957. RogerG

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