Thursday, August 11, 2016

Consistency is key at KC Classic Auto Display

I was recently back in Kansas City, so naturally I had to get some car thing in. This time dad and stopped by KC Classic Auto, something that we’ve done many times in the past 25 years. Cars may come and go here, but the atmosphere always stays the same. The place is as grungy as ever. A guy always chases you down to get a dollar to look at the cars. Most of what’s there is decent, but not Concourse-quality. And yet, every once in a while, you find a gem. In a world of change, KC Classic Auto remains the same. I think that’s what I like about it. Not everything needs to be the latest and greatest. Sometimes you just need a place like this.

One of the best cars there was on display outside. This Scarlet Red ’68 Oldsmobile 442 W-30 sedan was a seriously nice car. “442” used to stand for four-on-the-floor, four-barrel carb, and dual-exhaust, and all of that was certainly present here. The 400-c.i. engine pumped out 360-hp, and this one has all the right details, including red inner-fenders, brake-cooling inlets, and black stripes. No air conditioner here; this wasn’t made for comfort, it was made to roast the redlines. I honestly couldn’t find anything to fault on this car. It was just as nice as you could ever want it to be from top to bottom.

Another pretty nice ride was this ’52 Chevrolet Fleetline. The color is a little brighter than the original Twilight Blue they had, but it was really pretty nonetheless. It had been upholstered in some tweed fabric that also wasn’t quite stock, but it looked good anyway. It also had some period-correct accessories like wheel spats, a swamp cooler air conditioner, and bumper guards. It still had its Stovebolt Six under the hood, and was largely redone in a stock configuration. Sometimes when you paint an old ‘50s car up like this and do what they’ve done, it can look like a Cuban taxi. Not so here. The work was so nice, and the mods were so tasteful, the whole thing just looked right.

This Bright Blue ’70 Plymouth Road Runner is a bit of a heavy-hitter in this crowd. This car was originally built with a 426-c.i. R-Code Hemi under the hood, and so it remains today. The white bucket seats straddling that wood-trimmed console look pretty sharp. And the Air Grabber hood was a pretty neat option that would pop open to draw more cold air into the carburetor. The Goodyear Polyglas tires also add to the overall presentation. They had an asking price of $125,000. That’s well beyond my budget, but doesn’t seem that unreasonable in the world of classic Hemi-powered Mopars.

I couldn’t get a great picture of this because of the way the light was shining in the garage door, but the license plate says “World’s Best ’54 Ford.” I don’t know if that’s true, but judging by this Crestline Victoria’s condition, it’s not an unreasonable claim. It won some AACA awards along the way, and it’s easy to see why. The Cadet Blue-under-Sandstone White paint was flawless. The interior was beautiful. You could eat off the chassis. The 239-c.i. Y-Block V8 is as pristine as the body. ’54 Fords do not usually enjoy such a lavish restoration, but you could tell whoever did this car loved it.

You don’t see too many 1985 Riviera convertibles anyway, and this one is even rare among the ones you do see. This particular example is a T-Type, which means it has a turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 similar to the Grand National instead of the usual V8. I honestly didn’t even realize they made any of these V6 Riviera rag tops that weren’t Indianapolis pace cars, but according to the folks at KC Classic Auto, there were indeed 49 of them. This one was restored pretty nice, and had a really beautiful leather interior. I just think it needs body side moldings, and maybe a set of those chrome aluminum wheels you could get on one of these, and it would be pretty cool.

OK, folks, here’s some breaking blog news. Picasa, the place where I had hosted all my pictures for several years, was recently shut down. So now all my photos are on a Google storage site. I can’t physically post a slideshow anymore, but I can give you a link to all the pictures. So if you want to see all the pictures from our visit to the KC Classic Auto Display, click this link and you’ll go right to them.


  1. Once again a great posting, Craig. I'll bet you and your Dad enjoyed going through this collection..Roger Grotewold, Grotewold Chevrolet Oldsmobile Dealership, Larchwood, Iowa

  2. nice display great pics