Walk and Talk: The Missouri State Fair – Panthers, Bulldogs, and Rams


Ah, there is nothing quite as much fun as the state fair.  Not only can one find nearly any supposedly unhealthy food pickled and/or deep-fried, there are often a goodly number of automotive finds to satisfy one’s ongoing four-wheeled (or more) hunger.


One of the many displays was this Ford Crown Victoria show car.  Don’t believe it’s a show car?  I saw it set on fire twice.  As part of a demonstration of how to extinguish a car fire, this Panther still looks great for being used as a fire-pit in its retirement.  How many other cars with a propane tank attached to them can still look so good after countless barbecues?  That is a testament to the all around versatility of a Crown Vic, a car that scoffs at what some people would call punishment.


On the other end of the retirement spectrum was this 1962 Mack truck, a heavy hauler that no longer has to earn its living.  This truck has been a staple at the fair for at least the past three years.

Incidentally, some of these pictures have been collected over the past three years; however, like me they are there every year.


Another heavy hauler was this 1967 International D-2000.  It is still having to work a bit in retirement, as it appears to have pulled something to the fair.  That was a cake walk for this old girl.


It had not towed this International flatbed as it was on a different trailer.


Nor had it pulled this Mack.  This 1959 Mack is still hooked to a trailer, doing a good job.


Give that dog a bone for his hard work.


Don’t like such full-figured trucks?  Do you prefer something a bit more maneuverable?  If so, here is a 1965 International C-900 pickup.  Paul covered one of these caught in the wild here.


If you are fond of small vehicles, but don’t need a truck, here’s a smart little number for you.  Who says all new cars are painted in dull colors?  Sadly, this does give credibility to the terrible, age old euphemism of small cars not being much bigger than a golf cart, as evidenced by the Club Car parked next to the General Whee.


Being in the Midwest, where kangaroos are considered exotic (I bet their steaks taste great when deep-fried on a stick),


And nobody gets terribly irate about tractors that cost well over a quarter-million dollars,


we definitely have a love affair with our 3/4 ton pickups.  This one is a fancier version, but the Dig Rite folks need to be comfortable to pull their trailer.


There are some of us who could survive just dandily with the base model version.

Is it me or have poverty cap wheel covers been replaced with poverty spec, black plastic grilles?


Yet there are times when a 3/4 ton pickup isn’t quite enough.  Hauling livestock will quickly generate a heavy load and if you have a family, it is more efficient to take one vehicle instead of multiple.  If that is the case, let me show you this nice F-350.  It even has a moonroof!


While it costs more than what I paid for my first house, this pickup isn’t completely loaded as I could not find the optional heated and thermostatically controlled posterior cleanser on the window sticker.


For the skinflints, there is still the poverty-spec version of the F-350.  A single rear wheel version, it’s a relative bargain at only $50,000.


Yes, going to the state fair provides great variety.  Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge Ram – it’s all there!


The fair is about more than just screaming deals on new rides.  It is a celebration of history, as evidenced by this Dodge one-ton owned by the Ralls County Electric Cooperative.  With this truck being 150 miles from home, I would imagine it was hauled here.

About two years ago, I saw this truck parked on the lawn in front of the electric cooperative and snagged a full set of pictures.  Despite its age, it is still getting around.


Another old Dodge on display was this one, owned by the Cuivre River Electric Cooperative.  Both of these trucks come and go all day from the Missouri Electric Cooperative building on the fairgrounds, so both are highly mobile.


This 1949 Willys Jeep is too good to not mention.


Before we bring the fair to a close for another year, the Department of Conservation had this Chevrolet panel truck on display.  Sadly, there was no relevant information to go along with it.


I hope you enjoyed this little slice of Midwestern Americana.  There is even a bit more state fair related reading to enjoy:

1968 Mercury Monterey          1959 Dodge Coronet