Car Show Photo Album: Cars From Two Continents, Three States, Four Towns, and Seven Decades – More Mopars, Some Independents, and A Few Surprises


We’ve finally made it out of winter and it’s time for some spring cleaning.  These pictures are all at least a year old and I simply haven’t tapped into them.  So what better way to share in the harvesting of my hard drive than to take a stroll across the midwest and see the bounty from car shows in Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois?  Somebody once said “Go west, young man,” so to be contrary let’s start in Kansas and work our way east.

Grab a snack, as this is a power packed trip!


I stumbled upon this small show in Overland Park, one of the many towns comprising the Kansas City area.  The quality was very good as you shall see, such as this 1964 Mercury Comet wagon.


Of the cars that follow from this show, this one captured my attention the most.  Comets came in two series for 1964, the 202 and the upscale 404 seen here.  There were 1,980 Comet 404 wagons made.


Continuing with this international assemblage (yes, if one counts the “House of Denmark” and “Mafia Pizza” stores seen in the background), here is a matched set of 1941 Chevrolet’s.  Seeing one is rare enough, let alone two.


Given the scotch tape holding up FDR’s picture, I would hazard a guess this is a reproduction sticker.  On the other hand…


…this sticker looks like it could have been placed sometime in the 1940s.


As an entry level product, this shows a level of quality unlikely to be duplicated on low priced cars any time soon.  The only hard, black surface is on the pedals, the only place it should be.


It seems like so many of the Edsels one can find are 1959 models.  Have all the 1958 models been used up or placed in museums?  Even the 1959 models aren’t exactly plentiful with 2,315 Corsair two-door hardtops rolling out of the factory.


The rear treatment is very nice on the ’59, certainly less decadent than the very busy 1958.  This Edsel is powered by either the 332 cid (5.4 liter) or 361 cid (6.0 liter) V8.  Both were in the new-for-1958 Ford FE engine series.


When you see a light green 1947 Oldsmobile convertible, what color do you think the interior will be?


Red, of course.  There is such attention to detail seen here.  Art deco had its heyday in the 1930s, but its influence is still evident here.  There were 6,528 six-cylinder convertibles and 3,940 eight-cylinder convertibles with Oldsmobile nameplates produced in 1947.


No car show is complete without at least one vintage Cadillac.  As Overland Park is an affluent community, a 1958 Eldorado Biarritz convertible seems rather appropriate, does it not?


This Cadillac reminds me of the bulldogs from 1950s Warner-Brothers cartoons; heavy up front and very delicate in the rear.  There were only 815 of these made.


To counter the Cadillac, here is a black 1956 Continental Mark II.


Between this and the Cadillac, I’m not sure which I prefer more.  It’s a tough call.  With 2,550 made in 1956, it is about three times as plentiful as the Cadillac.


The interior definitely is an inviting cocoon.

We shall now leave Kansas, Dorothy.  It’s time to head for the land of Truman, Twain, and that talk radio guy (no, I won’t go into politics, but I will say this particular person and I were born in the same hospital).  This next round of specimens are samplings from the monthly Jefferson City car shows from 2013; as seen in the recent post about the April 2014 show, there is quite the variety.


Jefferson City is an area heavily populated with persons of German ancestry; we even have the Old Munichburg area downtown.  So what better way to start than with a Mercedes?


I have seen this Mercedes driving around town as well as at another show at the state capital building.  Going from memory here, it is a 1962 model.  Somebody here will know, so please state if I’m in the general neighborhood.  This interior is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen.


Since we are talking large, elegant black cars, here is a Packard.  Not quite two years ago, I stumbled upon the house this car calls home.  Exactly once I saw it going down the street; any muscle car in the loudest screaming shade of red has nothing on the sheer attention grabbing ability of a large, silent Packard.


This interior is immaculate, but is as amazing as that of the Mercedes.  I’m not sure of the year, but it appears to be a 1937 to 1939 model.  Again, somebody reading this will know.


Let’s continue with our theme of large cars by taking a look at this 1971 Chrysler 300.  This area is very Mopar rich; combined with my affinity for them, this is the first of several in a row.


While not of the same caliber as the Mercedes, this interior is quite delightful.  It isn’t difficult to see yourself piloting this down a long stretch of highway with its optional 440 cubic inch V8 burbling quietly in the background, is it?


In 1971, the 300 was the next to top series of Chrysler.  The Newport and Newport Custom were at the bottom with the New Yorker filling the top slot.  This was the last year for the 300–for a while, anyway.

The paint must be smooth as glass to reflect that guy wearing the John Deere hat.


These curves have an intoxicating aura.  There were 6,683 four-door hardtop 300s made that year.  At 4,270 pounds, it appears heavier than it really is.

Let’s look at another black car.


Dodge had a great thing with the 1955 Custom Royal sedan.


The Custom Royal was the top series in the Dodge lineup.  To make things more convoluted, the Custom Royal series also had the availability of a Custom Royal Lancer.


This was the most common Custom Royal, as well as the most common 1955 Dodge, with 55,503 going to happy homes.  1955 was the first year one could get a three-tone paint job on their Dodge.

Enough black!  Let’s try a different color.


Does this change things up any?  I neither know nor care if this is a color original to the year of manufacture.  However, a Panther Pink Dodge Challenger does seem to work for some odd reason.


On the subject of two-door Dodges, here is a red 1968 Charger R/T.


Don’t like the wheels or the color?  This pea-soup color is undoubtedly original on this ’68 Charger.  These look like the same wheel covers from the Charger used in the movie Bullitt.  Seeing original wheels and wheel covers on a Charger of this generation is rare and appreciated.


Here is a shot under the hood.  I’m not certain with what engine this is; again, somebody here will know.


Want sporty, but still need to haul the kids around?  This 1972 Dodge Dart should do nicely for hauling the kids, if not exactly sporty.


Perhaps it is the color combination, but the stripe doesn’t look too out of place here.


To balance the Dart, here is a 1936 Dodge rumble seat coupe.


Going through my disorganized jumble of pictures, I had totally forgotten about this 1956 Plymouth Fury, one of 4,485 made after its mid-year introduction.  This car was not in the car show area, so technically it would qualify for a CC article.  Stay tuned, it’s on my ever-growing list of cars to write up.


Sometimes, even at shows, cars will have quite the story to tell.  This Pontiac certainly has a memorable story.


Click on the picture to enlarge it.  This tells the story better than I can.


Here is the smoke damage the owner mentioned.


This car looks good from any angle.  Pontiac made 3,760 of these two-door Safari wagons for the 1955 model year.


This 1967 Pontiac GTO is another car that has a story to tell.


Here is what the owner had to say.


With the ongoing popularity of the GTO, it seems rather hard to believe such a thing happened, doesn’t it?  While it is not reflected in these pictures, there were various signs of wear indicating its high degree of originality and complete absence of molestation.


Earlier I mentioned the Old Munichburg section of Jefferson City; the next few pictures were taken there.  Some of these cars were too good to overlook, such as this black Studebaker.  According to the overexposed picture of the window sticker, the car was purchased new by the current owner’s father from a now defunct Studebaker dealer about a block from where this car was being displayed.


I witnessed this car being driven into the show.  I have included it as any Franklin is unusual and this picture gives a great view of its air-cooled engine.

Yes, this car is likely road legal.  Historic plates here require a one-time $25 fee; there are no inspections as long as you keep the car licensed.


Parked nearby was this Chevrolet.  The Model A next to it is green, while the Chevrolet is black.  Since Henry Ford was such a staunch fan of black, and Chevrolet sold due to color availability, this struck me as a terrific role reversal.


No show around here is complete without several Mopar products.  Yes, this article is heavily Mopar, but around here you can’t throw a dog without it hitting a Mopar or GM A-body of some variety.  This very nice 1969 Dodge Super Bee, based upon the Dodge Coronet series, is thankfully still wearing its original wheels and dog-dish hub caps.


For those who appreciate their cars more sedate, here is a 1987 Dodge Diplomat.  The M-Body is a true unsung hero in the hallowed halls of the Chrysler Corporation as it picked up the Dart baton dropped by the Aspen, then carried it through until 1989.  These are truly under appreciated automobiles.  Having owned two M-bodies, and having a fair number of pictures, I need to write them up.  So many ideas, so little time…

That’s the end for the Jefferson City area.  Let’s get on US 54, go through Mexico (where every restaurant is a Mexican restaurant), then hit Route 19 to New London, and jaunt up US 61 to “America’s Hometown.”


Hannibal is in the northeast corner of the state and on the banks of the Mississippi River.  These pictures were taken the morning of the Curbside Classic meet-up in Iowa City, Iowa, in May 2013.

What’s this?  Another Mopar?  Yes, it is a 1970 Plymouth, marked as being a Road Runner.


There was also this Dodge Ramcharger.  It’s the last Mopar for a little while.


Okay, looking back over these pictures, Ford products have been quite absent.  To rectify this, here is a 1960 Ford Starliner.


Many don’t like the 1960 Ford, but I certainly do.  It didn’t ape the ’59 Chevrolet so much as perfect it.  Your opinion may vary.


There was also a 1993 Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe.  Oddly, I know the owner; we used to talk cars after mass when I lived in Hannibal.  He also owns a 1970 Thunderbird in the same shade of black.

Speaking of article ideas, I need to start a history of the Ford MN-10, a highly versatile platform that was woefully underutilized by Ford.


Something prompted Paul to buy that 1972 Ford LTD.  Well, folks, that something is this particular ’72 LTD.  When Paul saw these pictures later that day, he was beside himself.  Never have I seen such animation from anyone.  Then, nine months later, he buys one.  He knows a good thing when he sees it.


Tired of American iron?  Here is a 1963 Morgan, one of 433 made that year.


GM was also present with this Oldsmobile 442 convertible, and…


This Buick LeSabre based 1977 Riviera, one of 26,000 made.

Let’s go east to Barry, Illinois, to one last show.  These pictures were taken about five years ago.  These cars are a bit more, uh, colorful.


Most people obtain gray hair as they grow older.  Instead of going gray, I wonder if some of these old E-bodies go pink as they age.


Of course, some women acquire blue hair.  Maybe purple is the automotive version of blue hair, like this ’71 Road Runner…


Or this ’69 Daytona (or ’70 Plymouth Super Bird).


They still like to misbehave since Roscoe P. Coltrane arrived in his 1975 Plymouth Fury to cuff ’em and stuff ’em.


On a serious note, this color is intentional; I want to say this is an actual Dodge LaFemme.


Since we started with white, let’s end in white with this 1958 Plymouth.

This has been a long post, but hopefully anyone reading this will have left with visions of driving one of these fine automobiles.