Casual car shows are fun. There’s no commitment, you can bring whatever, and you can leave when you want. But when you have an awesome car, you can turn it into a weapon against the forces of evil by entering it in a benefit car show. There are car shows to benefit just about every good cause, including arts education. We shot one a few weeks ago here in Kansas City, and we’ve just been sitting on it. Sorry about that.
National Orange Popsicle Week is an organization committed to raising awareness of stroke in young people. Most of us know what a stroke is, that horrendous and often deadly episode that limits blood flow to the brain, through poor flow or bleeding, resulting in the death of brain cells. And most of the time, when we think of a cerebrovascular accident (the scientific term), we think of someone’s aging grandparent. But 31 percent of all stroke victims are between the ages of 20 and 45, so NOPW set out to educate young people on the dangers of the condition.
Why the funny name?
According to NOPW.org
“Have you ever been hospitalized and get this enormous craving for something specific to eat? We’ve heard mashed potatoes, steak, ice cream, and many other good choices. When Amy could first speak again after her stroke, all she wanted was an orange popsicle! Once she reached rehab, her therapist said, “When you pass your swallow test we will get you a whole box of orange popsicles.” We use the orange popsicle as a goofy way to talk about something serious.”
NOPW got their start with the simple orange popsicle. Out-of-town friends of young stroke survivors could take pictures of themselves eating orange popsicles, and send them to their hospitalized friends and family to show their support. It sounds simple, silly even, but it worked. Since then, NOPW has grown into a national community of young stroke survivors and their friends and families. And one way NOPW has grown tremendously is through their educational events, including their annual car show in Kansas City.
Free to get in, 10 bucks to enter your car, and prizes from awesome sponsors like Flowmaster, Hurst, and B&M. The NOPW auto show started in 2014 with about 20 cars from the local VW club, but it’s grown exponentially since, and enthusiast cars of every make and subculture showed up this year, from those stanced VWs to 50s and 60s classics to hot rods to Japanese imports to supercars and exotics. Everyone seemed keen to join the fight, and not just for the prizes. All proceeds from the event went to the Falling Forward Foundation, which assists with the rehab needs of stroke victims.
So what showed up?
Many classics, like this first gen El Camino. They only made these in ’59 and ’60, so if you want a swoopy, space-age finnmobile ute, your options are limited.
This hidden-headlight 1965 Buick Riviera is perfect. So perfect that I saw it at a concours a few years ago.
This Volvo PV544 might have been my favorite car there. I love these. They look like postwar Fords, but they’re little.
This example came equipped with a 1.8 liter 4 cylinder, which the owner bored out to 2 liters. Manual and RWD, it would be the perfect little sports coupe for a jaunt around the twisties.
Hot rods showed up in blessed abundance. This ’32 Ford replica, with tastefully suble flames, had LED headlights and coil spring rear suspension.
But it wasn’t all classics, either. Modern imports made up a good portion of the field, including the Hyundai Genesis coupe of my good friend Reuben. The car underwent a several layer liquid wrap to achieve that distinct, orange pearl glow.
The engine bay of this VW Rabbit pickup, like the rest of the little trucklet, was immaculate.
If you had a local big rig towing company like Marvin’s Tow Service, wouldn’t you Optimus Prime your trucks? We love seeing this thing around town.
You’d better believe that Optimus Prime and James Bond would both show up to help prevent stroke in youngsters.
Call me 12, but I love these cool headlight blind/grille surrounds on the new Challengers. You might remember my affinity for hidden headlights from a few pictures ago.
A handful of drift missiles slid in to support the cause. Plywood splitter is best splitter.
You have to applaud the courage of a person who can bag a GT-R. This example was tastefully modified, inside and out.
Building and owning cool cars is a great hobby. But when you get a chance to use that coolness for good, take it.
Andy Sheehan is a blogger, aspiring novelist, and relentless hoon. He plans to will his 2002 Subaru WRX Wagon to his firstborn, plans his daily commute around the swoop of its roads, and doesn’t plan to ever buy an automatic. A cool-car omnipath, he loves the common Mustang or Chevelle, but hunts for the weird and wonderful Velorexes and Cosmos of the autoverse. And when he can afford a garage, he’s going to turn an MX-5 into a race car.