How to Love Too Many Cars: Art of the Car Concours 2016

2016 Art of the Car Concours

“What’s your favorite car?”  It’s been a long time since I’ve had an answer for this.  I usually get the question after I’ve known a nice person, who isn’t into cars, for a short period of time.  Hungry to make conversation, they ask me what car I’d buy if money wasn’t an issue.  “If you could have any one car..?”  The question throws me into an internal crisis.  It isn’t like asking what’s at the top of a list.  They’re asking me to pick my favorite M&M out of a bucket.  I can’t even choose from those I cans see, and there are layers and layers beneath it.  Yet picking a favorite out of masterpieces was exactly what we were asked to do at Sunday’s Art of the Car Concours in Kansas City. Continue reading “How to Love Too Many Cars: Art of the Car Concours 2016”

The Hot Rod Power Tour Visits the Surface of the Sun

2016 Hot Rod Power Tour

The AC in my $760 Honda Civic does not work.  I spend every drive in a box made of black metal and glass, thoroughly broiling myself.  So by the time I finally rolled up to the Kansas Speedway for last Friday’s final stop of the 2016 Hot Rod Power Tour, I was already half dead.  Together with hundreds of other car people, I stood in a field for four hours, collecting salt on my shirt and something approaching regret.  It’s a good thing there were hundreds of incredible cars there.  Otherwise I might not have enjoyed myself. Continue reading “The Hot Rod Power Tour Visits the Surface of the Sun”

A Sunday Microcar Meet: Go Small or Go Home

Kansas City Microcar Meet

America is a land of wide open spaces, wide roads, and wide…folks. So we love our big cars. A foreigner visiting our shores will often gawk in wonder at the gigantic trucks and sedans that ply our streets and highways, for transportation alone. But while this love of large motoring has produced some incredible cars, it has in many ways caused us to miss out on some equally incredible small cars from smaller places. But not all of us. At last weekend’s Kansas City Microcar Meet, I got a glimpse of this small but enthusiastic community, and I found myself a member of it.

Continue reading “A Sunday Microcar Meet: Go Small or Go Home”

Local Phenomenon: Kansas City Cars and Coffee

Kansas City's Cars & Coffee

On the surface, you’d never suspect Kansas City to be home to one of the most vibrant car cultures between the coasts.  With a greater metro population of just over two million, we might be pegged an automotive backwater.  We are not, and the monthly Kansas City Cars and Coffee event is proof.  Since August of 2014, Kansas City Cars and Coffee has grown from 30 to almost 400 cars.  With a little dissection, it makes sense.  We have our own Speedway (with an infield road course), and the metro is home to one of the richest counties in America, with the hardware to back it up.  Yet there’s no social stratification at Cars and Coffee, and that may be the key.

Continue reading “Local Phenomenon: Kansas City Cars and Coffee”

The 2014 Art of the Car Concours

1910 Maytag Mason

I heard it coming before I saw it, rattling like constant but irregular machine gun fire. I primed my camera, and the 1954 Troutman and Barnes Special steamrolled around the corner. It looked too small for the sound it made. Just a two-seat race car, it could have fit inside a Mazda Miata. But that sound…  Continue reading “The 2014 Art of the Car Concours”

The Art of the Car Concours

I should have known what I was getting into by the lack of an e at the end of Concours.  This denotes the French pronunciation, (say: kahn-core), which can be roughly translated as “a show full of cars too beautiful to imagine and nearly impossible to afford.”  But I didn’t.  I’ve been to countless car shows, sure, but this was a concours, an event generally prefixed by words like Pebble Beach and suffixed by others like d’Elegance.  I spent Sunday afternoon awash in a delirium of heat and beauty, and I saw things I never thought I would.  Not bad for Kansas City. Continue reading “The Art of the Car Concours”