You might not think that an obscure car show at a small college in the middle of Kansas would draw in cars and attendees from all across the nation, but that’s what happened as the McPherson College C.A.R.S. club held its 19th annual Motoring Festival. Some 400 cars poured onto McPherson College campus grounds, thus making it the largest show ever held at the school. From the average car enthusiast to the hot-rodder or restoration expert, the show had something for everyone.
This 1970 Jaguar E-Type is owned by Alex Heikamp, a graduating senior in McPherson College’s Auto Restoration program. This E-Type has been in his family since it was bought new and is a highly original example. The car won 3rd place in its class. Even after fifty years of regular driving, Heikamp’s E-Type looks as good as new and is a testament to his devotion to it.
This 1913 Mercer Racecar was originally bought in 1912 by Spencer Wishart and was modified to race, placing second in the 1913 Indy 500. 106 years later, it gets to enjoy its retirement. This Mercer was among the oldest cars at the show and was in absolutely stunning condition, especially given its age and history.
If you see a Shelby Cobra out on the street, there’s a good chance it’s a replica—but this one is the real deal, and it’s believed to be the only one that left the factory wearing bright orange paint and yellow striping. Getting to see such a unique version of an already rare car was a real treat.
This year the turnout for the hot rod class was higher than ever, and one of the standouts in the class was this 1972 AMC Javelin. AMC is often an unrepresented marque at any car show that alone made it shine a bit brighter than the rest of its class. AMC fans will recognize the iconic Trans-Am Sunoco livery immediately. While it’s not the real deal, this Javelin is a lovingly crafted tribute featuring period correct modifications and styling.
This 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300S Cabriolet is one of only 203 were made, and is a great example of Mercedes’ rich design history. The rarity of the car was enough to draw eyes from across the show, but more impressive is the fact that it was restored 20 years ago. It looks fantastic, a testament to the high caliber of the work done by Paul Russell and Company.
Rad Rides by Troy builds hot rods that are anything but ordinary and this 1929 Ford Model A is no exception. The original car has been so modified that what remains is a almost entirely a custom coachbuilt car. The attention to detail on this car is incredible, the way the steering mechanism is designed is not only an engineering beauty, but a well-built piece of art. Nothing on this car has been overlooked; the list of exaggerated but tasteful modifications done on this car could be written out as a full length novel. I could have spent the entire show looking at this car, and it still wouldn’t be enough.
This Ford Galaxie 500 shows off the skills learned by students at McPherson College’s Auto Restoration program. This custom creation features a tastefully implemented air suspension system for actively adjustable ride heights. The paintwork, interior, wheel selection, and the overall execution of this car made it a big draw.
This Porsche 356 is done up “outlaw style” and sports a set of wide Fuchs wheels wearing sticky, high-grip tires. All of the windows have been replaced with plexiglass and the interior has been redone with period-correct bucket seats and harnesses. The light-weight doors, built motor, and caged interior aren’t just for looks; this 356 is a serious track weapon that’s been driven at racing events across the country. Many of the students at McPherson College own muscle cars, and Mitchell Harms’ 1973 Plymouth Road Runner is an outstanding representation. This Road Runner is done up in 1970s hot rod street style with a distinctively sinister look. Given the outstanding condition of the car, it’s surprising to learn that this was Harms’ daily driver for three years. The deep orange paint shines beautifully and the interior is spotless. This car is an exceptional tribute to the radical styling of 1970s American hot rodding.