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About 275 Vehicles Arrive for 17th Annual C.A.R.S. Club Car Show at McPherson College

With high turnout at the McPherson College 17th annual C.A.R.S. Club Car Show – at about 275 entries and 1,000 visitors – there were unique and classic vehicles for every taste.

Bill Brutsman of Lenexa, Kan., came to the show on April 30 for the first time this year. Brutsman said that

“It’s a diversity of people and cars, and it’s everything automotive,” he said. “You name it, it’s here.”

The show on April 30 offered cars from nearly every decade, hot rods, motorcycles, trucks, tractors and more. There were curiosities to appeal to any car-lover. Among them:

  • The custom 1953 Manta Ray – which looks like it’s floating on air.
  • An original and working 1893 Daimler engine brought by the Mercedes Benz Classic Center
  • Even: A hearse with the words “You’re Next” in the side windows.

Brutsman entered with a unique racer of his own – a bright-orange hot rod he races on the Bonneville Salt Flats. He built the custom job himself from a 1927 Ford Roadster body on a 1932 Ford frame that he rescued from the trash.

He used the hot rod to haul his other original, custom job – a tiny trailer RV in the classic teardrop style with just enough space for a queen-size bed inside and a kitchen complete with cabinets, stove and kitchen sink under a pop-up tailgate.

Getting so many people out on a day that started cold, cloudy and wet said at lot for the quality of the student-run show at McPherson College, Brutsman said.

“You’ve got a lot of pull when you can pull in this many people in this kind of weather,” he said.

Stan Diehl of Hutchinson, Kan., was also attending the show for the first time. Diel said he was excited to see so many cars and people out for the show but even more to know the program at McPherson College that’s behind it. MC is the only institution to offer a four-year bachelor’s degree in automotive restoration.

“It’s fun to see the college teaching these old-fashioned skills,” he said. “I think that’s the part I like the most.”

Diehl’s entry in the show – a mint green hot rod with swirling pinstripes – nearly represents the show’s diversity on its own. Based on a 1948 Ford, it also has a 1987 Jaguar motor and transmission and 1964 Thunderbird seats, among others.

“It’s definitely a custom,” Diehl said. “I just like unusual and unique stuff.”

He’s been trying to complete one new custom vehicle every year, and this one – which he has named “Mona” – is his fourth and the “younger sister” of Lola, Viola, and Olga. He’s always loved cars, Diehl said, as his father owned a Volkswagen salvage yard growing up.

“It’s always been something I enjoyed,” he said. “I don’t think I’ll ever get away from it.”

In addition to all the great vehicles in the show, the “Motoring Weekend” also included a swap meet; a sheet metal shaping demonstration from Ed Barr, assistant professor of technology; and a noon performance from the McPherson College Jazz Band, which has multiple members who are students in the automotive restoration major.

Visitors also got to see two different teams of automotive restoration students demonstrate the rapid assembly of a Ford Model T from a pile of parts to running. Both teams logged impressive, blazing-fast times of 8:06 in the morning and 6:52 in the afternoon.

The full results of the 2016 C.A.R.S. Club Car Show Awards are as follows:

  • Best of Show: 1936 Cord 810 Sportsman, owned by Evergreen Historic Automobiles.
  • People’s Choice: 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle, owned by Randy Nusz
  • Kids’ Choice: 1950 Crosley Hotshot, owned by Abigayle Morgan


  • 1927-older: 1914 Willys Overland 79 Touring, ownedy by David Ellrich
  • 1928-1944: 1937 Lincoln Brunn, owned by Rex Russell
  • 1945-1954: 1950 Plymouth Special Deluxe, owned by Willard Banman
  • 1955-1964: 1956 DeSoto Adventurer, owned by Bruce Blackwell
  • 1965-1973: 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T, owned by Fred Gilmore
  • 1973-1989: 1979 Chrysler New Yorker, owned by Robert Siberns
  • 1990-present: 2003 Ford Mach I, owned by Bruce Laude
  • Special Interest: 1969 AMC AMX, owned by Larry Montgomery
  • Truck: 1951 Chevrolet Pickup, owned by Jim Streeby
  • Hot Rod, Custom, and Mod: 1935 Ford Pickup, owned by Randy and Donna Booth
  • Foreign: 1955 Porsche 356 Cabriolet, owned by Bill Pierson
  • Tractor: 1952 Massy Harris 44, owned by David Walker
  • Motorcycle: 1974 Honda Rickman, owned by Dale Keesecker