Car Feature: Austin’s 32 Roadster

Often when you find a great looking ride on the streets or at a car show, you find that the owner is typically a bit older and has had decades worth of rides to practice on before getting to this great one. It’s rare to find a young owner with a great car, and to find one that’s 22 and built it himself almost never happens. So when I first saw Austin Grabowski roll into the Starliner car show at Wichita’s Kansas Aviation Museum, I admit it, I assumed it was a car that had been passed down to him. That first impression was dead wrong.

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Car Feature: Doug Reed’s 1949 Oldsmobile “The Toad”

It’s hard for me to come up with something to say about this car and it’s owner, Doug Reed. Doug has become a great friend and mentor of mine over the last few years. He’s been covering the hot rod/kustom scene in this area for over 3 decades, doing his part to get publicity for the talented builders and dedicated car owners of the region, just as I am attempting to do now. No words that I come up with express how much I dig this car and the man that owns it.

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For all those coming to Salina, KS this weekend…

So if you’ve been following along with my stuff at all lately you know that this weekend is the 2013 KKOA Leadsled Spectacular in Salina, KS. Since Salina is basically my hometown, I figured I’d give everyone a bit of a list of some notable places in town. Click on the links to go to the location on google maps, if you are viewing this on your phone you should be able to then navigate to the location. First off, registration for the show is now at the Ramada Inn on West Crawford.


Officially the show starts on Thursday, many early comers are at the park and hanging out on Thursday before the official festivities begin. Come out and enjoy the Open House at Bright Built Hot Rods that evening.
After the Open House head back to Oakdale Park to line up to take part in the Cruise on Santa Fe Ave from 7:30p to 8:30pm. If you just want to hang out and watch the cars instead of cruising just find yourself a place along Santa Fe between Walnut St. and Ash St.

Officially that’s it for Thursday.


Again head back to Oakdale Park for the show opening up at 9 am (officially, but many show up well before that, I usually hit the park at 8am). We hang out all day at the show until it’s time to head up to the Run What Ya Brung Drags held right next to Dean Evans Stadium on Markley Road.  At 1pm on the stage in the park is the Pinup Contest. The drags officially start at 5, but I will try to leave the park for the drags around 4pm.

The drags are a blast. Last year there were some logistical issues with the layout, I hope that the city’s committee has it figured out this time. Its about an 1/8″ mile course, with flag men (or women) on each end of the track and it’s all about fun. Yes there are some true drag cars that come out, and to be honest I don’t agree with most of them being there but that’s a different discussion for a different day. If you want to make a pass or 12 in your ride, this is your chance to do it. If you just want to watch some fun drag racing action, come out and enjoy yourself.
Friday evening at 9:30pm at the Ramada Inn is the KKOA Tonite Show where the 2 2013 KKOA Hall of Fame Inductees are announced.
Also Friday evening at Calvins Customs on Santa Fe is a party open to all KKOA participants, to get your car into the party you must have the show registration displayed in your windshield and to get into the shop where there is typically free beer (to those 21 and over) and some good eats, you need to be wearing your show wrist band.


Back to Oakdale Park for the biggest day of the show. The car counts and the crowds will be the biggest on Saturday. For those with kids coming along don’t forget that there is a really bitchin’ water park just east of Oakdale Park, this is a big show but sometimes you need something for the kids to do outside of the show, I understand. Also for the ladies, downtown Salina has a bunch of antique and unique shopping opportunities just a couple of blocks from the park.

Again at 1pm the Pinup Contest goes down, come and cheer on your favorite lovely lady.

All day Friday-Sunday an all star crew lead by Bill Hines will be chopping a top live in the park, its something to see for sure.
There is usually another major car mod going on in the park at the same time, the last couple of years it’s been a section job, stop by both spots and watch the cars get the kustom treatment all weekend long.

Saturday night at the historic Stiefel Theatre is the “One Night With Elvis” show. You can buy concert tickets at the registration booth or the T-Shirt booth.


Sunday is usually a fraction of the cars that were at the show on Saturday, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a day to attend. Some of the best of the best kustoms around are all in the park on Sunday of the Leadsled Spectacular. Come hang out with kustom legends, see the awards ceremony and squeeze every last minute you can out of the KKOA weekend in Salina.

Good places to eat and drink in Salina.

Salina has a bunch of great places to eat.
Hickory Hut, routinely voted as one of the best in town.
Hog Wild Pit BBQ, technically a chain but a small one and VERY good for chain bbq.
(20 miles away in my hometown of Gypsum) Big D’s BBQ, this is some really good BBQ in a small town atmosphere that cannot be touched in the larger city. If you don’t mind a bit of a drive they are only open from 5-9pm on Saturday
There are 2 local pizza places fairly near to the show that both have great pie
Scheme (they do not accept plastic, so bring cash or a checkbook) you may want to make reservations, they do get busy.
And one a little farther from the show but still good stuff. Big Cheese Pizza
There’s a small KS chain called Spangles that has a great 50’s pop culture atmosphere and pretty good food for a fast food joint, two of them in town. One on South 9th St. and one on West Crawford.
One of 2 Salina institutions is Bogey’s, one of my personal favorites, if you want a great shake and a burger this is the place to go.
The other Salina institution for burgers in the Cozy Inn. You’ve probably heard about them, at some point in the weekend you need to go buy a sack (6 small sliders) they are pretty darn good, even if they stink so bad 🙂
I have 2 recommendations here, I can’t decide which is my favorite.
Cotijas, fairly new to town, and lots of authentic and some TexMex style, delicious every time I go
Lenore’s, been in town a long time and one of my favorite places to eat in Salina.
There are all of the normal chain restruants in Salina too but come on if you wanted to eat at a chain joint  you can go to any city in the country right?
My all time favorite bar is the Paramount Bar just a block from Calvins Customs, the P has been in business since 1946 and it’s my favorite place to kick back and enjoy a drink, tell the girls that Travis sent ya and make sure you tip them well 🙂 enjoy the patio out back with the forecasted cool weather.
Another 2 blocks south is 111 Ultra Lounge, a nice little joint to enjoy some lively libations.
There’s also O’Malley’s in the Ramada Inn where a few of you are staying, decent bar, I don’t care for their food offerings but after a few you can’t tell that its not the best food ever
Out of the way a bit from where the show and hotels are is Speakeasy, nice bar with a patio and some decent food.
On the way to some of the south of town hotels is the Blind Pig, some basic bar food is available as well, and a nice patio.
I’m sure I’ve missed something. Please comment below if I have and I’ll try to find something for you. I’m damn proud at how the show has grown since coming to Salina and I hope to get more and more traditional kustom and hot rod folk to attend every year. Stop by the Royboy Productions booth and say hi, buy something if you want to, book a shoot if you can, above all safe travels and I’ll see you at the show.

Coming up at this year’s KKOA Leadsled Spectacular…

Chad Kolman’s stunning 47 Buick at the 2012 Leadsled Spectacular, this ride won the coveted 777 Award last year.

Coming up at this year’s KKOA Leadsled Spectacular, the Royboy Award. Okay so the name might change, but the long and short of it is that I’m giving away an award at the KKOA this year. My idea is to find someone at the show that is younger than I am (38) and has brought a finished or under construction traditional style kustom, hot rod or gasser. No rat rods, no big billet wheels, no digital gauges. I will allow airbags, and other modern items as long as they don’t take away from the general vintage appearance.

I am working to gather up some sponsors to offer a prize pack as well as the award that my friends at the Sign House are helping me create. The goal is to give the winner a prize pack full of offers to save money in finishing their ride or building a new car. A 15% discount for any RJay’s Speed Shop built item (or 10% off items they sell but do not create) is the first prize that’s been offered up. Because you can’t have your ride looking good and yourself looking bad our friends at Devilles Barbershop in Wichita, KS have offered up a prize at well. I’m in contact with a couple of other companies to offer more discounts for paint work, body work, and hopefully a lot more.

If you have a company that would like to do a small part to help grow the industry by helping a younger car owner then send me a message to find out how to become a part of the prize pack!

See you at a show,