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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,