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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Further proof that Wichita is a car town

By Mike Berry
The Wichita Eagle

I continue to be amazed at how many die-hard car lovers are in Wichita. Last Saturday’s turnout for the 18th annual Automobilia Moonlight Car Show and Street Party drove that point home again.

Brick streets, brick buildings and 100-degree temperature readings would seem to be a sure-fire recipe for people to stay away from a late-afternoon car show. But an hour or two before the gates opened, people were already lined up for blocks past Intrust Bank Arena, under the Kellogg overpass and south.

That in itself was something to see, as folks patiently waited to fire up their cars and move into the show area. Once everyone found a spot, wiped the bugs out of the grille and ran a California duster over the paint, it was equally impressive to see the crowds strolling along the streets of Old Town to check out the cars.

Wichita truly is a car town. I have long contended that one reason for that is all the skilled aircraft workers who call Wichita home.

They don’t go home from work and build airplanes in their garages, they go home and build cars. And the ones proudly displayed at the Automobilia event take a back seat to no one.

Just as encouraging is the number of people who viewed Eagle photographer Fernando Salazar’s photos from the car show on Kansas.com. Those photos had garnered nearly 140,000 page views at last count.

This is just one of several major car shows hosted in Wichita every year.

Here’s a look back on this year’s Automobilia extravaganza from my perspective. Additional photos are at Kansas.com.

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