Mike Newkirk lights up the slicks on R.C. Williams' legendary twin-hemi AA/GD at the Friday night `Run What Ya Brung' drag races at the Leadsled Spectacular car show. Participants got a chance to run their hot rods at the drag strip set up at the East Crawford Recreation Area, formerly the old Salina airport.
The classic chopped, full-fendered '32 Ford coupe is more often seen in basic black, sometimes bright red. But we liked Jerry Gann's choice of blinding blue for his car, which cruises the streets of Springfield, Mo.
Artillery wheels up front, an open chopped top, black primer and tall carb stacks all combine to make Rick Salyer's '31 Model A coupe an eye-catcher. He brought the car to the show from Broken Bow, Okla.
The mottled shade makes it hard to see, but the front end of Mike Connelly's '51 Merc custom is covered with a subtle flame job; the Grandview, Mo., car isn't green farther back, it's just so shiny that it mirrors the greenery surrounding it.
Ford didn't build that many 1946 pickups and it's a safe bet this one, owned by Paul Glendening of Pawhuska, Okla., probably didn't begin its life with a set of dual rear wheels. The old school hot rod probably needs that much rubber, judging by the stout engine tucked between its frame rails.
This bit of hood artwork captures one of the latest trends, the return of gasser-style coupes and sedans, now showing up more as show cars than real drag machines. Nice tip of the hat to Ed `Big Daddy' Roth with the Rat Fink logo, too.
Proving there's absolutely nothing wrong with keeping a car pretty much stock was Gordon and Deloris Hal's 1950 Oldsmobile Deluxe Holiday hardtop from Tecumseh, Kan. Of course, it helps if it is a great design to begin with.
Few folks would be brave enough to take on restyling a 1955 Ford Crown Victoria. Kent and Karen Friant of Pleasant Grove, Utah, figured this one would make a good starting point for a full custom with scallops, lakes pipes, a padded half-top and radically sculpted tail lights.
As hot as the 2012 Leadsled Spectacular was, there were still cool scenes like this one, highlighting Harve and Teresa Evans red 1940 Ford pickup surrounded by lush Oakdale Park greenery. They attended the show from their hometown of Greenwood, Neb.
Howard Hall, left, visits with a fellow show-goer about his beautiful 1931 Ford Victoria. The Arvada, Colo., car has custom horizontal hood vents, Halibrand wheels and a glowing House of Kolor orange paint job.
Big Buick station wagons from the 1950s make a strong statement, showing their owners aren't afraid to try something different. Rich Suchy's Great Bend-based Buford wagon is a two-tone with plenty of class.
Dennis Heindel's '65 Falcon hardtop has gone the gasser route, with eight big injector tubes sticking up through the teardrop hood blister. Deep red metalflake paint contrasts nicely with the white fenderwell headers on the machine from Milford, Kan.
How low can you go? J.R. Dinges of Lane, Kan., gets down on the ground with his camera to capture the essence of a line of lead sleds, led by Steve and Deb Hoffman's brilliant green '51Pontiac from Sartell, Minn.
A perfect example of a vintage shop truck, Sid Drapal's '47 Ford pickup from Guthrie, Okla., had all the right touches, from the door graphics to the understated green paint, orange rims and wide whites.
Jerry Stanley's ride of choice is a '51 Ford `twin spinner' Victoria hardtop from Red Oak, Iowa. A few mild custom touches, including a white interior, lakes pipes and four-bar hub caps, set off the bluish-purple paint scheme.
Baby moon hubcaps and a rose colored paint job took some spectators back to 1965, when Daryl Brackman's Comet 2-door sedan first hit the road. Brackman lives and drives in Atlantic, Ind., when he's not showing off his car on the road.
Steve Henry of Princeton, Ky., took the '54 Ford Starliner glass top concept one step further, installing a glass panel in the hood of his stunning blue hardtop to show off the impressively detailed engine.
Rick Hauger of Prairie Grove, Ark., took the low-key route on his 1935 Ford coupe, painting it an unusual shade of satin blue with a bright yellow firewall, into which he tucked a nicely detailed late model Ford V-8 engine.
We couldn't find Dean and Kay Owens during our one day at Leadsled to verify whether their '68 Camaro drag car is the real deal or just a nicely done tribute to the late, great Bill `Grumpy' Jenkins. The couple call Olathe home.
Chad Kolman's metallic lime green 1947 Buick features flawless metal work, chrome and beautiful pin-striped accents. He brought the car to Salina from Kansas City, Kan. to participate in Leadsled events.
Members of the Beatniks do some metal shaping and roof pillar modifications as they put on a demonstration of how to chop a top on an early Merc custom. Their venue was a popular stop for show-goers who took a break in bleachers set up for their comfort.
If there had been a `head-swiveler' award, Chuck and Lorna Hohbein's seriously stretched 1937 Buick coupe would have been a top contender. Also out of Beatrice, Neb., the car had people scratching their heads all weekend.
Derick Samson's full-custom 1951 Chevy coupe has an engine compartment every bit as stylish as its interior. The 355 cubic inch small block Chevy V-8 breathes through a pair of air cleaners artfully molded to fill the space.
A closer look at LeRoy Meints' outstanding 1955 Ford 4-door wagon in brilliant orange livery. Note the shaved door handles, which accentuate the car's length. Another Lincoln, Neb., entrant -- must be something in the water up that way.
Custom paint work remains a hallmark of the custom car scene. John Tretten's '59 El Camino from Edina, Minn., demonstrates how color, metalflake and a blending of flames and geometric patterns can accent a car's already pleasing lines.
Churning up great memories of the `Gasser Wars' of the 1960s, Kevin Jordan's 1951 Henry J with tilt front end, fender well headers and nose-high stance plays the role to perfection. Jordan lives in Lenexa.
Not every car on display was a heavily customized machine. Russ Guthrie of Salina chose to show off his talents with this classic bright yellow 1929 Ford Model A Speedster, which looked ready for competition.
Who knows how many hours went into transforming Bill and Linda Daniel's 1950 Ford into a `ute?' The clean body lines and wheel treatment add elegance to the transformation into a light duty pickup, which the Carthage, Mo. couple call a `Ranchette.'
Lou Hageman of Osborne equipped his old-school hot rod with a big block Chevy `W' engine topped by three deuces and accented the black paint with bright orange wheels and flames. Orange continues to be a popular color, as indicated by LeRoy Meints' gorgeous '55 Ford wagon from Lincoln, Neb., in the background.