Vehicles don't have to be heavily customized or hopped up to attract attention. Don Corning's brilliant red 1952 Ford F1 pickup from Potwin, Kan., was beautifully restored and still powered by a venerable flathead V-8 engine, an excellent choice all around.
Fewer than 7,000 Mercury convertibles were built in 1951 and Ron Bowring of Wichita is fortunate to be able to claim this beautiful black version, which clearly looks even better than the day it rolled out of the showroom.
The custom-mixed DuPont Butterscotch paint, combined with the retro wire wheels and engine treatment, caught our eye on this all-steel '32 Ford 3-window coupe. This car was also show by Phil and Deb Becker of Dwight, Ill.
Phil and Debbie Becker's stunning 1946 Ford woody featured all-original sheetmetal and bird's-eye maple paneling. The Dwight, Ill., wagon is powered by a 4.6 liter supercharged Cobra V-8 and rides on 17- and 18-inch Schott wheels. A rare and outstanding automobile.
It's doubtful you'll find a more tastefully built 1965 Buick Skylark than this beautiful version turned out by Dennis Guither of Princeton, Ill. A beautiful custom leather interior is complemented by a fully detailed engine bay, which carries the appropriate Buick `nailhead' V-8.
Jim and Judy Lippert turned their 1967 Chevy Nova over to Bright Built Hot Rods of Salina for some tender loving care. They were rewarded with this LS9 Corvette-powered pearl green beauty packing a 6-speed Tremec transmission. The Lipperts are residents of Green, Kan.
Jan Coe says that once he saw this 1932 Ford highboy roadster being built by shop students of USD 398 in Peabody, he had to have it. Coe had Rick Starbird finish it off in beautiful Porsche Green after he bought the hot rod.
Another out-of-state entrant was this jet black '68 Dodge Charger owned by Rick Ratajczak of LaSalle, Ill. It features coil-over-spring suspension, 4 wheel disc brakes and 3-inch exhaust. But the big selling point is under the hood, where a 528 cubic inch Hemi engine that pumps out 650 horsepower.
Ever seen a factory-built 1963 Falcon retractable hardtop? Tim Sutherland's jet black beauty didn't come from Dearborn equipped that way, so he engineered this one-of-a-kind version, which can convert from a standard-looking hardtop to a convertible in a couple of minutes by swallowing the entire roof into the extended trunk. Look for a future Wheels page feature on this remarkable car.
Troy Pate's low-slung '33 Ford roadster, the `Blue Diamond,' was a show-stopper in the central concourse of the show. Sporting a newly released full-fendered body by Rat's Glass, the car is finished in PPG Roadhouse Blue with just a touch of red pearl thrown in to enhance the glow.
The `Gold Digger,' a 1933 Ford owned by Tammy and Tony Ray of Dahlonega, Ga., added the first place Magnificent Seven honors to its long list of achievements, which include the prestigious 2010 Ridler Award presented at the Detroit Autorama.
Silver flames over a red chopped, lowered '50 Mercury with a custom grille, flipper hubcaps and wide whitewalls brought Ross and Anna Rodenbeck some well-deserved attention for their Colby-based custom.
John and Christy Heaton's gorgeous black 1934 Ford Fordor would have been a standout at any show, but the Shawnee, Kan., couple gave their display some extra appeal by staging it with a gangster's Thompson submachine gun, complete with empty shell casings and an ammo box.
Denny Day of WaKeeney brought his beautiful 1948 Ford coupe from western Kansas, where he found the car rotting away in a hedge row. Beautifully finished from stem to stern, the fat-fendered coupe at first glance appears to be all of a color, but a closer look reveals the top is a metallic red pearl, while below the belt line, it is finished in a copper/orange pearl.
The old round-bodied MoPars continue to grow in popularity with customizers, as Rob and Eillen Robinson's beautifully detailed 1949 Plymouth 2-door proves. A subtle 1-12-inch top chop, immaculate white over blue paint and checkerboard wheel covers helped earn the car the Wichita On Wheels pick of the show, which means we will be featuring the nifty Plymouth on this page soon.