Now that we've all been seasoned to survive 110-degree-plus temperatures, we can all look forward to the 31st annual Kustom Kemps of America Leadsled Spectacular scheduled for July 28-31 in Salina without trepidation.
Jerry Titus, who with his late brother Elden Titus, started the KKOA custom car organization, said that despite the still-struggling economy, pre-registrations are holding firm for the event. "I'm super-excited," he said. "The city's just busting their tail to help us out."
The events schedule includes a first cruise night on Santa Fe Street in downtown Salina, plus the always popular "Run What You Brung" drag races at the East Crawford Recreation Area and the main drawing card, the huge display of well over a thousand customized cars, trucks and motorcycles along the winding, tree-lined streets of Oakdale Park, adjacent to the Bicentennial Center. Last year, the Leadsled Spectacular drew 1,557 entrants.
And it's all going to be taped for a segment of Dennis Gage's "My Classic Car" television program.
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"He called us. It flipped me out," Titus said. "He said, 'You've got one of the hottest shows in the nation... you're front-page stuff.'"
Gage is scheduled to arrive on Friday in time to record some of the drag racing action and will be set up in his own booth for the remainder of the event, when he's not out shooting interviews and taping clips of some of the outstanding hot rods and customs. The program will air in the 2012 season of "My Classic Car."
Customizing legends George Barris, Darryl Starbird, Gene Winfield, Bill Hines, Joe Bailon and John D'Agostino will also be on hand, along with TV celebrities Peter Brown (the deputy on "The Lawman") and Morgan Brittany (Katherine Wentworth on "Dallas.")
There will be the usual warm-up/post-event parties at area gearhead shops, five Rockabilly music acts, a couple of body modification demonstrations, plus pinstriping and the model car contest.
Go to kustomkempsofamerica.com/editorial.htm to get all the details.