19th Automobilia Moonlight Car Show draws thousands to downtown Wichita

Rob Hook grew up around cars.

The love, he said, “is kind of just born in your blood.”

So it’s no surprise that he’d spend three years piecing together a 1933 Ford Coupe three-window chop top nicknamed “Nasty” that’s painted a glistening brandywine.

He and a partner built the car from the ground up. It has three miles on its odometer.

Eventually, it’ll be a driver, he said. Not a race car.

“Today is the first time it’s been the streets,” Hook said of the Ford Coupe.

“You’ll see it more ... once we get the bugs worked out.”

Hook was among dozens of auto enthusiasts who showcased their cars Saturday at the 19th Automobilia Moonlight Car Show and Street Party. What started as an appreciation party for customers of Automobilia – a car-themed gift shop at 449 N. Mosley – has blossomed into an annual event that now draws around 1,000 cars and 140,000 people.

The show continues until midnight. It’s followed by a moonlight cruise that runs until 1:30 a.m. Sunday. Admission is free.

Downtown Wichita from Douglas to Second between Broadway and Mosley was blocked off for six hours Saturday while smiling spectators oohed as they inspected the cars.

By 6 p.m., the streets were packed with a variety of beautiful – and banged up – cars.

A bright red 1965 Chevy Impala Super Sport.

Sparkling orange paint covering a 1938 Chevy Business Coupe.

There was even a 1959 Chevy milk truck with plenty of scratches and scuffs in its white-on-blue paint.

One young girl breathed “Awesome!” as she walked by a black Ford 350 Super Duty pickup truck with a lift kit so high a low-rider was parked beneath it.

A few steps down from the Ford, Isaac Khal wrapped his arm around Kala Tiemann, who toted a camera around at Saturday’s car show.

They’re a perfect pair considering the proclamation on Khal’s T-shirt: “I love girls that love cars.”

“I have a soft-spot for the Bel-Air,” Tiemann said as she and Khal stood before a cherry-red-and-white 1995 Chevy, owned by David and Paula Gayanich of Blanchard, Okla.

“I love the two-tone and I definitely like the curves. I love curvy cars,” she said.

“I can’t help it.”

The couple came to the car show on the invitation of friends Dave and Sharon Hewitt, who provide a scholarship to McPherson College’s automotive restoration program where Khal and Tiemann are students.

Dave Hewitt joked about inviting the couple to the show to teach him about cars. Really, though, he’s a old hand in auto.

“We know a little bit about cars from before they were born,” he said, laughing.

Isaac Khal chuckled. Saturday was his first time attending the auto show.

“I’m liking the variety of stuff here,” he said, “and the size of the show. It’s fantastic.”

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