Monday, November 12, 2012

The Kansas City Playboy Club

I have always enjoyed collecting things that are from old bars etc. I started picking up a few things years ago from the Kansas City Playboy Club. It was located at 11th and Baltimore in what is now the Mark Twain Tower. I was too young to have ever gone to it, but my parents went a few times. According to my mother it was a very classy place and was quite formal. It was not a strip club or anything like that.

People who went there had keys for their accounts in the early days. Later they had metal credit type cards. I have two keys from KC. They were very hard to find, but I actually found two.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Arschlochs Car Club Grants Charter to Independence, Missouri Chapter

We are proud to announce we have received our official charter from the Mutter Chapter of the Arschlochs Car Club located in Frankfurt, Germany. The charter officially established the Independence, Missouri chapter of the Arschlochs on October 27, 2012.

The Mutter Chapter was founded in 1967 in Frankfurt, Germany. In 1969 the first US charter was granted to a chapter in Brownsville, Brooklyn New York. From there the club has expanded slowly over the past 45 plus years to include chapters in Detroit, Michigan, Oakland, California and most recently Independence, Missouri.

"We are glad to be part of the Arschlochs Car Club and have been prospecting for the past year. It was a challenging process with all the obstacles involved in proving yourself to the Mutter Chapter in Germany and those Brownsville bastards, but we made it," says Joe Boos, president of the Independence, Missouri chapter.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

There Are Still Good People in the World - in Des Moines, Iowa

Occasionally I hustle a few cars on eBay. I usually charge 10% to list and manage the sale. We have had some pretty wild stories over the years. There was the 1932 Ford Coupe that Grandpa John bought for $20,000 and we sold it for over $48,000. That was the closest I have ever come to him kissing me as an adult. When we found out he didn't have to pay taxes on it he cried (tears of joy).

There have been ups and downs with the economy so I have stopped listing stuff lately. Grandpa John turned up a 1963 LeMans recently that belonged to our friend Butch who died three years ago. I had seen the car when he was working on it, but had forgotten it was still in the garage of his widow Shirley.

So we agreed to sell it for Shirley. She had a local offer of $12,000 for it and I thought we could do better. Most people from KC are cheap (like us) and won't pay east coast or west coast prices. We wanted Shirley to get the most possible so we put it online.

It ended up selling for $16,900 to a man in Des Moines, Iowa. He came down to look at it and he was just the person we were looking for. He was the right age and had a nice vehicle and a Goodguys hat on. After a few years of doing this you learn to recognize the type of buyer you are looking for. If some is asking you if the air conditioner blows cold on an old car they are generally not the right person. That is a question for a late model used car purchase. Cold air conditioning is not a deciding factor on an antique car.

So the buyer came down after the auction ended and paid for the car. I kept $900 from the price and gave Shirley a discount on my usual commission. Butch was always nice to me since I was a kid and she is a good person. I went home and gave Grandpa John $100 and gave Abby $200 leaving me $600 for the Marlin 336 rifle I had been wanting.

A week later, as I was polishing my new stainless lever-action cowboy rifle, I got a call from Grandpa John. "You are never going to believe this. The man who bought the LeMans got it home and decided it was such a nice care he felt it was really worth $20,000. So he sent Shirley another $3,100 to make up the difference."

He was right, I couldn't believe it. That was like something out of a corny movie. I was really surprised. That is the first time that has ever happened in my 41 years of wheeling and dealing (Grandpa John made me bargain for my dinner as an infant. He claimed it built character).

So there are a few good people in the world. Not many, but one of them is in Des Moines, Iowa. I hope he enjoys the LeMans. It really is a nice old car. Butch would be happy to see it with the new owner.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Born Free 2012 - Fear and Loathing in Los Angeles

My college friend Kyle and I decided to go to the Born Free show this year in southern California. It was on June 30 outside Irvine. I really enjoyed the show and the other 5 days we spent there riding around. After considering several options of riding our own bikes, hauling our bikes and just jumping on a Southwest flight we decided to fly out and rent some garbage wagons from Eagle Rider near LAX. It allowed us to see a lot more of California in our limited vacation days. I would recommend Eagle Rider to anyone that is going out there. They took good care of us and their bikes were well-maintained.

We were kind of timid when we rode away from the rental place into LA traffic. Traffic there is just as bad as everyone said it would be, however there were some things that I didn't expect.
  • People there generally look out for bikes. They are not offended by lane splitting and it is very common.
  • If you turn on your signal, people will usually let you over a lane or into traffic. Many cities I have ridden in (especially Dallas) see a turn signal as a sign of weakness. In LA people worked with you for the most part.
  • At the stoplights in Hollywood we rode right up front of the cars and took off ahead of everyone like in Europe.
The Born Free show kicked ass. It was just one day, but it was a fantastic show. It was well run and there were cool bikes everywhere. We saw some out of this world stuff including a twin engine Triumph, a water-cooled Knucklehead and choppers with knobby tires. I think the knobby style tire must be the latest trend in SoCal (which means it will be here in KC next year).

We got a couple thousand miles in riding all around and up the coast to Monterey. It was a beautiful ride with lots of curves and wonderful views.

We learned that Buck Owen's Crystal Palace is not open on Mondays. That was a big detour for nothing. Heck that was supposed to be a highlight of my trip. Actually the Crystal Palace was not the old-time country joint I expected. It was more of a Cracker Barrel kind of place so we just chalked it up to experience. I can now say I have walked the streets of Bakersfield when I sit and judge Dwight Yoakam (which is never because I love all his work).

It was a good trip for a 41 year old boring Midwestern guy like me. I got to see a lot of crazy things, especially in Hollywood. That place was so nuts we stayed an extra night there to see more.

By the last day Kyle and I were over our timidness and we flew through the LA traffic like pros, jumped over two gang bangers and did a big power slide back into the parking lot at Eagle Rider. It is a crazy place that I would not want to live in, but you can acclimate to it. I would say Los Angeles and Southern California is an acquired taste!

Kyle was one tired 99%er on the flight home. That was a sign of a good time indeed!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Punk Rod Todd Karnahan has Passed

Punk Rod Todd Karnahan, the original founder of the Greaserama and all around colorful character, has passed away.

I have posted about him on here before and seem to get a lot of Google searches on his name. If you would like to help his wife Leslie with any of the medical bills you can donate via PayPal on their website here or send a contribution via mail to:

Leslie Karnahan
c/o Los Punk Rods
P.O. Box 2614
Shawnee Mission, KS 66201

Todd created the Greaserama that renewed my interest in car shows again. That brought back an activity that me, Wesley, Abby and now Audrey enjoy doing together. The past several years the show has grown into a hugely successful event. Todd's legacy in the old car community will live on.

I have spent a lot of time in my life analyzing why bad things happen to good people and bad people roam the Earth freely to do as they please. I still don't have an answer to this age old question. Life can be cruel and often unfair.

Todd was a great man. We all thought a lot of him. This turn of events has been most unfortunate. You can listen to the NPR radio story about the Greaserama here.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Viva Las Vegas Car Show and Mind Blowing Weekender

We decided a few months ago to make the trip to Las Vegas for Nikki and Joe's wedding. For starters, I have known Nikki since I was born (her parents went to school with Grandpa John). Also, I have known Joe since before we could both drive and we are over 40 now. So with our recent sad family times, we decided to talk Grandpa John into tagging along and bringing my sister, Mindy. Abby was not a hard sell as she loves Las Vegas. The kids stayed at the Povenmire Compound with Grandma Susan and we headed to KCI. The wedding trip was combined with the Viva Las Vegas event and car show.

Needless to say it was a great time. We attended the "Elvis wedding", a kick ass car show, Circque Du Soleil show Viva Elvis (worth the trip itself), lots of drinking, some great Rockabilly music and general mayhem. The event drew people from all over Europe and America. The ages were very diverse also. There were Grandpa John aged guys that saw all this the first time around to people who were in their early 20s.

This event is definitely worth attending if you have any interest in hot rods, rockabilly music and greaser culture. It is like the Greaserama on steroids. Fun for everyone, including a bunch from Missouri.

"Man, I really like Vegas." Elvis Presley and Jeremy Povenmire

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Los Punk Rods Clubhouse Visit - Save Your Pictures

Lately I have been going through a lot of old pictures for various reasons. It has occured to me that this is the equivilant of my 1976 for my son, Wesley. I have cherished all the old pics of Grandpa John and his colorful friends. I wish I had more.

So I have decided to just walk around a few places we go and take random photos. One place that always gives Wesley fond memories is the Punk Rods Clubhouse in the West Bottoms of KC. For him it is kind of like the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse gone bad. On our last visit we rode the bikes down to see Dave and Jesse. It was a fun day.

Remember, whatever you are doing with hot rods, kustoms, bikes etc., take lots of pictures. You won't regret it later.