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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Kirkland Car Show gets misty, won’t quit


“Don’t worry, that’s just liquid sun!” a DJ boomed over the show’s speaker system. 

The owner of a convertible 1965 Ford Mustang started her engine and closed the black leather top down on her car. 

It was raining on the last day of July, at a car show. Any other year the moderate drizzle might have been enough to send spectators running for the hills. Luckily most of the people in attendance were La Nina-hardened Vitamin D deficient north westerners that didn’t seem to care; the show had to go on. 

Chubby Checker’s ‘The Twist’ began blasting desperately over the speaker system.

“Anyone who’s got the twist in them needs to start twisting to keep warm!” The DJ yelled, 
“Oh! She’s got it!”

She did have it. Damn if that song doesn’t still get people moving. 


-1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass station wagon. 

Dubbed the ‘Brown Bomber’ by its owners, it was no coincidence the Oldsmobile Cutlass became America’s best-selling car in ’76; the early to mid-seventies marked a slow decline in taste amidst the American auto industry. No one knew any better and the Cutlass reigned supreme. 

In 1978 the Cutlass would be downsized to GM’s new A-Body, cutting its curb weight to a relatively petit 3,300 pounds, establishing its predecessors such as the Brown Bomber wagon as one of the last true family boat-mobiles (1). 

-1972 Ford F-250 Camper Special

There’s just something about old pickup trucks. This beauty was for sale and had a tiny shivering dog trapped in its cabin, unable to twist to keep warm. He leapt barking at the windows whenever a passerby came near, perhaps to defend the truck, perhaps in a desperate plea to be rescued before the hypothermia set in. 

In the owner’s absence prospective buyers were left to wonder if he neglected oil changes the way he did the dog, but that wasn’t enough to discount the strong selling point that Ford Camper Special pickups were built with higher GVWR ratings to accommodate the added weight of a camper and all the fun things pickup folk would pack into them. 

This F-250 looked like it had plenty of trips left in it, and possibly a free dog thrown in with its purchase. 

-1931 Ford Model A coupe, with Coors Light beer trailer

Beer trailer? Beer trailer!

The Model A sold close to five million units between 1927 and 1931 – an amazing feat by modern standards, but not once during its production years did a Model A roll off the assembly line with a beer trailer full of Coors Light behind it (2). 

For years this obvious design flaw went unnoticed until a noble lady of the hotrod scene took the initiative to design, or possibly buy her very own beer trailer, one that appeared to also serve as a cooler. The craftsmanship of it was professional and in step with the year of the car.

She sat proudly behind the hotrod Rocky Mountain ride and discussed good morning-time beach drinks with passersby, one of which asked her if she had seen his small yappy dog anywhere.

-1967 Ford Thunderbird 

Suicide doors are the elegant non-douchebag counterpart to Lamborghini (scissor) doors. The sixties showcased the suicide door on luxury vehicles such as the Lincoln Continental and this fifth generation ’67 Ford Thunderbird, considered to be Ford’s personal luxury car. 

How does a ‘personal’ car originally conceived as a coupe wind up with suicide doors you ask? 

In 1958 it was then Ford executive, Robert McNamara that pushed for the Thunderbird lineup to include a four-seater model in order to increase its sales potential to a broader audience, resulting in the first suicide door Thunderbird in 1967 (3). 

By that time McNamara was serving as United States Secretary of Defense and pushing for the escalation of the Vietnam War. 

“All he did was create suicide machines, man!” A Volkswagen hippie bus chimed in. 

It was promptly ticketed and towed violently from the premises. 

Perhaps the most telling moment of the show was on display in front of the Bikini Beach Swimwear Shop. A canvas-top H1 Hummer was parked in front of the store’s display window with a surfboard strapped to the front brush guard and a chrome mannequin in the truck bed sporting a sexy bikini. The shop’s logo was painted on the Hummer’s door. 

Behind the Hummer, five beautiful immaculately tanned young ladies stood shivering and smiling in teeny-weeny bikinis. They posed for pictures with pedestrians and climbed into the back of the Hummer for photographs with the mannequin. 

“Aren’t you a little underdressed for the weather?” An old codger yelled at them. 

The girls laughed and convinced him to climb into the back of the Hummer for a picture. He left with a coupon and a big grin on his face. There were more cars to be seen and no amount of drizzle was going to dampen the mood. 

Check out the vehicles mentioned above in the photo albums portion of the page at:




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