CASPER, Wyo — Weather has teamed up long enough for car enthusiasts and aspiring young car collectors to mingle and check specs on classic, custom and rasto models at the 21st Oil Capitol Auto Club Memorial Day Weekend Show at Bar Noun.
“There are only three bases at the auto show,” Mike Kinney told Oil City News. “No politics, no drama, no bachelors.”
Kenny, a Las Vegas-based NASCAR announcer and host of the YouTube show “Cars, Stars and Roll Bars,” is in Wyoming for the first time after meeting Jon Huff and other members of the Auto Club at shows in Vegas. Kenny said that he will present both Hof and the club on episodes of his show.
Kenny brought in his red 1970 Red Plymouth Superbird with a 426 cc twin-cylinder HEMI engine. The aft wing wing acts like an inverted airplane wing, sucking the car into the ground with 11,000 pounds of downforce when the car is fully operational.
“When they started racing in NASCAR, nobody could keep up.” Kenny said the Superbird and Dodge Daytona were so successful in racing that they were banned by NASCAR by the end of the 1970 season.
As the Daytona saturated the winged car market, and the Chrysler Roadrunner was cheaper, the Superbird has only been in production for one year, and some are now valued at between $1 million and $1.5 million.
Kenny said car shows are great for the community because they bring collectors together, including younger generations.
“It’s one of the few things that a 17-year-old and a 70-year-old can communicate in a language that they both understand and respect,” Kenny said.
Kenny himself said he liked the 1957 pink Thunderbird.
“This has been my dream car since I was four,” said Thunderbird owner Aubree Jones. Her father was the president of the Automobile Club at the time, and attended shows with her parents. She was determined to decide what her dream car would be, and she found it when she rode in a Thunderbird. Only in pink.
The parade was also the occasion for the ceremonial delivery of a 1942 Chevrolet USAAF 1.5-tonne Class 500 chassis fire truck to the Wyoming Veterans Affairs Commission.
The truck was in service at Casper Army Air Base, built in 1942 on the site of the current Casper-Natrona County International Airport. After the base was decommissioned at the end of World War II, the truck was sold to the Casey City of the Fire Department. The truck was eventually sold to a private owner and continued to be in decline for decades until it was purchased in 2013 by the Wyoming Veterans Memorial Museum and stored in the Oregon Trail Veterans Cemetery.
In 2019, the museum’s nonprofit arm began working with members of the Oil Capitol Auto Club to begin restorations at an airport store.
“There are only about 40 of them, and the site has stated that there is still one left in the Midwest,” said Mike Millikan, a board member of the Wyoming Veterans Memorial Museum. “I have a hunch it’s what they’re talking about.”
The restoration included new engine seals, brakes, wires, and a clean master cylinder, wheel cylinders, and gearbox. The cab and firebox were removed, sandblasted, and the original olive oil repainted from the Army Edition. The running boards and rear fenders were installed last year.
The truck will appear on the motor show circuit this summer. Milliken said discussions are underway with the state veterans committee about his display at Casper Airport.
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