Angela Puckett got in her 1994 Dodge Viper late in the afternoon on July 23 and hit the highway from her Lawrence home. Her destination was Gladstone Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram at 5610 N. Oak Trafficway.
“You have no idea how much I enjoy driving it,” Puckett said. “There are no words that can express it. When they first came out in ’92, I wanted one. I wanted one for a long time.”
The reason for her drive to Gladstone was a hot rod night at the dealership. It comes on the heels of last month’s Jeep night.
“It was a massive success,” said Andy Foster, general manager at Gladstone Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, of the Jeep night.
By the looks of the wide range of cars and trucks and the distances some people drove, hot rod night was equally successful.
“I think this is a really great thing,” said John Gratton, who brought his 1932 Ford from Smithville. “They do it during the week so us retired guys get a chance to come out during the week and do something.”
Gladstone Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram will have one more car show on Aug. 27, titled Rollin’ Coal Truck Night. Look for monster trucks, Foster said.
Hot rod night featured sleek, modern cars like the Dodge Viper to Stratton’s 1932 Ford to Roger Wheeler’s 1951 Chevy truck.
“This is awesome,” Wheeler said. “We really appreciate these things, especially in the middle of the week. You see a lot of friends you have known for years.”
The Viper, though, is no stranger to Gladstone Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram. Two years ago the dealership had an event for the Viper Club of Kansas City, said Puckett.
Puckett wasn’t the only owner of a Viper who drove more than 40 miles to hot rod night. Ron Kooser drove his 2015 Viper GT from Cleveland, Mo., a distance of more than 60 miles
How fast can the car go?
“I don’t even want to tell you how fast it will go,” Kooser said with a laugh.
Kooser loves the way the Viper handles.
“I was at a dealer who made a comment one time that you can take this car out and race this car,” Kooser said. “He said the Corvette is the American sports car, but the Viper is the American race car.”
The power is one reason why Puckett likes her Viper.
“It is pure muscle,” Puckett said. “They just kind of have a style all their own. I am an exception to the rule. I am a female and really love them. It is usually a guy thing.”
Like all car shows in the Kansas City area, each car that arrives has an interesting story behind it. Car enthusiasts are happy to tell their stories and listen to others.
Charlie Tuggle brought his 1971 Stingray LT1. By his car, he posted a sign detailing the history of the car for people who were interested in it. The reason he bought the car is fairly basic.
“I liked the color, drove it and fell in love with it,” Tuggle said. “I drive it when the weather is nice. I will go 200 miles to a show and back.”
For this show, Tuggle only had to drive a few miles. He is from the Northland and was happy Gladstone Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram put on a car show for hot rods.
“I think it is fantastic, especially here in the Northland where we don’t have much activity for car shows,” Tuggle said. “I love looking at other people’s cars.”
Stratton added that it is good business for a dealership to put on a car show.
“It is right here in the middle of everything,” said Gratton as he looked at North Oak Trafficway. “I think it is a good program for a car dealership to sponsor this because I am going to go in and look at their muscle cars. It could bring them some business.”
Of course, the sales people at Gladstone Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram love any business the car show might produce, but the main objective, Foster said, is to create awareness of what the dealership is all about.
“They get a great kick out of it,” Foster said of the employees at Gladstone Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram. “They are all car guys. They like to look at them. We are just trying to have a little fun.”
Do you have a car cruise or a car show you would like to see featured in At The Show? If you do, email your idea to David Boyce at Drive@kcstar.com