AT THE SHOW: At Cruisin’ Culver’s, it’s all about cars and friendly people

Howard Fisk and his 1966 GTO Pontiac.
Howard Fisk and his 1966 GTO Pontiac.

Every second and fourth Tuesday during the summer, a wide range of cars gathers in the parking lot of Culver’s at 1301 SW 7 Highway in Blue Springs for Cruisin’ Culver’s.

For the last five years, they have gathered at the restaurant known for its butter burgers and frozen custard.

Sometimes as many as 50 people show up. Other times it’s about 10, depending on the weather. The one constant is the friendly banter from the car owners. They talk about cars or whatever is going on in the world.

“It was one of those accidental things that people get together and they invite somebody else and they invite somebody else and then we set around and tell stories,” said Eric Dempsey, who is 69 and from Blue Springs.

“The thing about car cruises and car shows is that most of the people are our age. We don’t see many young people get involved in it because of cash flow and there are other things people are doing.”

But the regulars at Cruisin’ Culver’s would love to have younger car enthusiasts stop by with their cars. They want to keep the tradition going for many more generations.

Wayne Lanam, 74 and from Independence, is one of the regulars at Cruisin’ Culvers that enjoys meeting car fans of all ages. On this particular Tuesday in late June, Lanam brought his 1965 Mustang. He bought it last year after selling his Corvette.

The 1965 Mustang has special meaning for him.

“When I was 24 years old,” Lanam said. “I didn’t have two pennies to rub together. So the only thing I could afford at the time was a Mustang, six-cylinder, three-speed, radio and that was it.

“I ran the wheels off that car because it was the family car. I always wanted another one.”

Each car at Cruisin’ Culver’s has an interesting story behind it. Dempsey brought his 2000 Chevy S10 lowrider.

“I am an old guy who wants to be young,” Dempsey said. “A few weeks ago I went to a lowrider pick-up show, and I was probably the oldest one there.”

Howard Fisk, 77 from Lee’s Summit, brought his 1966 Pontiac GTO to the car cruise in late June.

“I just enjoy talking to the guys about the old cars,” Fisk said. “When you are in your 20s, you don’t get to enjoy it too much. You are raising your family. This takes you back to your high-school years. It is a blast.”

It was around 2000 when Fisk’s son, Doug, built the GTO.

“Now I am just about done with it and it will go back to him,” Fisk said.

Dempsey enjoys listening to those types of stories about the cars that show up.

“It is just wondrous to hear some of the things guys have gone through in order to build their cars,” Dempsey said. “Some have taken many, many years to build.”

Most of the people who show up to Cruisin’ Culver’s are from Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit and Independence.

“What I enjoy most is the people,” Lanam said. “Car people, for some reason, are the friendliest, most thoughtful people you will meet. You can play golf, you can do a lot of things, but when it comes to people, car clubs are just awesome.”

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