One day, Victor Palos was driving home from work at the University of Kansas Medical Center and passed by Rosedale Bar-B-Q at 600 Southwest Blvd., in Kansas City, Kan., where he spotted some cool-looking cars and people around them.
Palos decided not to stop, but made a mental note to go the next time the car show was held at Rosedale Bar-B-Q.
Cars and BBQ started in August by Stephen Cook, the creator and editor-in-chief of the website fromcitytocircuit.com. From City to Circuit’s goal is to build a community where all types of cars and racing are appreciated.
“We have done different car meets around town,” Cook said. “I love barbecue. I love Rosedale. This is one of the first places I started eating barbecue. They have a decent-size lot. I thought it would work well for a car meet. They liked the idea.”
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Early Tuesday evening was picked because it was the least busy day at Rosedale.
Unfortunately, rained marred the first two Cars and BBQ in August. The weather was much better for the first one in September. In Palos’ eyes, the Cars and BBQ on Sept. 15 was well attended.
Palos brought his sleek, black Nissan 350Z. He bought it three years ago based on the movie Tokyo Drift that he saw when he was 12 years old.
“It was the first car I bought under my own name so it is truly my car,” Palos said. “It is my dream car from when I was a little kid. I have always wanted it.”
There were more than two dozen sports cars and imports at Cars and BBQ on Sept. 15, like Jim Cupp’s 2013 Nissan 370Z and Jeff Bartz’s 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe.
“It is open to all makes and models,” Cook said. “It is what we promote. Today (Sept. 15), we have a lot of later model cars, everything from Corvettes to Mercedes, a little bit of everything.”
Palos was impressed by what he saw.
“There are beautiful cars out here,” Palos said. “There are people here who are committed to their cars. It is good to know people close to my home are into cars as much as I am.”
When asked who had the best car, pride took over for Palos.
“For me, my car is always going to be the ‘wow’ car,” he said.
His car was nice enough to attract attention. Several times people came up to Palos and asked him about his car.
“The little kid inside of me lights up,” Palos said. “They are looking at my hot wheels.”
For the most part, many of the people at Cars and BBQ were in their 20s, like Palos.
“We do all of our promotions through social media like Facebook and Instagram, which lends itself to a younger crowd,” Cook said.
But there were some middle-aged people there like Cupp, who drove his Nissan 370Z from Lee’s Summit.
“I like it. It has a good balance of sports-car handling and straight-ahead power,” Cupp said. “It is not quite as fast as some of the new American muscle cars, but you get that sports-car handling with it.
“This has its own niche. They call it a poor man’s Porsche.”
Cupp said he enjoys meeting people at events like Cars and BBQ and seeing what others have done to their cars.
“You get ideas that way,” he said. “You see things they’ve done cosmetically and you go, ‘Hey, I like those wheels.’ A car like this is pretty much a toy. It is a hobby.”
Like Palos and Cupp, Bartz made his first appearance at Cars and BBQ on Sept. 15.
“I like the camaraderie,” Bartz said. “Everybody is friendly and loves talking about their cars.”
This type of interaction between car enthusiasts makes it fun for Cook to organize different car events around Kansas City.
“From City to Circuit started out as a way to share my photos and video content,” Cook said. “We started doing live events in February.
“I love getting out and meeting new people in the car community. It is amazing the connection and bond people can form over a chunk of metal. It goes so much deeper than what a car is.”
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