Behind every custom car is a good story. As of noon Saturday, about 2,200 cars, and stories, had registered for the 37th annual Kustom Kemps of America Leadsled Spectacular, going on from Wednesday through today in Oakdale Park.
In Dad’s memory
Brad Berry, of Salina, found a 1963 Galaxie 500 convertible a few years ago and bought it for his father, Billie, or “Papa.” It was just like one Billie had sold many years ago to pay the mortgage on the house that Brad still lives in, that Billie’s father had owned.
They restored it together and got to enjoy it one summer. The license plate says “Papa 63.”
“Last year we made it to seven car shows, me and my dad,” Brad said. “He’s riding in glory now.”
Papa died in February.
Relic from past
Greg Mitchell, of McPherson, has had his 1944 Ford sedan since he bought it in high school. He’s put it together at least twice, once after a fire. It’s now a glossy bright blue.
It’s not restored to original condition.
“You can use parts from anything,” Mitchell said.
For example, he didn’t like the way the gas cap stuck out on the side, so he used a motorcycle cap. It works.
“It’s been in every state west of the Mississippi at least twice,” and several east of the Mississippi, he said. “It has 82,000 miles since I last put it together.”
One of the vehicles attracting the most attention at the Leadsled Spectacular was perhaps the smallest and least powerful. It runs on one “dad power.”
Dale Brungardt, of Colby, had finished the interior of a customized Radio Flyer wagon for his son, Fairlane, 1 year old, on Friday. It features a curved roof with sunroof and oversized wheels. The trunk area holds drinks.
Fairlane had a hard time seeing over the air filter on top of the mock V-8 engine, but no matter. Dad provided the power and automatic steering.
Mom Kim Brungardt said they do have a Fairlane automobile, but they didn’t bring it this…