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18th Annual McPherson College CARS Club Show May 6th, 2017

With the 19th Annual McPherson College C.A.R.S. Club Show coming up next weekend, it seems timely to run the coverage of last year's show. This is a must-see event for any true car fans.

Few local car shows hold a candle to the annual C.A.R.S. (College Automotive Restoration Students) Club Car and Motorcycle show at McPherson College. McPherson College, a small liberal arts school in McPherson, Kansas, is the only college in the United States which offers an accredited, four-year degree program in both auto and motorcycle restoration. Because of this dedicated curriculum, the school and the C.A.R.S. Club show attract a following from die-hard enthusiasts and automotive luminaries. Many alums have gone on to become players in the car world, but return each May for the show, its attendant events, and a chance to see old friends.

Friday evening featured an evening with Bill Warner, founder of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Mr. Warner’s presentation, Racing Around the Rules, was a prelude to the following day’s presentation and autograph session of Cuba’s Car Culture. Mr. Warner contributed the photography to the book, which was written by Tom Cotter. Mr. Cotter is also known for writing 'The Cobra in the Barn', and hosting Hagerty's YouTube series "The Barn Find Hunter".

Friday evening also saw a gathering of student and enthusiast cars at the Cruise-In. Two full blocks of Main Street were blocked off for this informal and casual car show. No admission, no fees, no prizes, just show up and show off. It was a great preview of what was to be an impressive Saturday.

Things started early on campus Saturday morning. Breakfast was at 7:00 sharp, followed by registration at 8:00 am, with entrants being segregated to different parts of the 27-acre campus lawn depending upon year and classification. Over 320 cars, motorcycles and tractors, were on display. Close to 100 student cars were mixed in with around forty or so alumni vehicles. Numerous other entries peppered the lawn. Included in the show were a 1937 Mercedes Benz 540K Cabriolet which had been restored by students working for the car’s owner, a 1957 Mercedes SLS Racer Tribute (none of the originals are known to exist) built by the Mercedes Benz Classic Center (overseen by McPherson Restoration Program alum Nate Lander), and the first Chevrolet Camaro prototype.