cars

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

In a big gravel lot under a canopy of trees by Turkey Creek in Kansas City, Kansas, children spill out of parked cars toward a playground as parents set up lawn chairs and grab beer from the cooler. 

It's a typical Sunday night at the Boulevard Drive-In, and a few hours till the main event. As for what's showing?

"Oh, I can't remember. I'd have to look it up," says owner Wes Neal.

Turns out it's Captain Underpants, and Neal only likes "cowboy movies." But that's not the only reason he's not up to speed.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

It's an iconic summer activity, especially in KC: pulling your car into a big gravel lot and watching movies under the stars.

In a time where there are so many ways to consume media, we examine the appeal of the drive-in ... and look at the past, present and future of this particular type of movie theater.

Guests:

Kansas Department of Transportation

There could be a slight change (and hopefully improvement) to your commute this summer if you regularly drive on I-35.

New ramp meters, designed to help ease congestion, will start running in mid-to-late July, says Mark Sommerhauser, KC Scout transportation project manager. 

KC Scout is working with the Kansas Department of Transportation on the $250,000 project. KC Scout will take over maintenance and operation once testing is finished. 

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

The art of lowriding in Kansas City, then local high school students share how they covered politics and the presidential election in their yearbooks.

Guests:

Courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation

Why did the turtle cross the road? Because it’s turtle mating season in Missouri.

Department of Conservation spokesman Joe Jerek says young male turtles are usually in search of territory while females are trying to nest.

“And if you think about it, comfort’s also a factor for turtles. They’re reptiles. As reptiles, they’re cold-blooded, so basking on a warm asphalt road feels good on a cool spring day,” Jerek says.

Unfortunately every year some of these turtles end up getting hit by cars.

Students from MINDDRIVE, a project-based learning organization, will unveil an experimental 3D-printed vehicle at the Kansas City International Auto Show. The electric car, designed by high schoolers, is 12 feet in length and looks like a formula race car. 

Guests:

Kcphotoblog / Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons

Salt gets all the credit for de-icing our roads during wintry weather, but it turns out it’s not a solo operation. The Kansas City office of the Missouri Department of Transportation says beet juice also plays an important part in melting that troublesome ice.

We’ll get to what the beet juice actually does — but first let’s find out where it comes from.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Imagine it's 8 p.m. on a Saturday in the mid-1970s.

You're starting the engine of a 1966 Chevrolet Caprice, big block engine, 4-speed manual transmission with a vinyl interior. 

All is dark and quiet in town, but the main square is lit with activity. For perspective, it looks and sounds kind of like American Graffiti — engines revving, music pouring out of open windows, there's hollering and laughter. Cars are lined up, bumper to bumper. For the rest of the night, you're cruising.

There comes a moment in every parent's life when they have to give up control of the wheel and hand it over to their children. We discuss how to prepare your kids for the responsibility of driving a car.

Guest:

When it comes to your car, the question is not whether you will breakdown, but when. Walt Brinker has performed more than 2,000 roadside assists free of charge — and without a mechanic. He shares some easy ways to prevent breakdowns and tips for how to fix them. 

Guest:

Walt Brinker is the author of Roadside Survival: Low-Tech Solutions to Automobile Breakdowns.

Wikimedia Commons

The car is a mechanical work of art. There are people who obsessively design, build and restore cars... and others crash them with just as much passion. From the Art of the Car Concours to the  demolition derby.

Guests:

  • Tony Jones, interim president, The Kansas City Art Institute
  • Mac McLanahan, artist and demolition derby driver

The Kansas City Auto Museum

Kansas City holds an astonishing amount of auto history from the first African-American auto dealer in the U.S. to the park and boulevard system started in the 1890s that shaped our city's traffic flow today.

Art of the Car Concours

Hot rods first hit the scene in the 1930s. Their enduring popularity drives owners and fans to preserve and enhance these mobile pieces of history. This Sunday, The Kansas City Art Institute once again transforms the campus into a classic-car lover’s dreamland for its Art of the Car Concours event. On Friday's Up to Date Steve Kraske talks with the event organizer and an automotive expert about the rare autos at this event and the long road of hot rod history.

The Weekend To-Do List: May 17-19, 2013

May 17, 2013
Popular Hot Rodding

Looking for ways to enjoy the weekend of May 17-19, 2013? Brian McTavish has some options for you on the Weekend To-Do List.

Chrysler, Ford and General Motors gained market share in the past couple years. Helped by Toyota's much-publicized recalls, the problems that Japanese carmakers faced after last year's earthquake and tsunami, and an improving reputation for the quality of American-made vehicles, Detroit's Big Three grabbed 47 percent of sales last year — up from 45.1 percent in 2010 and 44 percent in 2009.

Our friend Micki Maynard of Changing Gears, though, reports that the Detroit companies' comeback — in terms of market share — may be over.