One year ago Cowtowners were flocking to Aristocrat Motors, to see, test drive and plunk down orders on the brand new smart fortwo. Hip, trendy, thrifty – affordable even – only began to describe the new gotta-have-it rolling automotive artwork…
Not since the early days of the VW New Beetle had the general public gone this ga-ga for a cruising conveyance. Not even in the case of BMW’s popular Mini Cooper.
Flash forward to the present…
Things have changed: $4 gas is but a faint memory – as is $3 gas and $2 gas. Oh and, in case you missed it, the economy tanked. Woe is pretty much everybody.
Translation: the little known secret is you can actually walk into the dealership, pick out a smart – including the ultra-rare, limited edition Brabus model – and drive it home that day.
Which brings us to the Saturday’s smart fortwo birthday bash…
The 8 a.m. tip off time will include service, sustenance and schmoozes.
Kansas City Confidential has teamed with smart and Aristocrat on a drawing for a Merriam-based, Rock Candy Boutique/Guitarlamp.com bright-red Flying V Guitar Lamp as grand prize. Second prize is a table for four at Stanford & Son’s Comedy Club at The Legends in KCK. Third prize is a Westport Flea Market burger and fries lunch or dinner for four.
Coffee and donuts will be served for early risers, but the piece d’ resistance will be a prepared on site lunch courtesy of American Royal BBQ champ Jim Schmidt, who just happens to be the service manager for Mercedes, Porsche, Saab, smart and Maserati.
“I’m on the barbecue team Oink, Moo, Cock-A-Doodle-Doo,” Schmidt says. “We’ve won a truckload of ribbons.”
For Saturday’s feed Schmidt will be serving up gourmet hamburgers, hotdogs and brats.
“But it’s all good stuff,” he says. “Because I get a the ground chuck from the Hen House as opposed to the frozen patties most people use. When most people do a high volume like this, everybody goes out and gets the patties.”
Play your cards right and you might even get a BBQ war story or three out of Schmidt.
Like the answer to the question of if there is such a thing as a BBQ groupie at the American Royal.
“Oh yeah, there’s tons of ’em,” Schmidt says.
Looking for what, backstage passes, secret sauce?
“Mostly alcohol,” he says. “They just want to get hammered. Then maybe they’ll go in the camper, but they want to get hammered.”
Schmidt’s favorite local commercial BBQ: “Jack Stack,” he says. “I like their beef ribs, actually. They have a country style beef ribs that is out of this world.”