My wife and son were in town last weekend to visit during our transition from Kansas City to Nashville for my new job. Saturday morning, I asked them if they wanted to check out my office at the Adesa Nashville Auction on our way out to look at some houses. Of course, I had no idea that they were having a classic car auction at that very time. No idea at all. I hadn’t noticed all the old cars showing up during the week, or the signs and posters that were hanging all over. And I really don’t know where those three visitor passes came from that were in my pocket. It was a complete surprise. But while we were there, I figured I had better take a few pictures. Good thing I happened to have my camera.
I’ve told you repeatedly how much I love Corvettes. I find them at car shows and auctions all the time. I’ve been to Corvette-only events. I’ve written test drive reports about them. But I’ve never been to the mecca of Corvettes. Until now. The National Corvette Museum is only about an hour north of Nashville in Bowling Green, Ky. Once I figured that out, it didn’t take me long to get there. You probably know that this museum has been in the news quite a bit lately because of the sinkhole that swallowed up a few of the Corvettes on display. But I can tell you that there’s a lot more to this museum than that.
One of the most important parts of going to a new city is checking out the local racetracks. Nashville is in the heart of racing country, so it stands to reason that there would be some great racing here. Highland Rim Speedway in Greenbrier, Tenn., is a perfect example. This is a little bitty track—only a quarter-mile around. But it packs in some big action. This is a textbook example of what grassroots racing is all about. Close quarters, fast cars, and competitive drivers make this a must-see Saturday destination throughout the summer.
Thursday night I went to a nice little car cruise at Coach's Eastgate Bar and Grill in Lebanon, Tenn. It had to be a little cruise, because there isn’t much room there for cars to park. But don’t let the size fool you. They had some nice cars, and Coach's does it up big. They had a parking attendant, music, awards, and much more. This was a fun, casual event. I’m glad I made my way over there to check out cars like these:
I might not be completely with it as far as the car show scene here in Nashville yet, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find some interesting old rides to look at. Last night I stopped in at Maple Motors in Henersonville, and there were quite a few things to check out at this family-owned business. For some 30 years, Jim Fite and his family have been selling affordable, driver-quality classics from this location. You might not find many councours-quality rides here, but if you’re looking for a fun car to take to the local cruise-ins, this is your place.
My journey to my new position with General Motors in Nashville began with a whirlwind day-and-a-half orientation session at GM’s world headquarters in Detroit, Mich. That massive structure of seven meticulous skyscrapers is called the Renaissance Center, or “RenCen” as it is known by insiders. Not only does it house the GM offices, but it contains a downtown shopping district that includes storefronts, a food court, a Marriott hotel, and a movie theatre. I've had the opportunity to check out the RenCen a few times during my travels to the Motor City, and it really is as impressive as the pictures on the news makes it seem.
When I first moved to Kansas City in the 1980s, one of the first places we visited was KC Classic Auto Display in Lenexa. My dad and I were always on the lookout for old cars, and they had a bunch of them in the old industrial warehouse off 435. The place is pretty fun to look through, as they always have a fun mix of both high-end and affordable cars in their inventory. As I’m nearing the end of my time here in Kansas City, my dad and I decided to take one last visit and check out what’s on sale now.
There was a time when Cadillacs did not compete with cars like Mercedes and BMW. They had rivals like Lincoln and Packard. But even among their peer group, they stood alone. If you bought the best watch or refrigerator or lawn mower money could buy, someone would call it “the Cadillac of lawn mowers.” That’s because Cadillacs were the best, both in perception and reality. They were the most luxurious. They were the most technologically advanced. They were the most stylish. And in many cases, they were the biggest.