The 2016 Nashville Auto Fest was the latest in a quarter-century of winter car shows at the historic Nashville Fairgrounds. Participants came from all over the Mid-South to show off a great selection of hot rods, classics, and muscle cars. This is my second year in Nashville, and my second Auto Fest, so I liked it enough to make it two-for-two. And why wouldn’t I? Winter gets to be pretty long when there are no cars to go check out. This event is definitely highlighted on my calendar. I just wish they had one every week!
The 5th-Annual Tennessee Motorama opened up at 10:00 a.m., which was right about the time we pulled into the parking lot. Already, there was a quarter-mile-long line of guys standing at the door waiting to get in. Clearly, people are ready for some kind of old car action. All it takes is a modest indoor car show and swap meet to bring everyone out of hibernation. And as each one of them plunked down their ten-dollar admission, they were greeted to a number of interesting cars and potential treasures in the Mid-Tenn Expo Center in Murfreesboro. Don’t let the ritzy Park Avenue address fool you. This place was down-to-earth enough to host a few rat rods on a nice January day.
They don’t hold many car shows once winter comes along, so you have to find the old cars where you can. Luckily, St. Louis-based Gateway Classic Cars opened up a showroom in Nashville this year, so you can check out the inventory in indoor comfort. The large, well-lighted showroom offers a nice selection of mostly driver-quality classics, and if you find something you like, they’ll be happy to sell it to you. The inventory is always changing, so just because you see something here doesn’t mean it hasn’t already been sold and replaced. Let’s take a look at some of the stuff that was available during my recent visit.
I hate to admit this, but I’m so far behind writing these stories that I’m more than a month in the rears on some of them. Unfortunately, that’s the case with this Mt. Juliet Chick-fil-A Cruise coverage, which was all the way back on October 9. That’s not the cruise’s fault, though. There were lots of great cars, fun people, and tasty chicken sandwiches. But don’t worry. Eventually, I get to everything I take pictures of. So, better late than never, let’s get into last month’s jam-packed cruise with the world’s crabbiest D.J.
November means auto show season in Nashville, so we headed out to the Music City Center last weekend for the 2015 Nashville International Auto Show. This is one of the smallest new car shows I think I’ve ever been to. It also boggles my mind that Elvis’ Solid Gold Cadillac is on display just down the street from here at the Country Music Hall of Fame, and there was not one trace of Cadillac at this show. There were also quite a few more cars than I have pictured, but I made the determination that they were not interesting enough to feature. If you want to see Hyundais and Hondas and stuff like that, you’ll have to hit this show yourself next year. If you like sports cars and American pickups, you’re in the right place.
I’ve been a little behind on my write-ups here lately, but I’m finally getting around to putting this story together on the final cruise of the year at the Fontanel Mansion. I actually hate it when this one ends. The Fontanel is one of the nicest locations for a car cruise in town. There’s beautiful scenery. There’s plenty of stuff to eat. There’s live music. Even my wife likes going to this cruise. We took the truck out this time, and it turned out to be a great night for it. Unfortunately, my camera finally died forever about half-way through the show, so many of these pictures were taken with my cell phone. You can generally make out car shapes in most of them, so at least they’ll give you an idea.
Who would have guessed that moving to Tennessee would bring me this close to a TV show that I used to watch as a kid in the ‘80s. But it seems like there’s a little Dukes of Hazzard influence all over the place here. Why, just last weekend I took my family to the annual Hazzard Run. Sure, I loved watching the Dukes of Hazzard. But I never owned a General Lee, or a Rosco P. Coltrane police car, or a Daisy Duke Roadrunner. These folks are serious about this. But that’s alright by me. My son and I still enjoy watching this silly, simple show today. And it might be a little nerdy, but we have fun seeing the cars and stars of this little slice of pop culture as they make their rounds of the Nashville area.
For 28 years, the Exchange Club has been hosting their annual car show, and when I found out it was at McKendree Village in Hermitage, just five minutes from my house, you can bet that I was in. Not only was it convenient, but it had a bunch of nice cars. And not only did it have nice cars, but it had nice weather. And not only did it have nice weather, but it raised money for the Exchange Club, which helps abused kids. This is the kind of situation that’s impossible to pass up. Of course, if you couldn’t make it, don’t worry. I’ll show you some of the stuff that was there in this story, and you can make sure to attend the 29th-Annual Exchange Club Car Show next year.