I decided to try something different this year at the Fall Redneck Rumble in Lebanon, Tenn. Instead of just parking my truck out there, I loaded it up with junk to sell at the swap meet. It was fun … for a while. I moved a little stuff. I talked to all kinds of people about the truck, my merchandise, and anything else that came to mind. I really did enjoy it. But then, around lunchtime, the rain started pouring down in buckets, just as the weatherman had predicted. I closed up shop and set out to take pictures. Unfortunately, many of the show cars I saw when I came in had already left because of the weather. There were still enough out there to make a good story, though. Some of those rat rod guys aren’t going to let a little water bother them!
Just on a whim, BHo and I decided to take a Saturday swing by the 35th-Annual Bowen Campbell Auto Expo at Moss-Wright Park in Goodlettsville. And I’ve got to tell you, this was one of the best car shows I’ve been to in a long time. I mean, I really liked this one. They had 39 classes of cars, but they pretty much all had one thing in common. They were nice. Sometimes when there are this many cars in one place, you’re going to wind up with a bunch of stinkers. Not here. The only real complaint is that it turned out to be a little more hot and humid than I think most people were expecting. But that’s a small price to pay to see a show like this.
Here’s the basic recipe for building a typical modern street rod. Take a pre-1949 car. Under the hood you’ll have an aluminum radiator, electric fan, fuel-injected Chevy crate engine, Vintage Air compressor, modern master cylinder, and an Optima battery. This will all be sitting on a sub-frame with modern suspension components, power disc brakes, and a set of aluminum-finish American Racing Torque Thrust wheels or something similar. Inside, look for a modern seat recovered in tweed or leather, molded door panels, new gauges in a billet aluminum bezel, an aftermarket steering wheel, modern stereo, and an automatic transmission shifter coming out of the floor. Outside, expect to see shiny paint, less chrome, some kind of painted or air brushed graphics, Halogen headlights, and LED taillights. Why is this combination of components so popular? It’s the same reason there were 3,500 (!) of them at the 42nd-annual Frog Follies Car Show in Evansville, Indiana. They’re enjoyable, they’re reliable, and they allow you to ride in new-car-comfort with old-car-style.
Former president Jimmy Carter was spotted on Tuesday night checking out all the great rides at Hot Rods on Beale Street. That’s the power of staging a car cruise on one of the most iconic streets in America--you never know who might show up. And why wouldn’t they? This is one of the most exciting, highly charged car events I’ve ever been to. It’s more like a big street party. Sure, the cars are great, but it’s the food, the music, and the people that make this one special. That doesn’t mean I’m going to ignore the cars, though. As usual, I snapped and bunch of pictures and have a few opinions on several of my favorites.
It’s county fair season, and folks around Nashville know that the Wilson County Fair is one of the biggest around. Even better, the AACA holds a big car show at the Wilson County Fair each year, so that makes it a must-attend event as far as I’m concerned. Attendance was down this year because it rained quite a bit in the morning, but the muddy conditions moved the show from the grassy field to the pavement surrounding the buildings. This turned out to be a pretty popular move, and it put the car show front-and-center among fair attendees. These AACA shows always draw a high-quality selection of show vehicles, and this event was no different. Let’s take a look at a few of the standouts.
On-and-off rain and overcast skies are not what you want on the night of your car cruise, but unfortunately, we can’t control the weather. The Hendersonville Cruise-In made the most of those conditions Friday night. Sure, the car count was a bit down, but the rain actually held off for the most part, and the cooler temperatures were a welcome change. You can always tell the die-hards on a night like this, and there were more Logan’s Roadhouse peanuts to go around for everyone. If you were one of the unfortunate majority that didn’t make this one, I suppose I’ll fill you in on some of the nice rides you missed.
I was recently back in Kansas City, so naturally I had to get some car thing in. This time dad and stopped by KC Classic Auto, something that we’ve done many times in the past 25 years. Cars may come and go here, but the atmosphere always stays the same. The place is as grungy as ever. A guy always chases you down to get a dollar to look at the cars. Most of what’s there is decent, but not Concourse-quality. And yet, every once in a while, you find a gem. In a world of change, KC Classic Auto remains the same. I think that’s what I like about it. Not everything needs to be the latest and greatest. Sometimes you just need a place like this.
My work schedule requires that I stay a few days a week in Southaven, Miss. As luck would have it, the Rev’n Rods and Heartland Music Tour made a stop at the Landers Center, just a few miles from my hotel. This was a touring series that made stops in six different cities. It actually was a pretty big event, with a fancy stage, a food tent for participants, and several big-name vendor displays like GM Performance Parts and Meguiar's. After the car show, everyone had a chance to go to a Restless Heart concert. The car show attendance was OK, not huge, but about as good as you can expect from a Monday afternoon car show on a 100-degree day.