Monday, September 30, 2013

West Bottoms Car Show rises from the dead

Last May, the folks down in the West Bottoms decided to throw a car show.  The expectations weren’t all that great; maybe they’d get 20 or 30 cars.  But it turned out to be one of the biggest car gatherings of the year.  So when organizers decided to hold another one last Saturday, they thought it would be a sure-fire hit.  They must have handed out 100,000 flyers.  They had vendors and contests lined up.  There’s no way it could have missed.

And then there was that weather forecast.  All week, chief meteorologists all over town warned of intense rain.  And when Saturday morning rolled around, their predictions proved to be true.  By later in the afternoon, things started to dry up, but there’s no way that a car show can completely overcome such dire conditions.  Still, even with it being a much smaller turnout than the first go-round, they still got a nice selection of cars and trucks for us to check out.

This ’58 Chevy Biscayne two-door had some curb appeal.  It wasn’t perfect, or highly customized, but it looks like something a younger guy would have been driving in the mid-‘60s.  The front wheels sort of sat under it like it was still being driven hard.  It had been nosed, decked, and wore a set of old American Racing-style mag wheels.  1958 Chevrolets almost always look good.  From the Cadillac-like Impala to a more basic car like this, they lend themselves to all kinds of different styles.

This might be more of a personal observation, but this Camaro Z28 stood out to me.  Back when they completely restyled the Camaro in 1982, my dad took out a Z28 exactly like this as a company car.  I mean, it was the same color, no T-tops, the whole deal.  I was nine when this showed up, and needless to say, I was impressed.  They were just so cool, and sat so low—this wasn’t like a Caprice wagon!  Even when I was relegated to the back during family outings, I was happy.  I had my own, kid-sized bucket seat back there.  This was a pretty nice car, but it’s hard to imagine how amazing it really was 30-years ago.

This was a pretty neat ’66 Ford Galaxie 500 two-door hardtop.  The rubbed-through paint looked original, and it was exceptionally nice inside.  This was a 390 car, but my dad seemed to think the hood ornament was part of the 7-litre package.  These also has some great wheel covers that look just like aluminum mag wheels.  Rarely has a hubcap replicated the real thing as effectively.   These cars had a solid, almost brick-like aura about them that suggests quality.  Plus, you don’t see that many of them around.

This (1941-’42?) Ford COE truck drew a bunch of attention.  Well, it was a COE.  That moniker meant “cab over engine,” but in this case, the engine was in the back.  With those huge tires and that big old hot rod mill, when you looked in the back it sort of looked like someone was building a drag car in a storage shed.  This thing was creative, and obviously a lot of work.  And it definitely matched the vibe of this event.

So in spite of the weather, everyone that did show up really seemed to be having a good time.  Half of the people hanging around there were dressed up for the zombie contest, so they showed up to have fun.  And as usual, I took some car pictures.  Check them out in the slideshow below, or click this link for a better version.


  1. Thanks for the great write up Craig.. & Thanks for all that braved the rain to come down to our show. The show is put on by Rust Metal productions.. or We are already working on next yrs show, swap meets & rusty metal car club... of course we will let you be the 1st to know craig..
    Hope all had fun.......Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Too bad about the weather, but you guys made the best of it!