Nashville is the center of country music, and home to many big-name country stars. Now, these people do not live in the same neighborhood as I do. Once you sell a few gold records, you can distance yourself from the middle class a bit. I was breathing some rarified air on Saturday when I found myself in the parking lot of Brentwood High School for their annual car show. This pristine school is surrounded by some of the most beautiful Southern homes I’ve ever seen. And the cars that showed up to this event were, well, not your normal Friday night cruise-in standards.
Cool Springs is a very nice suburb south of Nashville. And to go along with the very niceness of the area, the cars are very nice as well. Every Saturday morning, a group of very nice people get together with their very nice cars for their Cars and Coffee event behind the Carmike Theatre. Last Saturday, the only fly in the ointment was me, snapping away with my little camera. And so, here are a few of the cars and trucks that stood out to me. I hope you have a very nice time reading about them.
I’m starting to get settled into Nashville a little bit at this point. You can tell, because I’ve been hitting the local car cruise scene pretty hard the last few days. Friday night it was the Hendersonville Cruise In, which takes place behind the Regal Cinema Theatre. When you drive up to this, it doesn’t seem like there would be a car cruise back there. It’s a busy shopping and restaurant area that is absolutely clogged with oppressive traffic. But once you get behind the theatre, the clouds part, and you are greeted by more than 200 old cars and trucks.
When I was six-years-old, I wandered into the family room while my dad was watching what I considered to be an unbelievable show. There were a couple of guys having a police chase on dirt roads with a bright orange racecar. They slid around turns. They ran into each other. They jumped things with their car. It was the greatest thing I had ever witnessed in my entire life. Of course, dad was watching the pilot episode for The Dukes of Hazzard. And for the next six years, I absolutely had to tune in every Friday night. It was non-negotiable. So it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that today, I watch the Dukes DVDs regularly with my son. Luckily, he likes it as much as I do, so we get along just fine.
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.