Friday, April 11, 2014

You can't lose with the Coach's Cruise

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:

My radar always goes off when there’s a ’67 Corvette, and this one triggered an exceptionally strong signal. This one was mildly modified, with American Racing Torque Thrust wheels and finned valve covers on top of that desirable big block engine. The paint on this thing looked flawless to me, and it just had a great overall presentation. I think six taillights would look cool in this car, but that’s a pretty major modification to make on something this nice, I suppose. Either way, this was my favorite car at the cruise.

Whenever you have a Continental Mark II at a car show, you know it’s going to be one of the stars. These cars managed to pull off a pretty good trick, because they had a big tire hump on the back that was decorated with a 40-lb chrome and gold-plated emblem, and they still managed to look classy and understated. They only sold 1,325 of these in 1956, and 444 of them in 1957, so seeing one really is a rare treat. This was a great car—not too nice that you couldn’t use it, but nice enough that it outclassed most everything around it.

We are close to Nashville, after all, so here’s a Nash for you. This little salmon and white Metropolitan was as cute as could be, and just big enough that you might think you could gobble it up like a gumdrop. They made these for several years, and I have never been able to tell them apart. But even though the years aren’t that distinctive, the cars certainly are. There is never anything else like these at a car cruise, unless another Met shows up.

I can tell you that this Thunderbird was a ’63, however, and as you can see, it drew quite a crowd. It appeared that might have been its debut showing, because everyone was very interested in it. And why wouldn’t they be? This was a neat car with an immaculate restoration. The interiors on these with their wrap-around seats and dashboard, swing-out steering wheel, and chrome accents were pure artwork. And those jet-engine-inspired taillights and aircraft design encompassed everything that was good about early 1960s design.

This ’55 Chevy Bel Air two-door sedan was a buttoned-up little car. It was finished off in a pretty color of yellow, and everything pointed to it being an old car that would be good to take on a trip. It had the right hot rod hardware—namely a Chevy small block with finned Chevrolet valve covers and three carburetors, all hitched up to a floor-shifted four-speed transmission. It also had a hang-on air conditioning system to combat those humid summer days.

See all the cars from the Coach's Eastgate cruise in the slideshow below, or click this link for a nicer version.

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