Tuesday, May 13, 2014

American Pickers, a vintage auto factory, and a car cruise at Marathon Village

Every other Sunday, there’s a really small car cruise in Nashville, but the location is cool enough that it should be bigger. It take place at the Marathon Village. And if you like cars or antiques, this is a place you need to check out. You see, Marathon Village is actually an old factory that built a car called the Marathon from 1907 to 1914. It’s also the site of Antique Archaeology, which is the store Featured on American Pickers on the History Channel. Add all the little shops and the overwhelming sense of history, and you have a must-attend event.

Here’s a ’65 Falcon Futura station wagon that seemed like a pretty decent little car. Of course, in 1965 the Mustang was all the rage, but these Falcons were fundamentally the same under the skin. They even carried the Mustang color palette. In this case, you’re looking at Champagne Beige. Sounds pretty fancy, eh? This one had some modern, Torque Thrust type wheels to spice things up. This was just kind of a nice little family hauler, and something a little different.

You know I love my Midyear Corvettes. Here’s a ’64 in the most desirable color. My dad actually used to own a red ’64 Corvette convertible. I’ve only seen pictures of it, but here’s my chance to see it in the flesh. Most people seem to ditch the factory wheel covers for knockoff aluminum wheels, so that makes it a little unique. Someone has added modern gauges, a smaller steering wheel, and an aftermarket shifter, so all is not the way it left the St. Louis Assembly Plant.

This ’54 Chevrolet pickup was a pretty nice little rig. They built these “Advanced Design” trucks back into the ‘40s, but the grille was changed in ’54. They carried this design into 1955, with some early trucks looking just like this. “Late Series” ’55 Chevy trucks were much different and at the time considerably more modern than this. This is your typical satin black affair with a beautiful chrome grille and Tiki-style skull pinstriping. It was far from a rat rod, though. The wheels, stance, and quality of work put this right in the finished hot rod category.

The Marathon factories are pretty fascinating even without a car show. The buildings are original, and still have their old wooden floors and interesting fixtures. Several vintage photos and literature from the Marathon Automobile Works hang on the walls. They even have a small museum that features some actual Marathon cars. To be honest, I doubt I could have even told you this car company existed, so it was fun to learn about something new.

I took a few pictures for ya’ while I was there. You can see them in the slideshow below, or click this link for a nicer version.

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