Monday, May 5, 2014

Spring Hill High School Car Show brings beautiful cars to Saturn country

For most people, Spring Hill, Tenn., is famous for one car—Saturn. Back in the day, the state-of-the-art assembly plant in Spring Hill cranked out hundreds of thousands of these plastic-paneled eco-mobiles to what was at the time a rabid fan base. There were people out there who loved these cars. They loved the no-haggle pricing strategy. They lovd being part of the Saturn family. Don’t believe it? Back in the 1990s, as many as 50,000 Saturn owners and lovers would converge on Spring Hill for the annual Saturn Homecoming shows.

Of course, Saturn is gone now, and the plant now builds Chevy Equinoxes. But that doesn’t mean people still don’t use cars as an excuse to gather here. The Spring Hill High School hosted a huge car show last weekend. And some of the cars there were, dare I say it, even more interesting than Saturns. Plus, the GM Assembly Plant there was the major sponsor of this event. The more things change …

So now, after all that buildup about how General Motors defined this town, it hurts me to say that my favorite car in the show was probably this ’55 Mercury Montclair two-door hardtop. This thing just hit you between the eyes with its Sunglaze paint. Even the yellow engine block looked cool in there. I’m not really sure what’s happening to me, but I’m starting to like these old Mercurys more and more all the time. And when they look like this, it’s even more of a problem.

There were plenty of nice GM cars there, though. Here’s a slick ’72 Monte Carlo. I’m partial to these, because my second car was a ’72 Monte Carlo, and I really liked it. Mine wasn’t as shiny and nice as this one, though, although I did have these ’67 Chevy style centers in my Rally Wheels too. I think this one is Cream Yellow, which is a nice color that almost looks more tan than yellow. It’s very early ‘70s. It had a nice vinyl bench seat, so you could cuddle up to your date while your underwear sweated to the upholstery.

I don’t usually jump on foreign cars here, but I’m going to make an exception with this one. This 1958 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia was a real eye-catcher. Just the overall look of it with its copper paint and wide whitewall tires was irresistible. And these are very good looking little cars anyway. But the condition of this one is what put it over the top. There was nothing on this car, from the engine to the interior, that you could really find any fault with. It may actually be one of my favorite old Volkswagens that I’ve ever seen.

Here’s one of the biggest rat rods I’ve ever seen. It’s made out of a ’57 Mack truck, and it is a beast. There just has to be some level of scariness to driving something like this, although I suppose that’s part of the appeal. Rat rod guys will tell you that they build things that are unique and different, but they normally seem to follow the same formula and aren’t as unique as the builders would like. In this case, there is no denying how unique it is. I know it made me make a double take.

I’m going to call this one out for my dad. It’s a ’55 Oldsmobile Super 88. If he had been with me at this show, I would have said something about it being just an old four door. And he would have fired back with, “four door HARDTOP!” Because, well, he likes these old hardtops. He also likes ‘50s Oldsmobiles, so this would definitely be right in his wheelhouse. It’s Polar White on the front and Glen Green in the back, and it really carries off that ‘50s vibe well. Plus, it’s a nice example of another orphaned GM nameplate, just like the Saturns that were built just next door to this school.

I did a lot of picture clickin’ at this one. There are 400 photos in the slideshow below, or hit this link for a nicer version.

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