Monday, June 30, 2014

2nd-Annual Auto Fair at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville brought hot rods to the high banks

Once a month, there is a big flea market at the Nashville Fairgrounds. We went to that on Saturday, and it really is enormous. But just as we thought we couldn’t take another step, it was time to pass through the gate of the Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, where they were holding Auto Fair, a car show, swap meet, and track day for local enthusiasts. Morning rains and hot, humid conditions probably kept some participants at home, but those that were there seemed to be having a good time in the pits of the historic speed plant.

I never saw this one actually go out on the track, but if it were up to me, this would be the one I would want to drive home. This Tuxedo Black-over-silver ’66 Impala Super Sport was as nice as they come. You just don’t get this much black paint this straight on accident. It had a 325-hp 396 big block with a four speed. Even the wire wheel covers looked good on this one. The only thing it was really missing was air conditioning. But hey, this car was still “cool” without it.

This ’56 Chevy One-Fifty was another good one. The colors are Onyx Black over India Ivory, and like the ’66, this car was straight as an arrow. The wide rally wheels and late-‘60s police car hubcaps weren’t exactly period correct here, but they gave the old Chevy a menacing stance. As impressive as this car looked, it would have been a bargain basement special in 1956. The One-Fifty was on the bottom rung of the ladder, and this one didn’t even have a V8 beneath the hood bird. But when you look at it today, this car is really a standout.

The big draw with this event it that participants had the opportunity to experience the high banks by cruising around the track. Some of them took advantage of that more than others. As you might expect, the owner of this ’66 Chevelle was one of them. This car would have probably been a fairly rough start for a full restoration, but the Smokey Yunick street-legal stock car look was a neat alternative. This old thing looked like it would be a lot of fun to me. I’ll bet it draws more attention than many shiny Chevelles.

Believe it or not, the beat up AAR ‘Cuda and Model T pickup rat rod are lined up like this because they were being filmed for a movie. Throughout its history, Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway has been the backdrop for several movies, and that tradition continues today. There were signs around that said if you were on the premises, you were giving your consent to be in the movie. So if you ever see whatever this is, look for me in the background. That dude driving the truck is pretty dang cool, ain’t he?

There was also a small swap meet (as if the flea market wasn’t enough!), racing vehicles, and a live band at this thing. Honestly, at $15-a-head it was a little pricey to get in for no more than was there. But it was in a great location, and everyone likes the sound of hot rods in action. I’m always happy when I get to spend time at an asphalt oval track, and this one has some pretty good memories for me, so I felt pretty comfortable here. It actually made me more excited to get out here and see some late models in action.

You can’t hear the cars, but you can see what was there without dealing with the weather. Just check out the slideshow below, or click this link for a nicer version.

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