Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Surprise cruise at the Mt. Juliet Chick-fil-A

Normally I go out of my way to find car events, but sometimes I find them by accident. Such was the case Saturday night when we went to see How to Train Your Dragon 2 in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., and just happened upon the Mt. Juliet Cruise-In in the Chick-fil-A parking lot. I do like going to the movies, but when I get to see a car show before I go into the movie theatre, well, that’s pretty hard to beat. And although this wasn’t the biggest event I’ve been to, the quality made up for the quantity. Here’s some of the good stuff.

For obvious reasons, I tend to hone in on this style of truck, and there were three of them at this cruise. This short bed ’62 caught my eye in particular. This was about as desirable as one of these trucks can come. It was a genuine Custom Cab, it had the big back window, it had a rare automatic transmission, and it was powered by a 283 V8. This truck was mostly original, with a little paint here, new bed wood there. For the most part, it was as delivered, though. ’62 was the last year that these trucks had the torsion bar front suspension. After this, they all got coils.

I’m not sure how long this little Ford roadster has been done, but it looks like quite a while. It had a lot of the good stuff, like the cut-down windshield, Offenhauser valve covers on an old Chevy V8, vintage Stewart Warner gauges, and even an early Corvette gear shift and plate. The Hot Rod Super Nationals door art from 1982 also a pretty neat touch. These days, guys build hot rods like this to look old. But usually, their efforts don’t look quite this authentic.

This ’63 Impala was sort of an unlikely car to be this nice. It wasn’t an SS, it didn’t have fancy wheel covers, and there weren’t many options or accessories. It was just a pretty red coupe with a red bench seat and a 283 V8. But it was just as nice and neat at a pin. This might not be a muscle car, but it would be ideal for driving to the local car cruise like this in leisurely style and comfort. I really liked this car not for what it was, but for what it wasn’t.

It isn’t often that I would call out a ’58 Ford Custom 300 four door sedan, but this was an exceptionally nice one. Someone had done the kind of high-quality restoration on this car that would normally be reserved for something like a Skyliner retractable hardtop. From the paint to the interior, this was a real standout. This was a fairly basic car with little hubcaps and no side mirror. But it did have a V8, heater, and wide whitewalls. For a car that would normally be easy to overlook, this one sure had some curb appeal.

I enjoyed spending some time on a nice night checking out a fun little cruise. I also brought home 92 pictures (which I took with my wife’s camera!), and you can see them in the slideshow below. Or, click this link for a nicer version.