Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Art's Corvettes isn't all Corvettes

For car aficionados, Bowling Green, Ky., is known for the National Corvette Museum and the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant. But if you can divert your gaze away from the museum for a moment, you may notice Art’s Corvettes, a classic car dealership that’s located right across the street. The location and name of this place might fool you, because there is a lot more here than just Corvettes. Art’s is an equal opportunity old car peddler, featuring everything from Chevys to Fords. I took a look inside the other day, and here’s some of the good stuff.

As ’55 Chevys go, this is about as good as it gets. It’s a Bel Air convertible, which we all know is the one to have. Gypsy Red and Shoreline Beige is easily the most popular color. And I had a very hard time finding anything to pick apart on this example. This was the first year for the Tri-Fives. It was the first year for the small-block Chevy V8. And it’s the first year many people look at when they’re trying to find their dream car. If you’re looking for the quintessential 1950s Chevrolet, here it is.

I kind of liked this big, old tank. It’s a ’53 Buick Special four-door sedan. This is far from the most desirable body style, but for what it is, it’s pretty cool. This would be sort of a practical cruiser. Someone hung some aftermarket Vintage Air in there, so the spacious cabin will stay pretty cool on hot days. The restoration was good, but not so good that you’d be afraid to drive it. Plus, the “Fireball” straight-six between the portholes would be economical to run. OK, probably not. But it would use less fuel than a Fireball straight-eight!

This ’56 Ford Victoria two-door hardtop was awfully pretty. The colors are Fiesta Red and Colonial White, which is pretty hard to beat. The wire wheel covers are a must-have on one of these. I also liked the correct baroque seat inserts. You tend to see more Chevys around, and if this were a ’56 Bel Air in this condition they would surely be asking more than $39,000, but it’s still nice to see these old Fords. But the 312-c.i. V8 in these wasn’t too bad either. This car would draw plenty of attention at the local car cruise.

Hey, MOPAR guys! Here’s a ’68 Dodge Charger for ya’. This one is rendered in Light Blue Poly with black vinyl. No, it doesn’t have a Hemi, but that 383 was a pretty good plant and probably more streetable. The air cleaner was installed so the letters were upside down, which was kind of freaking me out. This car was good; not perfect, but good. There are a lot of Bullit fans out there, so you can bet this is someone’s dream car. They probably wouldn’t treat this one as harshly as those bad guys treated theirs, though. $35,000 takes it.

The place is called Art’s Corvettes, so as you can imagine, they had several. The most expensive car in the place was this $125,000 ’57 model. Colors are Onyx Black with Inca Silver coves and Venetian Red guts. That’s a combo that’s hard to beat. 1957 was the first year for Chevrolet’s mechanical fuel injection, and this car has that rare option, no doubt contributing to the lofty asking price. The whitewalls looked a little wide to my eyes, though. Anyway, this is a highly desirable Corvette right in the heart of Corvette country.

There were quite a few interesting cars on display at Art’s Corvettes. They charged me five bucks to go through there, but you can see them for free. Just check out the slideshow below, or click this link for a nicer version.