Monday, September 15, 2014

Music Valley Cruise-In was about as Nashville as it gets

When you want to visit a really touristy, Nashville location, the Music Valley area is a good place to stop. This is near everything from the Opryland Mall, to Cooter’s Place, to the Opryland Hotel, to go-kart racing, to any number of bars and restaurants. While we were there, we went in to eat at the Nashville Palace, which is about as representative of Nashville as any place we’ve visited since we’ve been here. We watched John England and the Western Swingers. They were a little group of country musicians that all had incredibly impressive resumes. They were great. Oh, and the cars were too.

Here’s a pretty neat ’72 Firebird Formula 400. 1972 was pretty much at the end of the golden age of muscle cars, but Pontiac was still producing some pretty potent stuff. The Formula 400 was pushing out at least 250-hp from its 400-c.i. V8. This one was particularly attractive in Sundance Orange with a black stripe and black vinyl interior. You don’t see as many of these as the later, Smokey and the Bandit, Screaming Chicken Trans-Am variety, but I think these early second-generation Firebirds are looking better all the time.

The Voodoo Kings is a car club that claims to be traditional, and for the most part, they are. As most traditional stuff goes today, they take what was done in the ‘50s and sort of take it to a new level. Take this ‘58/’59 Chevy pickup. I still read old custom car rags from the ‘50s, and I can’t remember having seen many hopped up trucks that were this long and low, and they certainly didn’t have Chevy big blocks under their hoods. But it is definitely an attention-getter, and easily fits in with the 2014 definition of “traditional.” They may not do things exactly like they did back in the day, but I’m sure they’re having just as much fun.

I think I’ve written about this 1964 Mercury Park Lane S-55 before, but it’s worth a revisit. The S-55 was Mercury’s answer to the Ford XL, which was a fancier, sportier version of the Galaxie. This one was really striking with its two-tone blue interior and chrome-drenched dashboard. The horn button had “XXV” featured in it, commemorating the 25th-anniversary of the Mercury brand. You see this car around town quite a bit, but it never shows any wear. You wouldn’t think that a ’64 Mercury with wire wheel covers would have this much appeal, but this one sure does.

This car show took place behind Cooter’s Place. I have written about it before, but it’s basically a museum full of Dukes of Hazzard memorabilia, owned by Cooter himself, actor Ben Jones. I stopped and took a picture of my old truck next to Cooter’s tow truck and the General Lee, which are on display in front of the store. I don’t think I can say much more than the picture conveys, but just look at the awesomeness right there. When my old truck was sitting on the street in Harvard, Nebr., I’ll bet it never thought it’d get to meet Cooter’s tow truck.

There are 123 pictures in the slideshow below. Click this link for a better version.

23 comments:

  1. Well Mr Hover judging the VooDoo Kings by one vehicle makes as much sense as my, as an automotive journalist whose been published in 9 different printed magazines, slamming your Blog after reading only one article. Why pick the least traditional of the three vehicles in the show to base your opinion on? Myself, I would've talked to the owner and asked questions. I might have found out actual facts like the fact that the owner John Cook met us (The VooDoo Kings) nearly one year ago to the day. John showed an interest in the club and preceded to hang out with the members and find out more about what it would take to someday become a member himself. We all like John from the first day we met him and immediately invited him to become a prospect. Other things you might learn about John, and my self if I had been there, is we had no real direction with our vehicles before joining the club. It doesn't take long after hanging with these guys to get the itch to transform your pride and joy into something more. John has had his truck down all winter making improvements, one being the replacement of the barbed wire grille that used to call the truck home to a more "traditional" grille, with John's own twist. You might have found out quite a bit more about John, his truck and the club,,,,, instead you were driven by opinion.... and we all know the old saying about that!

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    1. I don't think I said anything bad about the club or that truck. I've been around this stuff for a long time--I'm pretty sure I understand what it's all about.

      Of course my comments are driven by opinion. This is my personal car blog, not Consumer Reports. Everything I choose to write about is because there was something that stood out to me. I'm not getting paid to do this. I go to car shows. I take pictures and look at cars. I go home and look back at the pictures and find things I want to write about. It's my hobby, and some people enjoy the articles.

      Nine printed magazines ... congrats.

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    2. I never comment, but I neeed to now. Craig recently moved to Tennessee from Kansas CIty. He wrote these articles about car shows in kc for years. I don't know him personally, but I always saw him at the car shows. This website was one of the best things that ever happenend to the kc car scene, it was a shame to see him go. Everybody misses him here and you are lucky to have him so don't be too critical, you'll be glad he's there. And don't be too defensive about your club, he didn't say anything bad that I can see.

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    3. Thanks, I miss you guys too. :-)

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  2. The Voodoo Kings Kustom Car Club is a pre 1963 traditional style, Billet proof, custom car club. We do not promote club as a strictly traditional type club. We build our customs to drive rain sleet and snow, appearing at many shows in other states, no trailer queens or rain dodgers. We appreciate your show coverage for this first time cruise in and mentioning our custom car club, pack a bag and come to our show the Voodoo Hoodoo #4 October 3rd and 4th exit 22 Bowling Green at the Super 8 hotel. Sure you will enjoy . VDKKCC...

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    1. Thanks for visiting. We enjoyed the show.

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  3. I've been building hot rods for 50 years and reading this Website for a long time. The guy Craig that writes these knows his stuff. There's alot of old guys who were there who don't know as much as him about these cars. We were always honored when he picked our cars to write something about. I think he's right on the money about that truck

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    1. You give me too much credit, but I appreciate it.

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    2. This is not a question of whether someone "knows there stuff" or not and no one here is questioning his knowledge. This is an instance where someone worked their butt off through the entire winter, sometimes having to make time where there was no free time. A guy had a vision of what was with in his reach to improve on his truck. He spent many long nights on the concrete floor and finally put the truck back together in a much better state. That's what hot rodding is all about! Right after getting everything buttoned up and drivable, John was able to make the first outing with fellow club members. John's truck like a lot of others in all the chapters are a work in progress. Then you read this blog and no you didn't say anything bad. You didn't say anything good either. My comment to you was not about that, though. The whole point was totally overlooked because it became a question of your knowledge. I don't question that. No one can just make a decision about someone else's knowledge just by one event. That's absurd to even suggest that. I'm trying to tell you because I see both sides of this. If you had taken the time to talk to John and find out more information about his truck there's a much better story than you realize. If you're happy with moving into a new area, then walking around shooting pictures and then sit at home a write out stories based on you being the end-all know-all in all things automotive.... instead of taking a golden opportunity to meet the locals... how do you come off saying this is as Nashville as it gets? I'm not trying to do the same thing you are and act like I already know it all. No Sir. I'm trying to understand why you would did what you did and then have the nerve to act like it's ok. I have lived in nearby Murfreesboro all of my 53 years. Mine and my wife's families go back 10 generations in that very same area but My God we've never talked down to anyone like they don't even know what they're doing. I think you just need to remember the old saying "If you don't have anything GOOD to say, it's better to say nothing at all". You did get one thing absolutely right. We're having fun!!!

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    3. I've taken pictures and written little stories at 500 car shows. This is the first time I've ever regretted writing about a car. Sorry I didn't put together a story that meets your approval. Didn't mean to offend. I try, but obviously what I'm doing isn't going to appeal to everybody.

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    4. I’m going out to get me one of those 9 printed published articles. This guy PB Jelly or Bpate (who ever he is) has probably done more to hurt the VOODoo kings club than he realizes. Craig there was a lot of beautiful cars at this event and that truck looks like it had a lot of the owner’s time and personality in it. Most likely a blast to drive, have fun with but not too much (who’s definition) traditional that I saw. Unfortunately there’s always a whiner or two and it looks like we found one or two in the VooDoo club. If these guys were concerned about the club and wanted to promote it, they have picked on the wrong guy. Craig Hover has done so much in the past and is always promoting the hobby of cars, shows and automotive events for many years and always enjoys the people, cars and takes hiundreds of pics and writes about it. You whiners need to back off and take advantage of what Craig does and will do for the club by inviting him the next club event.

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  4. Great pics, always.

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  5. Wow... a lot of crying back and forth. I think you all got way out of hand here. Yes, the VooDoo Kings are a traditional club, traditional with a twist. Currently there is chapters in 5 states - says something about the club if you ask me. These guys are a bunch of fun loving guys who work very hard at their day jobs, supporting their families and like to get together to have fun with the rest of the club members. No one makes money at this, in fact, it costs most of them some good coin to make their rides the way they want them, their PERSONAL mark on the car club scene. I think we all need to stand down and just get along. One man's opinion does not make it so. This scene is suppose to be fun and enjoyable for all, adults and kids alike. Let's keep it that way!!

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  6. BPate is a douche. Perhaps an "in depth" story was next on his list, picking out 1 or several cars to get the background on the cars and the owners.

    Seems like you got and in your vagina and are a bit irritated that Craig didn't bow down to the VooDoo car club. You did more to hurt the club than to help it. There's always a "BPate" in every club...

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  7. Wow--one thing about car folks ... they're passionate! Look, BPate clearly doesn't care for the way I put this story together. He's entitled to his opinion. I never said I was trying to be the last word on anything here. I'm just a hack who writes little recaps of my car show observations because that's what I enjoy doing. And I really, genuinely appreciate the idea that some people like to come here and read what I write. But I know there are places you can go for more in-depth coverage. If that's what you like, by all means, go check them out. I've got a formula here that works for me, so that's probably the way I'll keep handling things.

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  8. Gosh Craig, I almost didn't read the comment section this time. It amazes me that you obviously have that unusual talent to light up and brighten the car scene in the Nashville Area without even realizing it. As for me, you always brighten up my day with your interesting and unobtrusive postings. I sure like them......................RogerG.....Grotewold Motor Co...........Larchwood, Iowa

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  9. One other quick comment, Craig. I went back to your article and as I read it, I looked at the Chevy Truck in question and it seemed to me that you were complimentary towards the club and truck owner in a most positive manner. Hang in there, Craig, and KEEP ON TRUCKIN as the saying goes............RogerG

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  10. Every car owner has pride in their ride.....there is passion all over the world...not just in the Nashville area or a five state club. We all work hard to accomplish what we desire. Money wasn't handed to many of us....to build our dream car. It has been a life time dream and project, spending hard earned dollars to get there....wherever there is! It is about the appreciation and the recognition to even have ones car/vehicle as a topic of conversation. Great to been seen should be the honor in itself and not a bogus controversy over the unharmless content of free world speech. There was nothing mentioned from my view at all. Like said by others.....the negative garb made me want to judge and I have absolutely no stake in any of this blog. I do enjoy the opportunity to see cars and read the blogs and take nothing to bed with me that makes me comment in a negative manner. Life is too short. I beleive Craig will get to know his place and the suggestion goes both ways! Peace.......chill out!!! You will sleep better "BPate" and look less like a fool!

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  11. Amazing. Craig picks a VooDoo car to highlight, compliments it, and some fukkin nimrod misinterprets and bashs Craig? BTW BPate's 9 magazine appearances are for pics he submitted, I haven't seen any actual articles. For him. Craig - keep on keepin on you rabble rouser.

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  12. Arguing on the internet is like competing in the Special Olympics. Win or lose, you are still retarded.

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  13. I was transferred to Franklin four weeks ago to work on a long term construction project. Looking for something to do, I was traveling to Highland Rim race track yesterday evening and was passed by a cooler'n Hell Chevy truck, it had a Voodoo Kings club plate flying in the wind below the tail gate. I punched in Voodoo Kings on the browser and up came this thread. Two years after it was written, Mr. Hoover's efforts are appreciated, and the efforts of Mr. Cook to put that truck together even more so. If that is what the Voodoo Kings are about, then kudos to both.

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