Saturday, September 27, 2014

Personal luxury abounds at the Fontanel Cruise

The picturesque Fontanel in Whites Creek has become a family favorite of ours, and the Thursday night cruise is one of the best around. The event flyer made it seem like last Thursday was the last one of the year, so we made a quick stop over there to have some dinner and check out the cool rides. Luckily, it sounds like they might have a few more car events at Barbara Mandrell’s old mansion, so we may just get to come back out here while the leaves are changing. But for now, let’s take a look at the nice stuff that was there while the sun went down.

This ’67 Ford Custom four door sedan isn’t the normal thing you would expect to see, but it had a cool factor that was hard to deny. The duel spotlights and utilitarian nature would indicate that it was some kind of former police or fire chief car. It had 428 emblems on the fenders, and the engine appeared to be built with today’s hot rod technology in mind. I guess you could look at that green paint and little hubcaps and call this a sleeper. But on the other hand, the old car looks so mean, I think you would expect it to be pretty potent.

This ’36 Packard Roadster maybe didn’t look as tough as that old Ford, but it was arguably more beautiful. Now I’m not an expert on old Packards, but I think this is a One-Twenty, which would make it have a 120-hp straight-eight in 1936. I do know that this thing was made with high quality. You can just look at the materials, the chrome trim, the interior, really every detail on this car, and see that it wasn’t your normal mass-market Ford or Chevy. It’s big. It’s long. It has a smallish interior. “Look at me, I’m a doctor!” It’s better than what most people had, but not too ridiculous. Just classy.

You know I love these first-generation Buick Rivieras, and this Regal Black-on-black ’65 was a fine example. The interiors and dashboards in these were absolutely spot-on, and that 445-c.i. Nailhead kept this personal luxury coupe lumbering along with ease. This one was pretty original. It looked like it had some miles on it, but they were miles of love. From the Road Wheels to the wood grain on the center stack, this Riv had it all. Thanks, Bill Mitchell.

Now, when General Motors came out with the Riviera, the customers of the popular Ford Thunderbird were the direct target. You can bet that more than a few ’62 T-Birds like this one were traded in on Rivieras like the one above. These were pretty special in their own right. That chrome-trimmed wraparound dashboard was truly a thing of beauty. And how about the swing-away steering wheel? I liked this car too. It was also very original, including the red leather interior. Those taillights looked like the north end of a southbound fighter jet. There are so many great details going on with one of these.

OK, folks. Here are the pictures. There are 172 of them in the slideshow below, or click this link for a nicer version.

1 comment:

  1. Mt parents bought a 62 T-Bird and that thing always ran hot in town. They traded off to a 63 Impala SS next year.

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