Touch of Gold Fall Open Car Show brought hot cars to O'More College
If you wanted to see some of the nicest cars in the Music City last Saturday, you needed to be at the O’More College of Design for the Touch of Gold Fall Open Car Show. This was a great location, with plenty of shade trees, food vendors, and a bake sale. I was having trouble figuring out why it was so hot and humid in the shade, though. I wonder if they can air condition the campus next time. Oh, well. The cars almost made up for it. Sit there at your air conditioned desk and check them out.
In 1959, the Electra replaced the Roadmaster as the top-dog in the Buick lineup. And if you want to see an impressive example, look no further than this ’59 Electra 225 convertible. The “225” indicated that this car was more than 225-inches long, sharing its platform with a contemporary Cadillac. This particular deuce-and-a-quarter was full of luscious red leather, a 401-c.i. V8, and that impossibly cool low roofline. Not every convertible looks better with the top up, but when it has a top like this one, you could make a case for it. This was a gorgeous car.
This ’77 Pontiac Astre may not be quite as gorgeous, but it is pretty interesting in its own right. Back in the day, many Chevrolets were re-badged as Pontiacs when they were sold in Canada. In 1973 and ’74, the Astre was the Canadian Pontiac version of the Chevy Vega. In ’75, they started selling them in the U.S., and in 1977, the final year, the Astre dropped the aluminum Chevy engine for a Pontiac-sourced, iron-block 2.5-liter four. This one was pretty cool, with wheels and trim that looked like they belonged on a Firebird Formula. It’s also the nicest one I think I’ve ever seen, and that includes when they were new.
Another car that was probably nicer than it had a right to be was this ’81 Imperial. They built this style of Imperial from 1981 to 1983, and it was intended to compete with the Cadillac Eldorado. These personal luxury coupes were essentially Chrysler Cordobas with a bustleback body and fancy trim. They were even fuel-injected, which was rare in the early ‘80s. And check out that hood ornament—real Cartier crystal. The one you’re looking at was as new as a 33-year-old car could be, sitting on what appeared to be the original tires, and featuring a near-perfect blue, button-tufted leather interior.
The Nashville Corvette Club had a big hand in putting this show together, so there were lots of nice Corvettes. One standout was this beautifully restored ’54 model. I learned something here. Last weekend, I wrote about a red ’55 Corvette at the National Corvette Museum. I never realized they used two different colors of red. The ’55 was Gypsy Red, and this ’54 was a darker shade known as Sportsman Red. Of course, ’54 was the first year you could get any color other than white, and they only built 100 of these red ones. This car was not hiding under a shade tree, and it was absolutely stunning there in the sunlight.
This is a ’39 Packard Super 8 Victoria convertible. Looks like something Clark Gable might drive, huh? The color is Packard Ivory with genuine red leather. That’s a pairing that wouldn’t work on many cars today, but they could do color combinations on cars like this one, because they were cool enough to handle it. They built six- and twelve-cylinder Packards during this time, so this straight-eight would have been a middle-of-the-road type car. Of course, back then, no Packard was too middle-of-the-road—they were all pretty special. And as it turns out, they’re still special today, as this very nice example proves.