Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Cruise season winds down at Coach's Eastgate Grille

Now I’m starting to feel a little sad. The first car cruise that I went to when I moved to Nashville was the first cruise of 2014 at Coach’s Eastgate Grille in Lebanon, Tenn. And now, it looks like one of the last cruises of the year that I’ll be going to is, you guessed it, the one at Coach’s Eastgate Grille. These guys started the season early, and are ending the season late. Plus, they do a good job with this event, offering door prizes and even lunch to participants. This is a pretty good way to end things. That’s especially true when you see what kind of cars they had on display.

Take this 1956 Oldsmobile 88 two-door sedan. This is a great car right here. The black paint was laser straight, and the red wheels complimented it perfectly. The interior was just as neat and tidy as you could ever want. That 324-c.i. Rocket V8 looked like it just powered this car off the showroom floor. That’s not that far from the truth, either. The owner claims that this car only has about 20,000 miles on it. That’s pretty amazing for 58 years old. He also told me that he had a bunch of other old cars, including a couple more Oldsmobiles. If they’re anything like this car, it must be some kind of collection.

Then there was this little ’52 Chevy DeLuxe club coupe. This one had some mild ‘50s custom modifications, including Fenton exhaust headers and dual carb intake, single-bar flipper wheel covers, and a slightly lowered stance. Interestingly, it also had a Powerglide automatic transmission. Finished in Emerald Green, which was a factory color, with red wheels, which was not a factory combination, this is one of the best looking ’52 Chevrolets I’ve seen in some time. Some people really know how to put these cars together right.

Was Suzanne Somers at the Coach’s Cruise? Maybe not, but her car was there. Just like in the movie American Graffiti, this white ’56 Thunderbird really made you look. It had an aftermarket air cleaner and banjo steering wheel, but most of the factory details were spot-on. I love that little windshield washer bag and vintage-style battery hiding beneath the hood scoop. And you can never go wrong with those genuine wire wheels. You see quite a few of these first-generation T-Birds around, but some are better than others. This one is definitely in the “better” category.

This isn’t your ordinary Model A Highboy. See how much space there is between the firewall and the grille shell? That’s because the flathead sitting in that space isn’t your normal Ford V8. Nope, that’s a flathead V12 like you might find in a Lincoln Zephyr. The Lincoln steering wheel was also a nice touch. The owner said this car leaks a lot and maintaining it keeps him busy. But that’s a small price to pay for an old hot rod that actually stands out from every other old car like this. Pretty cool, don’t you think?

This ’60 Corvette was quite a head-turner. There’s just something about a red-and-white first-generation Vette that never gets old. This one had the added punch of small hubcaps and black tires. It wouldn’t have come with the wheels painted white like this, but it really worked on this car. Plus, if you like the more common full-wheel cover look, it wouldn’t be too hard to put back. I like it this way, though. With those wheels and the hardtop installed, it kind of reminded you of an old Chevrolet racer. When this car pulled into the parking lot, I really took notice.

There were a lot of cars to take notice of at the Coach’s Eastgate Cruise. There are 111 pictures of them in the slideshow below, or click this link for a nicer version.

1 comment:

  1. Craig, seeing that beautiful Olds 88 reminded me of 1949. I remember, I was 14 years old at the time, that Olds came out with the first mass produced overhead valve V8. Wow, that was such a fast car we thought for those days. We used to take a customer out West of Larchwood on Highway 9 and show them that the Rocket 88 was able to go 0 to 60 in 15 seconds. Just amazing we thought at the time. Did you realize that the first Olds V8 that came out in 1949 was rated at only 135 horsepower. Here is a copy and paste about it........The 303 was available from 1949 through 1953. 1949 through 1951 "88" 303's came with a 2-barrel carburetor for 135 hp. They won many of the Grand National races that year. I went up to Sioux Falls, SD to watch my first Grand National race and an Olds 88 really did well. I even remember that Lee Petty, Richard Petty's Dad was in the race driving, believe it or not, a 1949 Plymouth Business Coupe. Great memories of how great the first Olds 88s were back in those first post war days.........RogG