Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Music City Fall Classic Auction in Murfreesboro is a great car show where everything's for sale

I obviously go to a ton of car shows, so I get to see a bunch of great cars. But sometimes, the most interesting old cars that I see are someplace other than car shows. I’m talking about collector car auctions. If there’s one anywhere near me, I’ll always try and hit it. You know cars are often at their best when someone is trying to sell them. No questionable personalization. No door prizes. No disk jockeys. What you get is a straightforward variety of cars, all cleaned up and presented in a way that should appeal to the greatest number of buyers. Take a look at some of the cars that were at the Music City Fall Classic Auction in Murfreesboro and see what I mean.

It’s hard to go wrong with a ’64 Pontiac Bonneville, and this one was particularly appealing with its Ember Red paintjob and eight-lug Pontiac wheels. This one had not one, not two, but three Rochester carburetors sitting atop its 389-c.i. V8. The Bonneville was Pontiac’s largest, most luxurious car, but they still had a very youthful, sporty vibe. This car was nice, but not so perfect that you couldn’t stand to drive it. I’m sure it went for more than my non-existent budget, but I would like to have it.

Now here’s a really slick ’64 Chevrolet C-10 step side. Unless they’re rattle can flat with the rat rod look, you don’t really see many black trucks like this. This one was redone with the good stuff, right down to the grey-painted 283 under that gigantic hood. When you’re doing a factory-correct restoration on one of these, the interior can be a bit of a problem. It’s hard to find the original fabric, so most people go with aftermarket seat covers like this one has. It might not be exactly like it came in 1964, but it’s a clean, attractive alternative that still fits the overall look of the truck.

Check out this beast. It’s a ’74 Cadillac Eldorado coupe, and admittedly, this particular example hasn’t aged that gracefully. A lot of it had to do with the colors, which include an Andes Copper Metallic exterior with a Terra Cotta vinyl roof and matching crushed velour interior. The interior kind of reminded me of a yucky old couch you might find at a flea market that you’d be afraid to sit on. I’m a Nebraska boy, so my interest was piqued when I saw the Dillon Cadillac emblem from Fremont, Nebr., screwed to the deck lid. I also thought it was interesting that while most of these old Cadillacs have a thermometer built into the driver’s side mirror, this one had an add-on compass from an Oldsmobile.

As you probably know, Willys built a strong business out of producing Jeeps for the military. But after World War II, they set their sights on the civilian market. Here we have the first Willys Jeepster, a 1948 model. I’m not the world’s foremost Jeepster fan, but there’s a sort of frozen in time look with this one that spoke to me. It had some old plush red carpet that has probably been there since the early ‘60s. Even the Goodyear bias-ply tires were vintage (if not a little dangerous). If someone had taken a picture of this thing 50 years ago, and compared it to what it looks like now, I suspect that not one detail has changed. It’s always fun to see something that you know still wears its history.

This ’52 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe had some real possibilities. These were the forerunner to the Bel Air, which topped Chevy’s lineup the next year. This was finished in Bittersweet with a Beach White roof, which I think is an appealing combination. And look at design of that hardtop. Perfect. Since this is for sale, I’ll tell you what I’d change. This car sits lower in the back than the front. That’s more of an east coast look that never appealed to me, so I’d switch that rake around. Those chrome wheels and baby moons always seemed like the least creative wheel treatment, so I might do something about that. And those dummy spots need to go. But that’s easy stuff. I’d love to be able to get to work on this car.

Now it’s your turn to get to work looking at pictures. There are 280 in the slideshow below, or click this link for a nicer version.


  1. Okay, Craig, I've got to reply to the front rake you aspire too on the 51 Bel Air Hardtop. I guess you and I are from different generation, as I'll be 79 tomorrow, November 6th. As I recall when I was a young guy of 16 in our small town of Larchwood, Iowa at my Dad's Chevy Olds Dealership, busily reading Hot Rod and Rod & Custom magazines, I always imagined getting my first Chevy, lowering it in the rear, putting Baby Appleton Spots on it and installing some tear drop fender skirts. Soon thereafter, my brother Dwayne traded in a 41 Special Deluxe 5 Passenger Coupe that they let me buy and fix up. Yes I did fix it up. First I installed 3 inch lowering blocks for that cool low look. Then I installed the other above listed additions. I also put some really cool Cadillac Full hubcaps on and installed some 1953-54 Corvette 6 cylinder headers and Smitty mufflers for that really cool 6 cylinder split sound. Anyway, I do understand keeping the 51 Bel Air stock, and probably your ideas are really sound, except for the front rake..Ha......Really enjoy your great photos and stories as you seem to constantly attend car shows, etc. You sure have a great wife who lets you attend so many of those events................RogerG

  2. I do have a great wife!

    I'm never gonna go for that backwards rake, though. :-)

    Thanks for the comments, Roger. Always appreciated.

  3. I'm sure you remember Rebel Without A Cause, James Dean and his 50 Merc Coupe with skirts and lowered in the rear. Also the ducktail haircut, the Levis and leather jacket as well.
    That is how we rolled back in the 50's. Now the Hispanic kids are doing the same thing today with their lowrider look. However they also put some amazingly costly hydraulics on their cars as well. Kind of retains the same look, but they are much more some tough guys, at least in their looks........RogerG