Monday, November 24, 2014

Sporty things from the 2014 Nashville International Auto Show

As the weather gets colder, new car show season is heating up. The Nashville International Auto Show was this weekend at the Music City Center, and spectators got a chance to enjoy the heart of the auto industry in the heart of country music. This wasn’t a particularly large auto show (weird that Cadillac didn’t have a display in Johnny Cash’s hometown), but it sure brought out a lot of people. There were so many folks looking at the cars that taking pictures proved to be very difficult. I still managed to click off a few of my favorites, though. Let’s take a look.

Here’s Craig’s pick. This is the new Corvette Stingray Z06 finished in the all-new for 2015 shade of Daytona Sunrise Orange Metallic. My wife hated the color, but I hated nothing about it. Pretty hard to dislike 650-hp and 650-lb/ft of torque. The track-friendly Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires and gargantical brakes suggest that this one has the Z07 performance package. I love all Corvettes, but my God, this thing is on a whole new level. It’s a convertible, too, which I have been told is virtually as rigid and capable as the coupe version. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up.

Now, if that dazzling orange Corvette is too common for you, how about this screamin’ orange McLaren 650-S? This has a little 3.8-liter turbocharged V8 that whirs out 641-hp and 500-lb/ft of torque. This car is more exclusive than any Corvette, it’s made with more lightweight, exotic materials, and you probably aren’t going to see another one in your neighborhood. Of course, it’s also three-times the price of that Corvette pictured. Personally, I’d take the Vette, but this thing was fun to look at all the same.

The exotic car area also featured this Ferrari Red Dino GT. Now I have to admit, I don’t know that much about this. They made them between 1969 and 1974, but I don’t know where this one falls in. I know there was a GTS Spyder version of this car in the opening credits of Hart to Hart. I read on Wikipedia that they only built 2,295 coupes like this throughout the entire production run, so that’s pretty interesting. I know that these were sort of a “budget” Ferrari, and were named after Enzo Ferrari’s son Dino (without looking at Wikipedia!). I also thought it was interesting that it was parked next to a brand new Ferrari 458 Italia, because when you put it in that context, the new car really does look like the modern version of this old one.

Here’s an older car that was at the Nashville International Auto Show that’s a little more in my wheelhouse. It's a very nice 1967 Camaro Indianapolis 500 pace car, complete with a 396-c.i. big block under the hood. You tend to see quite a few white-and-orange ’69 Camaro pace cars, but these ‘67s are considerably more unusual. Most historic reports say they only built 103 of them, so you’re obviously not going to see one every day. I think they’re one of the most attractive first-generation Camaros out there, though. If this car were mine, I’d have a hard time leaving it there among the crowds.

Here’s kind of a fun little tidbit for you. Most of the General Motors cars that were in the show were originally delivered to the Adesa Nashville Auto Auction where I work. They were then detailed at the auction, before they were delivered to the Music City Center. I went to the Auto Show on Sunday, and when I returned to work Monday morning, the GM cars were already ingloriously sitting in our secure parking area under cloudy, drizzling skies. They still looked pretty good to me, though.

OK, there are almost 200 pictures of the cars from the 2014 Nashville International Auto Show in the slideshow below. Or, click this link for a nicer version.

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