Monday, April 6, 2015

Cruizin' Hendersonville is a success right out of the gate

Car cruise season is officially underway in Nashville, so I decided to start out my coverage at the brand-new Cruzin’ Hendersonville event near the Hendersonville police station. I was actually surprised at how strong the turnout was, especially for a first-time gathering. This thing was well promoted and organized, with a DJ, door prizes, and other perks. The only thing I didn’t like was the position of the sun, because it sort of screwed up the quality of my pictures. But if you can bear the glare, let’s take a look at some of the notable participants.

This is a sharp ’47 Buick right here. I love these old GM cars, although sometimes these Buicks come off as a little bulbous to me. That being said, I really liked this particular example. A lot of that had to do with the condition, which was way nicer than most of these. The paint and body work, under the hood, and even the whipcord interior was just as nice as you could ever want. The 248-c.i straight-eight was just the right length to fit under that long, side-opening hood. And that Sedanette body style is always hard to beat. This was one of the most appealing ‘40s Buicks I have seen in a very long time.

If you see a 1930s car that was made into a hot rod, chances are it’s a Ford. That’s not the case here, though. This is a ’34 Pontiac. Not a typical choice for the resto-mod treatment, but as you can see, not a bad choice either. Originally, an eight-cylinder Pontiac like this would have had an inline engine, but this one was upgraded with a Chevy small-block V8. This was a high-quality build, with a bright red interior to match the bright red wire wheels. Some of these types of hot rods seem to follow a formula that makes them all kind of similar, but this Pontiac stands out in both choice of car and execution.

If you like unusual models from the early days of the muscle car era, you’d probably appreciate this ’66 Mercury Cyclone GT convertible. This had it all: bright Cardinal Red inside and out, four-speed transmission, and wood-rim steering wheel. The Cyclone was a sporty version of the Mercury Comet, and in this configuration would have had a 390-c.i. V8 good for a healthy 335-hp. This one was as nice as it looks in the pictures, which is to say, pretty darn nice. I even like that little checkered flag emblem on the front fenders.

This ’53 Plymouth Cranbrook was a neat, straight old car. Now in 1953, this would have been like a rental Dodge Dart is today. But time has a way of making even the most ordinary cars seem interesting, and that’s certainly the case here. I think maybe it’s the plainness that makes this car appealing. No one tried to hot rod it, it doesn’t have any fancy wheels, and the only concession to personal individualization is the period sun visor. There’s a 100-hp straight-six under that hood that allowed this car to leisurely cruise through time. What was once a homely old sedan has become a time capsule that holds 62 years of history.

I had a good time at the Cruzin’ Hendersonville cruise, and I took 176 pictures to prove it. You can see them in the slideshow below, or click this link for a nicer version.

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