I’m spending more time in the Memphis area for work lately, so last Tuesday night I checked out Tom’s Cruise in Germantown. As is the norm these days, it was an incredibly hot day, which may have had an impact on attendance. That being said, there was still a good number of nice cars at this cruise, and most of them stayed there for quite a while. High heat isn’t enough to keep real car folks at home. They just pack a few more bottles of water. Let’s take a look at some of the rides they packed that water in.
Oldsmobiles are cool, but you don’t see that many of them around. That’s why my eyes went straight toward this ’59 Oldsmobile Super 88 convertible. Finished in a relatively subdued combination of Ebony Black over Silver Mist, it still drew plenty of attention based on style alone. The Super 88 was the top-of-the-line version of the shorter wheelbase 88 series. They were pretty sporty, with 394-cubes and 300-hp. Those are impressive numbers for 1959, which explains why they successfully used Olds coupes like this in NASCAR racing. This was a very nice car, and a welcome change of pace compared to the cars you normally see.
That wasn’t the only Oldsmobile out there either. Here’s a very nice ’41 Oldsmobile four door sedan. This one looks just like what you would expect a car to look like just before World War II broke out. It was Eddystone Grey on the top, Dusty Grey on the bottom, and rolled on blackwall tires. It was a low-key car for a rough time in history. That being said, Oldsmobile didn’t skimp on style. The grille and parking lights have details that would look at home in the concourse of an opera house. This was the second year of Oldsmobile’s revolutionary Hydra Matic transmission, which was the first fully automatic transmission on any car. This one was fitted up with modern air conditioning, so not only did it look cool, it actually was cool.
It’s hard to ignore a Mist Blue 1965 Impala SS. That’s especially true when it’s as nice as this one. That’s a 396-c.i., 325-hp big block living behind that radiator. They built millions of these big Impalas in the mid-to-late-‘60s, but you don’t see as many of them as Camaros, Chevelles, and even Novas. They’re among my favorite cars of the era, though, and I never get tired of looking at them. There needs to be a big spike in popularity on these things. Who wouldn’t want to go to a show with a parking lot filled with cars like this one?
Here’s Fords answer to the Impala SS in 1964. This Galaxie 500 XL didn’t originally have that 427-c.i. lump under the hood, but it sure is cool in there. These cars were particularly notable because of their interiors, which featured beautifully pleated two-tone vinyl and Mylar, chrome and aluminum trim, and an abundance of style. Skylight Blue was the color on this one. The only thing I would have changed was getting rid of the chrome fender skirts. But hey, these cars were pretty fancy anyway, so you know, when it comes to accessories, go big or go home.