Friday night is cruise night in Hendersonville, and as usual, a huge gathering of cars showed up behind the Indian Lake shopping center. If you haven’t been out to this cruise lately, you should go there. It is definitely worth it. BHo and I made the trek last week, and without moving the car, we managed to check out a great cruise, we had dinner, and we caught an evening showing of Ant-Man on the big screen. Now that’s a productive evening! And even though you’re probably hoping for an Ant-Man movie review, I think we’ll talk about some of the cars instead.
This ’52 Chevrolet DeLuxe two-door hardtop was outstanding. It had just the right custom touches. The stance was perfect. It had been nosed and painted a very agreeable shade of yellow. The interior had the pattern of a ’56 Chevy, and the steering wheel went along with that. It even had a four-speed shifter sticking out of the floor. I’m not sure what was under the hood, but if it had a hopped up six or an upgraded V8, either choice would have been fine with me. There’s a million ways to put a custom spin on a car. Some get it right; many don’t. This one absolutely got it right.
My first car was a Cream Beige 1974 Buick Century colonnade coupe. I loved that car, but I never see anything like it at any car show. But just as we were about to leave, in comes this ’73 Century that looked almost just like my old car. I could have looked at this thing all night, because it brought back a lot of memories. The interior looked original and nice, and overall it just looked like a solid car. I’d love to have it. I’d put a chrome bumper back on the front, maybe get a nice set of Buick Road Wheels, and just settle in behind that two-spoke wheel like I was 15-years-old again.
If this isn’t the nicest ’60 Plymouth Valiant in the world, it has to be right up there toward the top. I can’t even remember the last time I saw a nice one of these. When this was new, it was a pretty sophisticated compact. The styling is a bit, well, weird, but it has a pleasing nostalgic vibe. These would have competed with the Chevrolet Corvair and the Ford Falcon. It has a 225-c.i. slant-six between those heavily sculpted fenders, good for 101-hp. The colors were Oyster White on the outside, with a pristine Chrome Green interior. This was a very neat little example of Plymouth’s first compact car.
Here’s another really nice little Plymouth. This 1953 Cranbrook sits on a set of genuine Chrysler wire wheels. Other than that it’s a pretty conservative car. Even the color, Valencia Blue, is not going to offend anyone. Buyers had a lot flashier choices in 1953, but this Plymouth was a reliable, high-quality car that didn’t draw attention to itself. Two years later, Plymouth infused so much excitement into their car designs it’s hard to believe they’re the same company. But in the context of 2015, even this ’53 will draw you in. This car is nice—almost unbelievably nice. It’s impossible to pass by this car and not want to soak in the subtle details.
This was a super sharp ’69 Ford F-100 pickup. I don’t think these trucks look as old as they really are, which speaks to how modern the design was when they were new. This Ranger model is even appointed like a modern truck, with its cush fabric seats, full wheel covers, and two-tone paint. That’s Rangoon Red over Wimbledon White, by the way. It does have a three-on-the-tree and no air conditioning, so I guess those will remind you that it’s still a vintage vehicle. But if you woke up in 1969, this truck couldn’t be in any better condition. It even still wars its Thompson Ford dealer badges on the sides of the hood.
The Friday night Hendersonville cruise is one of the best in the Nashville area. See what I mean by checking out 254 pictures in the slideshow below. Or, click this link for a nicer version.