Friday, September 25, 2015

The 4th-Annual Nostalgia Nationals in Bowling Green

Car-for-car, some of the best shows in the country are hosted by the Goodguys Rod and Custom Association. Nashville is lucky enough to not only have one downtown, but also an hour-and-a-half away in Bowling Green, Ky. The 4th-Annual Nostalgia Nationals was held at Beech Bend Raceway Park last weekend, and as expected, it had everything you could ever want in a high-profile hot rod and custom car gathering. From show cars to autocross to vintage drag racing, there was a little something for everyone.

I was really taken by the overall presentation of this ’49 Chevy Fleetline fastback. It was customized, but nothing too radical. Outside it was primarily color, stance, louvers, a little de-chroming, and a set of ’59-’62 Corvette wheel covers. The Stovebolt six still lived under the hood, now with two carburetors, a split manifold, and some impeccable detailing. The interior was pure class, with a kind of floral seat insert material following the original interior’s pattern. There’s virtually nothing you’d want to change on this car. Very nice, indeed.

Here’s the one I’d take home for myself if someone gave me the choice. They built a lot of Impala Sport Coupes in 1967, but you really don’t see that many of them today. You see even fewer with the coveted SS 427 option. This lust-worthy example was Marina Blue inside and out. I’d want a set of rally wheels and redlines on it, but otherwise I can picture myself behind that teakwood wheel and shifting that four-speed transmission. Drive it on a nice day, though, because there’s no air conditioning in there slowing things down. The sloping shape of that fastback top is just ridiculous. Love. It.

This ’50 Pontiac Sedan Delivery was an unlikely star of the show. The thing that makes it such a standout was the condition. This car was made to do work, like deliver flowers or baked goods, or so a house painter had a place to stash his cans and rags. But this car was restored like new. In fact, I suspect it didn’t look this nice when it was new. It’s still powered by its Pontiac flathead straight-eight. Check out the spare tire hiding under the plywood cargo floor when you look at the pictures. This may be the best one of these I’ve ever seen.

If you think this is a “Kustomized” Cadillac that was built back in the ‘50s, you’d be wrong. It’s actually a ’51 Mercury that was transformed into this lead sled in the 1990s. It does look like a Cadillac, thanks to the ’57 Cadillac front bumper and grille, ’57 Cadillac wheel covers, and ’58 Cadillac rear bumper. But if you look at it from the back, you’ll see that the original Mercury trunk is nestled between those extended quarter panels and ’56 Packard taillights. In other words, the body of the car isn’t as long as the quarter panels would indicate. You can also see the Mercury in the body line along the door. It was a pretty massive undertaking to make this car look like this.

This one really is a Cadillac. It’s a ’49 convertible that was customized with all the most modern techniques. You could just sit in that thick, blue leather seat, fire up that modern GM V8, crank up the air conditioning, and float down the highway at 85-mph. The Texas license plate says “MYPEARL”, which refers to the flawless pearlescent paint job. You could tell that plenty of time and money was spent on this classy cruiser. One thing’s for sure; you won’t see another one like it anytime soon.

I clicked off 619 pictures from the 2015 edition of the Nostalgia Nationals, and you can see them in the slideshow below. Or, if you’d like to see them a little closer, click this link.


  1. Super selection, always great pics!

  2. Right there with ya on those 67 Impalas...and Marina Blue is THE colour! The 64 Corvette coupe or MAYBE that 63 Tempest MIGHT nip it in the lights for me tho...
    Ya gotta admit - in the 50s and 60s, Pontiac had the interior thing NAILED!

    Thanx for posting - great pix as always.