Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Great turnout for the Friday night Hendersonville Cruise-In

Friday night means cruise night in Hendersonville, so we made the trip to the Regal Cinema to see what we could see. The worst part about this event is battling the Friday night traffic to get there, but once you’re in, it all seems worth it. They easily had 200 cars lined up out there. We even managed to enjoy a nice dinner and a movie. It’s like a single stop for everything that you want or need. Of course, out of everything out there, what I want and need the most are cars. It wasn’t hard picking a few to write about. The only hard part was trying to decide which ones not to feature.

This was one nice ’66 Pontiac GTO. I mean, this car had it all. The Turquoise Mist paint paired up with the white seats was absolutely refreshing. An aftermarket air conditioning system keeps things as cool as they look. Under the hood, you’ve got three carburetors sitting on top of that “6.5 Litre” engine. It also had all the Hurst goodies, including the four-speed shifter, Hurst cast rally wheels, and trunk badging. It’s hard to get any closer to muscle car perfection than this.

Ford built more than 48,000 Skyliners between 1957 and 1959, so it is not that unusual to see one today. The one at the Hendersonville Cruise was a ’58, and it was on display with the top in the half-up/half-down position as required by Skyliner law. This one was Azure Blue and Colonial White, which is a pretty nice ‘50s color combination. Of course, you know that these retractables had an electric-powered roof mechanism that allowed the whole hardtop to disappear in the extra-long trunk area. Although not the first retractable hardtop, it was still innovative in the ‘50s. This looked like a nice old car, ready to keep you comfortable rain or shine.

Here are a couple of interesting MOPAR convertibles. This ’52 Plymouth Cranbrook was not exactly a bold choice when it was new. While other car companies were shooting for sleek, futuristic looks, Plymouth stayed conservative with this short, narrow, tall design. Chrysler’s head designer at the time, K.T. Keller, wanted it to be easy for men to wear their hats without touching the roof. Of course, that wasn’t an issue on this one when the top was down. In the context of today’s cars, this Empire Maroon Cranbrook doesn’t seem very conservative anymore. IT’s a nice car with some shiny wire wheels, and it looks downright dazzling today.

This ’41 Dodge may have been built a decade earlier than the Plymouth, but there was a very strong family resemblance. Again, this wasn’t the boldest choice a buyer could make in 1941, but when you see this Tennis Cream convertible sitting there on its Kelsey-Hayes Chrysler wire wheels, you know you’re looking at something special now. Plus, they only made about 3,500 of these convertibles, so this is probably the only one on the block. It’s interesting how prominent the “Fluid Drive” badging is on this car. It’s basically just a hydraulic coupling in place of the flywheel on the transmission, but they thought enough of it to make it a key selling point on this car.

“Woody” station wagons are among the most popular and collectable cars out there today, and this ’49 Ford wagon is about as perfect as it gets. Of course it was built to evoke the California surfing culture. It even has a surfboard in the back. But it also has all the right hot rod bits. It’s lowered with red wheels, it has a hopped up flathead with two carburetors, and it sits on a nice set of radial wide whites. The main thing that tips you off that we aren’t heading to the beach in 1964 is that this car is too nice. One of the reasons these were popular back in the day was that they weren’t worth much, so you sure weren’t likely to see one this slick. It sure does look right now, though.

I know what you’re thinking—you want to stop reading my crap so you can look through 219 pictures of the Hendersonville Cruise-In. Well, you’re in luck, because that’s exactly the number of pictures that I took! See them in the slideshow below, or click this link for a nicer version.

1 comment:

  1. the context of today’s cars, this Empire Maroon Cranbrook doesn’t seem very conservative anymore, that's true.