These guys standing around this ’60 Chevy Biscayne as all the water boils out of the radiator pretty much sums up last week’s Tom’s Cruise-In. It was stinkin’ hot in Germantown; there’s no other way to say it. They had music and karaoke and a few cars showed up, but everyone out there was wishing the parking lot behind the Jimmy Johns was air-conditioned. It obviously wasn’t, but that didn’t stop everyone from having a good time. Luckily for you, I took pictures of everything, so you can enjoy this car cruise sitting inside. Check it out!
It’s hard to go wrong with a ’69 Impala coupe, and there was a nice one at Tuesday’s cruise. This one had a 350, factory air, and accessory wire wheel covers. The color is Burnished Brown with a Dover White painted roof. That may arguably be the least attractive color for one of these, but it actually is a nice change of pace to see one that hasn’t been painted red yet. The beige interior helps the color combination be more palatable. I’m a big fan of these late-‘60s Impalas, and this one had a lot going for it. This would be a super nice cruiser.
If you’re into early Mustangs, you’d have a hard time finding a nicer one than this little ’66 convertible. That Candy Apple Red paint looks good enough to eat, and the red and white Pony interior is as cool as it got in the mid-‘60s. A little 289 Mustang might not have been a ground-pounding muscle car back then, but it lived up to its good looks. Imagine grabbing that wood-rimmed steering wheel and driving your sporty 2+2 down the Pacific Coast Highway, salt air flowing through your face and hair. Perhaps you have your significant other with you, heading for a romantic picnic on the beach. Such is the power of an attractive old sports car.
If you like your old cars with a little more grunt, this ’68 Plymouth GTX may be more your speed. This one has some personalization, with Torque Thrust-style wheels, some Edelbrock engine goodies, and yellow inner headlights. Finished in Matador Red with Black Velvet vinyl bucket seats, this car was ready for a bull fight. Even the vinyl top looked right at home on this one. The base engine in one of these was a 375-hp, 440-c.i. V8, so they all meant business. This one had been modified, so you probably wouldn’t want to get in a tussle with it. At least it looked pretty tough sitting there to me.
1974 was a significant year for the Pontiac GTO, because it marked the end of the line until GM brought the nameplate back 30 years later. I think this is actually a ’74 LeMans that someone tried to GTO-ize along the way, because a real GTO should have a shaker hood and lights in the grille, among other things. But still, how often do you see one of these old Pontiacs? Not very often. This one has a real ‘70s vibe with its little steering wheel and diamond-patterned seats and door panels. A ’74 Nova is almost exactly the same as this, but I kind of like the Pontiac better because it’s more unusual.
There weren’t a lot of ‘50s cars at this cruise, but there is always a ’57 Chevy Bel Air Sport Coupe. This one is Sierra Gold, and features a later-model Chevy small block with aftermarket air conditioning and a Hurst four-speed shifter growing out of the hump. The ubiquitous Cragar wheels give it a late-‘60s/early ‘70s vibe. The steering wheel looks original, but it has a little smaller diameter to give the driver a bit more breathing room. This car was nice, but not so nice that you couldn’t drive it. It was obviously modified with the driver’s comfort and entertainment in mind.