Friday, July 22, 2016

Rev'n Rods & Heartland Music Tour comes in hot to Southaven

My work schedule requires that I stay a few days a week in Southaven, Miss. As luck would have it, the Rev’n Rods and Heartland Music Tour made a stop at the Landers Center, just a few miles from my hotel. This was a touring series that made stops in six different cities. It actually was a pretty big event, with a fancy stage, a food tent for participants, and several big-name vendor displays like GM Performance Parts and Meguiar's. After the car show, everyone had a chance to go to a Restless Heart concert. The car show attendance was OK, not huge, but about as good as you can expect from a Monday afternoon car show on a 100-degree day.

No, Ford Motor Company did not produce an Edsel-based Ranchero in 1958, but you do see a custom-built version on occasion. This “Elcharo” was pretty cool. The cab was strictly Ford, but the front clip and quarter panels were all Edsel. The way they integrated the Edsel station wagon taillights into the design was an especially neat trick. This one had a “Toad’s Speed Shop” shop truck theme, and was even pulling a very cool slingshot dragster. The fender proclaims that Toad’s was an “Authorized Cragar Dealer,” and the Elcharo did indeed ride on a vintage set of Cragar wheels. Overall, this rig was a real attention-getter.

This ’58 Chevy Yeoman Station Wagon was a custom from the same era. The scallops, pinstripes, and Lakes Pipes are straight out of an AMT customizing kit. The state attraction decals in the back windows were probably acquired honestly. The couple that owns this car is not only doing the whole six-city Rev’n Rods tour, but they already did the long haul on the Hot Rod Power Tour. You gotta love people that know how to have fun with their old cars. It also says a lot about this Chevy that it’s able to make these journeys during a record-setting heat wave without boiling over.

Big Oak Garage had a display at the Rev’n Rods show, and this ’65 Dodge Dart was a real standout. This car was a Great 8 finalist for the Ridler Award at the 2015 Detroit Autorama, so that ought to tell you how nice it is. And sure, it started out as a homely old stock Dart, but not one inch of one panel was left untouched. I honestly couldn’t even stand there and tell you specifically what all was different, because it’s all different. So many one-off parts. So much fabrication. So much talent and hard work. Even the interior, which is also completely hand-built, had the aroma of quality in the Mississippi heat. I can honestly say that this is the most spectacular Dodge Dart I have ever seen.

This 1978 Silverado 4X4 is more than meets the eye. It was in the GM Performance Parts display, and it was not your ordinary used pickup. It was actually a General Motors project vehicle, and in addition to a spectacular restoration, it had a new LC9 5.3-liter V8 crate engine with 336-hp. It even had its own special emblems. This is the kind of stuff that normal people have a hard time getting right, but when you put the people that create new cars on a project like this and give them an unlimited budget, the sky’s the limit. Known as the EROD, this cool truck was originally built for the SEMA show.

We are in the south, so how about a real Mississippi Moonrunner? The ’40 Ford Deluxe coupe was the choice of discriminating hooch haulers. They were lightweight. The Flathead V8 ran strong. And it didn’t hurt that they looked like a million bucks. This one looks like it was parked in a garage in the late-‘50s, recently discovered, and put back on the road. I don’t know if that’s true, but it sounds good. Anyway, it looks like a fun car, and I think it’s more interesting than the ubiquitous glossy red street rod with 20-inch wheels, tan tweed interior, and a Chevy 350. It may not be perfect, but it sure is cool.

OK, now that you’ve slogged through all my drivel, you will be awarded .with pictures. See 180 photos of the Rev’n Rods Car Show in the slideshow below, or click this link for a nicer version

1 comment:

  1. As always, great pics from great shows. Tom