29th-Annual 2016 Oktoberfest Antique Car Show in Lebanon, TN
When I decided to run over and snap a few quick pictures of the 29th-Annual Oktoberfest Car Show after church last Sunday, I had no idea what I was getting into. It looked like hundreds of cars lined up on the shady front lawn of the Wilson County Bank corporate headquarters. Once I got through those, I looked across the street and realized there was an even bigger lot full of vehicles to tackle. Then, when I was nearing the end of that area, I noticed yet another lot full of cars down the street. In all, there were easily 500 cars in three different areas. This show is no joke. The selection of cars was pretty serious too. If you couldn’t find something to like at this show, you just don’t like cars.
In an era that isn’t known for the most exciting cars, the ’77 Pontiac Can Am is a bit of an anomaly. These were pretty strong performers for their time, featuring the same 6.6-litre V8 cribbed from the Trans Am, complete with shaker hood. The brainchild of Pontiac pitchman Jim Wangers, the Can Am was a beefed-up LeMans with stripes, spoilers, and louvers added by aftermarket company Motortown. 5,000 units were planned, but when Motortown broke the tooling for the proprietary rear spoiler, production was halted at 1,133 cars. This example was as nice as they come, and even featured a rare power moon roof.
If you want to see a sweet straight-axle Corvette, look no further than this beauty. Only about 1,500 Corvettes came equipped with fuel injection in 1961, which is why they are uber-desirable today. There was a lot of Tuxedo Black here. Paint, seats, wheels, and tires all shared the same hue as Darth Vader’s helmet. But man, did it look awesome that way. One look at this car and you know it wasn’t designed to take the grandkids out for ice cream. This car means business. There were actually two ’61 Corvettes at this show, and they were both very nice. This black one just had that sinister vibe that you don’t normally see on cars from the bright colors and juke box era.
This ’49 Buick Roadmaster four-door sedan couldn’t be more different than that Corvette, but it still carries a swagger all its own. Roadmaster—the master of the road. This is the car that a well-to-do family would own in 1949. The hood is long because the eight cylinder engine arranges the pistons in a straight line. The interior is big because big is comfortable. The whitewalls are huge because huge whitewalls are classier than scrawny whitewalls. Sunmist Gray is not a flashy color, because this was a doctor’s car; not the fire chief. It’s got red wheels—that’s enough. This car in particular was worth a second look if for no other reason than the condition. The restoration was excellent. If you wanted to see what a ’49 Buick looked like straight off the showroom floor, here you go.
If you’re a MOPAR fanatic, this ’67 Plymouth GTX should trip your trigger. The sun was out, and this bright green absolutely glowed. The white interior did nothing but compliment the look. This GTX isn’t all show and no go, however. Under the hood, you’ll find a 440-c.i. “Super Commando” V8. That doesn’t just mean it leaves the house with no underwear. It also means it’s packing 375-hp. This was a cover car on MOPAR Muscle Magazine. There’s a reason for that. This car is a real eye-catcher with the power to back it up.
Here’s one you don’t see every day. ’66 AMC Marlins have never been too plentiful, especially 50 years out. This Antigua Red Marlin was definitely the only one at the show. The red carried into the interior, which was packed with 1960s goodness. The only thing that wasn’t red was the 287-c.i. V8, finished off in bright turquoise. It had a couple of modifications, including some modern five-spoke wheels, ‘80s-style GM sport mirrors, and aftermarket gauges under the dash. But overall, it looked pretty much like it did when it rolled off the assembly line. The uniqueness is what drew me to it.