2016 First Baptist Church of Nashville Car Show got people to go to church on Sunday
You shouldn’t need a reason to go to church on Sundays, but the First Baptist Church of Nashville offered a compelling incentive anyway. Beneath the downtown skyscrapers and surrounded by Bridgestone Arena, the 196-year-old house of worship hosted a nice little car show after this week’s services. And although it wasn’t the biggest event I’ve ever been to, every car on display was nice. Quality beats quantity every time, and when you put a group of cars like this in a cool downtown setting, it is definitely something worth checking out.
You have to admit, this ’66 GT40 MKII is an impressive looking thing. Everyone knows that the original Shelby-built GT40s from the 1960s are blue chip collectables and unattainable to all but the most connected billionaires. This is a “continuation” model built by Superformance in South Africa. It looks just like the originals. It’s powered by a 600-hp, 427-c.i. V8 with eight Weber carburetors behind the driver’s head, just like the originals. It’s even numbered and registered through Shelby American. The only difference is that this is nice, fresh, and new, and it only costs as much as one nice house, not a Beverly Hills neighborhood.
I don’t know much about old Porsches, but I assume this ’55 Porsche 550 Spyder is also a high-end replica. I only say that because I doubt someone would leave a $5-million car sitting around out here by itself, but I am not smart enough to say that for certain. It also has modern seat belts and tires, among other little details. This is the kind of car that James Dean was killed in, so there are lots of recreations out there. The card claims that this one has a 914 engine, which was a sporty little Porsche produced from 1969 to 1975. This car looks expensive, impressive, and special. I’d love to drive it—I’m sure it would be a blast.
I’m probably a little more knowledgeable about this one. I know it’s a 1940 Ford Fordor DeLuxe Sedan. I know it has a 221-c.i., 85-hp flathead V8. And I know for certain that it isn’t a replica. This big ol’ four door might not be that popular with the hot rod crowd, but there is a lot of leg room in that back seat. If your family had to take a long trip in an old car, and you could keep that flathead from overheating as they are wont to do, this wouldn’t be a bad choice. Of course, with only 55,000 miles in 76 years, this one hasn’t been on too many long trips. This was an especially nice car. Most of it was original, and all of it looked great.
This shiny red ’58 Corvette really stood out. Nary a thing about it was original, but it was pretty. There was a blood red and cream theme going on here. Quite a bit of attention went into the interior, which was finished in soft two-tone tan-and-cream leather, and even had a leather cover on the dashboard. It was much prettier than the original elephant skin vinyl that came in a ’58 Corvette. This was the only year that Corvettes had the fake louvers on the hood, as well as the chrome suspenders on the trunk lid. I used to kind of think those features were overkill, and maybe they are. But I like them better now, because I have really come to appreciate that ‘50s kitsch.
Now here’s a Prevost motor coach that was inspired by that Corvette. The CMA Awards are being broadcast this week from Bridgestone Arena, and Brad Paisley is one of the hosts. This is his tour bus, and it was parked across the street from the car show. It obviously has a ‘60s Corvette cove design painted on the sides, as well as some ’57 Chevy trim bits like the grille emblem, wheel centers, and fender hashes. I tried to get a little closer, but the security guys ran me off. I’ve seen this thing driving around a few times, and it is extraordinarily impressive on the road. Welcome to Nashville.