If you were reading an article about an auto show that took place in 1969, complete with photo slideshow, you would think that was pretty cool, right? That’s why I keep covering the local new car show. Someday, someone is going to look back on this, and they’re going to love it. In the context of today, the Nashville International Auto Show is fairly weak. Several key manufacturers didn’t even bother to participate. There were no concept cars. The most interesting display was the “DuPont Registry Live” exotic car collection, and you had to subscribe to a $45 magazine to get close to it. Sure, there were some cars there that any red-blooded enthusiast would like to have, but come back to this in 50 years and you’ll really appreciate it.
If you crave power and straight-line acceleration, look no further than the Dodge Challenger Hellcat. It literally has the word “hell” in its name. And, not only is the name PG-13, but the power is not for children either. This thing has 707-hp and 650-lb/ft. of torque churning out of a supercharged, 6.2-liter Hemi. These things even sound like a racecar. They are completely ridiculous. But if you can get traction, it is exactly the kind of thing a simple-minded car junkie wants. Push on long pedal, car make loud noise, car go fast. This is a throwback to the golden era of the muscle car. Not a bad way to spend $71,000.
There were a few Mustangs throughout the show, including this 2017 Roush Stage 3. Jack Roush may have had a tough year in NASCAR with his Ford Fusions, but with670-hp and 575-lb/ft. of torque, at least this Mustang should be pretty fast. Roush Performance achieves this level of power by adding an Eaton supercharger to the Mustang’s stock 5.0-liter V8. They also add badges, wheels, and suspension bits to make the Stage 3 look and perform like a $65,000 pony car should look and perform. It might not have as much power as the factory-built Hellcat, but it likely handles better, and it’s a little more exclusive. Unfortunately, it’s a Ford, which like the Hellcat, is another four-letter word you shouldn’t say around small children.
Here’s what people should be raising their kids to love. Of course, this is a 2017 Corvette Grand Sport, finished in Admiral Blue with a White center stripe and Red fender has marks. Very patriotic. Corvettes are my favorite cars. Nothing sits and drives like one. Just watching the sunshine and light pass over the fenders and mirrors on one of these is a treat for the senses. At 460-hp and 465-lb/ft. of torque, the Grand Sport is not the most powerful Corvette in the lineup. But with suspension and styling cues taken from the top-level Z06, it is considered one of the best driver’s cars for the money in the world. And I’m not the only one who likes it. There was a crowd around this car all day.
So when I’m not tooling around in my new Corvette, this Yukon Denali might be my daily driver of choice in Fantasyland. This is basically an understated Cadillac Escalade. There’s not one thing I don’t like about it. The wheels are cool. The color is rich. A 420-hp, 6.2-liter V8 mated up to an eight-speed transmission is more than capable. It is a true luxury vehicle, crammed full of leather and DVD players. It rides like a cloud, but since it is truck-based, it is more than capable of pulling a trailer or handling an off-road excursion. I can’t think of a better family vehicle than this.
I took more than 100 pictures at the 2016 Nashville International Auto Show. There were a lot more cars there, but they did not interest me enough to photograph them. Sorry, Corolla fans. Click this link to see the entire slideshow.