I decided to try something different this year at the Fall Redneck Rumble in Lebanon, Tenn. Instead of just parking my truck out there, I loaded it up with junk to sell at the swap meet. It was fun … for a while. I moved a little stuff. I talked to all kinds of people about the truck, my merchandise, and anything else that came to mind. I really did enjoy it. But then, around lunchtime, the rain started pouring down in buckets, just as the weatherman had predicted. I closed up shop and set out to take pictures. Unfortunately, many of the show cars I saw when I came in had already left because of the weather. There were still enough out there to make a good story, though. Some of those rat rod guys aren’t going to let a little water bother them!
Just on a whim, BHo and I decided to take a Saturday swing by the 35th-Annual Bowen Campbell Auto Expo at Moss-Wright Park in Goodlettsville. And I’ve got to tell you, this was one of the best car shows I’ve been to in a long time. I mean, I really liked this one. They had 39 classes of cars, but they pretty much all had one thing in common. They were nice. Sometimes when there are this many cars in one place, you’re going to wind up with a bunch of stinkers. Not here. The only real complaint is that it turned out to be a little more hot and humid than I think most people were expecting. But that’s a small price to pay to see a show like this.
Here’s the basic recipe for building a typical modern street rod. Take a pre-1949 car. Under the hood you’ll have an aluminum radiator, electric fan, fuel-injected Chevy crate engine, Vintage Air compressor, modern master cylinder, and an Optima battery. This will all be sitting on a sub-frame with modern suspension components, power disc brakes, and a set of aluminum-finish American Racing Torque Thrust wheels or something similar. Inside, look for a modern seat recovered in tweed or leather, molded door panels, new gauges in a billet aluminum bezel, an aftermarket steering wheel, modern stereo, and an automatic transmission shifter coming out of the floor. Outside, expect to see shiny paint, less chrome, some kind of painted or air brushed graphics, Halogen headlights, and LED taillights. Why is this combination of components so popular? It’s the same reason there were 3,500 (!) of them at the 42nd-annual Frog Follies Car Show in Evansville, Indiana. They’re enjoyable, they’re reliable, and they allow you to ride in new-car-comfort with old-car-style.