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.
I’ve lived in Old Hickory, Tenn., for more than two years, but I’ve never been to a car show that actually took place in Old Hickory. That all changed last Saturday when we took the truck over to the Old Hickory Fellowship Car Show. This was a nice little church fundraiser that attracted a quality group of cars and trucks in a grass field next to the Dairy Queen. It was a pretty low pressure event, and they gave out some door prizes along the way. Hanging out with car folks on a nice day and watching the traffic sail by isn’t a terrible way to spend and afternoon. Being able to check out some nice rides doesn’t hurt either.
One of the best promoted car shows of the year took place last weekend in Carthage, Tenn., with the 5th installment of the Horsepower by the River Car Show and Swap Meet at the Smith County Ag Center. I swear, those little hero cards that promote this show start showing up the day after the thing is over, and I somehow accumulate 20 of them before the end of the season. The marketing mastermind behind this event is Shawn Cook, a regular participant at swap meets and car shows all over Nashville with his Music City Speed and Nostalgia tent. Shawn was able to break an attendance record this year, drawing in nearly 300 cars and trucks. And of course, when you get that many, you know there are going to be some nice ones. Let’s check out a few of the standouts.
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.