Friday, November 17, 2017

2017 Nashville International Auto Show

The Nashville International Auto Show is sort of an interesting affair. You can go there and find two McLarens, a half-dozen vintage Ford Broncos, and a Bentley SUV, but there’s not a new Cadillac in sight. Want to take a glimpse into the future with a concept car? Nope. But there is a replica of Buford T. Justice’s Pontiac police car. As auto shows go, this one seems to have limited support from the OEMs, so they make up for it with other things. I guess that’s OK, though. I’d rather look at the vintage Mustang club display than have to endure a bigger Toyota space.

Monday, November 6, 2017

2017 Horsepower by the River 6 brought all the cars to Carthage

When you hit November, big car shows are hard to find. But obviously, Shawn Cook and the rest of the organizers of the Horsepower by the River Car Show didn’t get the memo. The 6th installment of this event brought nearly 300 cars to the Smith County Agricultural Center in Carthage, Tenn., and everyone enjoyed the nice weather, the model car show, and the swap meet. The only real complaint was that the lot was infested with bees. I guess they didn’t know it was fall either. There were several impressive choices, so it was tough to decide what to write about. But don’t worry—I’ve come up with a few.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Hendersonville Cruise-In makes moving to the neighborhood worthwhile

We just recently moved to Hendersonville, Tenn. The decision to relocate wasn’t necessarily because the Friday night Hendersonville Cruise-In is only 10 minutes from the house, but it didn’t hurt. This is one of the better cruises around town, with strong participation, music, door prizes, and quality cars. This year it was moved to an old Sears Outlet Store parking lot, which gets it away from the Indian Lake traffic and congestion that it had to deal with in the past. I was able to fire up the old truck and check out the neighborhood cruise last Friday night.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Big turnout for the 12th-Annual Fall Redneck Rumble

If you like rat rods, the Redneck Rumble is the place for you. Held twice-a-year at the Wilson County Fairgrounds, this is the premier event for creative automotive rust manipulation. Yes, you may rub up against a car and get tetanus. Yes, you may get mowed down by an obnoxious kid screaming down the walkway on a mufflerless ’58 Cushman scooter. No, you are not going to like every car in the show—and you’re not supposed to. There’s no question that most every car here is interesting, and some of them are just plain cool. Everyone is proud of their creations, and they love sharing them with like-minded people. If you’re among them, let’s take a look at some of the standouts from last weekend.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The 2017 Frog Follies - 43 years and still going strong

When it comes to car shows, the Frog Follies in Evansville, Ind., is no joke. 2017 was the 43rd year for this street rod extravaganza, and some 3,500 cars came to the party. Hosted by the E'ville Iron Street Rods Car Club, this event pulls cars from all over the country. The entries are limited to pre-1949 street rods, but there are plenty of later classics scattered throughout the extensive car corral and swap meet areas. We went up for the second year in-a-row, and had a great time once again. I’m going to take a look at a few show cars, cars that were for sale, and whatever else caught my attention.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Tons of stunners at the 2017 AACA Wilson County Fair Car Show

When you go to the fair you expect to see a lot of things. Giant watermelons. Big, fuzzy chickens. Shaky carnival rides. Mullets. What you might not expect to see is one of the best car shows of the year. But that’s exactly what you got at the Wilson County Fair during the AACA Car Show that took place last Sunday. I rarely go to an event that has this kind of quality. It’s like the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction got dumped out in a field or something. There are so many top-notch restorations, so many desirable cars, and so many knowledgeable people that it’s an unusual situation indeed that you can get them all together in one place.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Guest coverage of the 2017 Tri-Five Chevy Nationals in Bowling Green, KY

You already know this. Between 1955 and 1957, Chevrolet built a line of full-sized cars that would become the most popular and iconic in the history of the American automobile. I don’t even consider that to be an opinion. It becomes even more apparent when the Tri-Five Nationals makes its annual appearance at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green. This show is only three-years-old, and they already draw more than 2,000 entries. I was not able to make it up there this year, but we’re in luck. My buddy Bill DeBlasio from Long Island, N.Y. (no relation to Bill de Blasio, the Mayor of New York City), brought his own ’57 Bel Air coupe more than 900 miles for this event. Even better, Bill shared his pictures with us, so now we can see all the cool stuff we missed by not being there.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Double coverage of the Mt. Juliet Providence Cruise-In

Every Saturday night throughout the summer, the car nuts gather in the parking lot outside the American Jewelry store in the Providence shopping center, Mt. Juliet, Tenn. My family is temporarily living in Mt. Juliet during a move, so it’s easy for me to run over and snap pictures at this one. For this story, the photo album actually contains photos from two different weeks, July 29 and August 12. That means double the pictures for you to look at all in the same album! It’s hard to tell the difference, though, because they were all taken at the same time of day, and always on a hot, clear night. Let’s take a look at a few of the standouts.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Trucks beat the rain at the 2017 Southeastern All Chevy/GMC Truck Nationals

It rained half the day Saturday. Not just a nice soaking rain. A relentless toad-strangler that sent rivers of rushing water through Moss-Wright Park in Goodlettsville, Tenn. These were not ideal conditions to hold a car show. And yet, while the rain was the most blinding, while the mud was flowing, while conditions were at their absolute worst, there were hundreds of Chevrolet and GMC trucks lined up to attend the 7th-Annual Southeastern Truck Nationals. These guys did not let oppressive storms ruin their fun. In fact, a record 340 trucks showed up for this show from all over the United States and Canada. Chevy truck owners ain’t skeered.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Hot Rods on Beale Street, June 2017

Thanks to my job, Memphis is sort of my home away from home. So anytime the Hot Rods on Beale Street Cruise is happening during my time in the Bluff City, I always try to be there. The June installment followed the usual trend with this one. There were lots of great cars, there was lots of great music, and there was plenty of good food all along the historic entertainment district. Not everyone can get into this one, because with only a limited number of spots, you need to have a pass. It does control the crowd, but it also sort of stifles the variety of cars that can come from month-to-month. The cars are just a backdrop for the party, though. I can look at the same ones over and over again.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

2017 Vette City Classic Car Auction

OK, so it’s not exactly Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale, but the annual Vette City Classic Car Auction is still a nice place to watch old cars offered for sale to the highest bidder. Auctioneers Phillip Traylor and Russell Mills do a nice job putting this event together at the ABC Auto Auction in Bowling Green, Ky. The selection consists of cruise-in-quality rides, with a few standouts along the way. It looked like there were quite a few no-sales this go-round, but it seemed to be more an issue with unrealistic floor prices than lack of buyers. At any rate, it was fun to take a look at everything that crossed the block last weekend.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Mt. Juliet picks up the American Jewelry Cruise-In

The weekly cruise at the Mt. Juliet/Providence Chick-fil-A was still going strong right up until they decided to stop doing it last season. The demand never went away, however, and now there’s a new place for the car nuts to go on Saturday nights. The new Mt. Juliet Cruise is still in the Providence area, just moved to the American Jewelry parking lot. It’s still in the early stages, so they don’t have any music or D.J. or anything, but the turnout was pretty strong, and there is definitely some good potential here. And this was all happening on the same night as a Predators game, so that ought to tell you how bad people around here want to get their cars out.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

12th-Annual 2017 Goodguys Nashville Nationals

If you’re in the Nashville area and you can only go to one car show a year, the Goodguys Nashville Nationals at the Tennessee Titans Stadium is probably going to be it. Beneath the backdrop of downtown Music City you’ll find a diverse selection of 1,200+ hot rods, customs, and muscle cars. 2017 marked the 12th year for this event, and once again, it did not disappoint. Even the weather cooperated for the most part, although there was a big old toad-strangler late Saturday afternoon that slowed things down a bit. Naturally, with that many cars, there were lots of good ones. I had a hard time choosing which ones to feature!

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Fontanel kicks of its 2017 Concert Cruise season

My favorite car cruise location in the Nashville area is back in business for the 2017 season. The Fontanel really is a beautiful place for a car show. They also have live music that isn’t crappy, food trucks that aren’t crappy, and plenty of shade, which again, is not crappy. The only thing they don’t get a lot of is cars. I don’t understand that, either. I would rather be out here any day than sitting in some dirty, noisy old parking lot. Hopefully folks will get the message and grow this into something, because it’s worth the drive to Whites Creek.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

22nd-Annual AACA Wilson Bank Spring Meet in Mt. Juliet

The Spring Meet of the Middle Tennessee Region AACA at the Wilson County Bank in Mt. Juliet is one of my favorite shows of the year. As a whole, the quality of vehicles they get at this one is way up there. They’re not just neat cars; they’re exceptionally nice cars as well. This is not really a hot rod show. Factory-correct presentation dominates this field. And there are things here that you normally don’t get to see. They have 53 classes, so if you can’t find something you like in this bunch, you probably don’t like old cars.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Redneck Rumble, Spring 2017

The Redneck Rumble is exactly the same as the name implies. Do not expect to see meticulously restored ’53 El Dorados or rare, numbers-matching muscle cars. I don’t even remember seeing a single Corvette. But if you like rat rods, rusty trucks, skulls, and saw blades, this is the place. This year’s spring edition of the two-day show was a little lighter on cars than normal because of rain all day Friday, and on-and-off Saturday. There was still a fair number of cars to look at, and a decent selection of swap meet vendors (I was actually one of them!). A little water never hurt this crowd, and the party was on.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

2017 Gallatin Square Fest Car Show

I’m a big fan of the annual Gallatin Square Fest Car Show. For one thing, there’s a craft show there, so I can usually convince my wife to go. But it also seems to draw an outstanding collection of cars. There’s stuff there that I’ve never seen anywhere else. The weather was warm. The cars were clean. It was a great day for a car show. I’ll bet you wish you had gone. Well, at least I took some pictures for you. No need to thank me.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Presley Motors is the new home of the King's cars at Graceland

Several years ago I had the opportunity to visit the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum at Graceland. It was fun to see the cars and all, but it was a dark, impersonal place that didn’t allow flash photography. That all changed with the opening of the brand-new Presley Motors Museum. The museum is part of the new, $45-million “Elvis Presley’s Memphis” entertainment complex that just opened in March, and it is a much better venue to display the King’s cars. In addition to the car museum, you can see archived Elvis memorabilia, watch Elvis movies, browse several gift shops, eat a peanut and banana sandwich in one of the restaurants, or buy tickets to tour the Graceland Mansion.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Daytona preserves NASCAR history

Well, the 2017 Daytona 500 is over. Kurt Busch earned his spot in NASCAR history and will be enshrined on the Harley J. Earl trophy. From the early days of racing on the beach, to the iconic two-and-a-half mile tri-oval, Daytona has had its fair share of historic moments. Luckily, there is an effort to preserve some of that history, and you can see quite a bit of it with a Daytona VIP Tour. We were there a few months ago to see this exhibit firsthand, and as usual, I brought back a few pictures to share.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Hot Wheels redlines. Kid approved.

My 13-year-old son hated trudging through flea markets and antique malls. Unfortunately for him, his mother and I enjoy going to places like that. A couple years back, someone gave the kid a Custom Barracuda Hot Wheels car at a garage sale. The Barracuda was one of the original 16 redline castings introduced in 1968. He did a little research, and found out how collectible a Hot Wheels redline can be. Now, our junking excursions are a little more tolerable for him. If we run across an interesting car that doesn’t cost a fortune (usually 12-bucks or less), we’ll grab it for him. You can be sure that he pays a lot more attention to what he’s looking at. The residual effect is that he’s amassed a nice little collection of Hot Wheels redline beaters. Last weekend, he helped me stage some photos of the cars in his collection so I could put a story together. These things are always more fun with an assistant.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

29th-Annual Stones River Region AACA Swap Meet at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds

Swap meets. I do enjoy them. They’re like the flea market, which I also like, but without all the antique furniture and vintage Christmas decorations. Nothing but the car stuff. Heaven. I’ve been to hundreds of automotive swap meets over the years, and although I don’t tend to buy all that much, there is that occasional treasure I can’t live without. But more than that, it’s just fun to walk around and look at everything. The Stones River Region AACA held their annual swap meet at the Tennessee Fairgrounds last Sunday, and of course, I was there. And thanks to the power of the Internet, you get to go there too. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

2017 Nashville Auto Fest

I don’t know about you, but when I get through the Christmas holiday season, I’m ready to go do some car stuff. In Nashville in mid-January, that means the Nashville Auto Fest. 2017 marked the 26th year for this indoor car show and swap meet, and as always, it was nice to see some shiny cars under the florescent lights at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. These things had been squirreled away in peoples’ garages all winter, and they needed to be aired-out. There was a little something for everybody, so without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the standouts.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Cars on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

A new president takes office this week in our nation’s capital. And it so happens that we were recently in Washington, D.C., so I’m using this as a tie-in for a car-related story. The Smithsonian’s Museum of Transportation is usually included on lists of car museums, so naturally we had to go here. Truth be told, there weren’t many cars to look at, though. Cars are presented as appliances here. They have a collection of cool cars hidden in their catacombs, but they aren’t available for public viewing. Really, all of Washington, D.C. comes across as anti-car culture. The streets are jammed with hideous red and silver taxicabs, police cars, and black SUVs. Personal cars are typically rough, beat-up hoopties that reflect the harsh traffic and parking issues that clog the streets. I snapped a few pictures, though, and there are a few interesting things if you squint hard enough.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

6th-Annual Tennessee Motorama moves to Lebanon in 2017

Tennessee’s first snow of the season took place this week, which means it’s time for the 6th-Annual Tennessee Motorama. This indoor winter car show moved from its original home in Murfreesboro to the new the Wilson County Expo Center in Lebanon. And although the salty, snowy roads kept a few show cars away, there were still several vendors there selling a nice variety of automobilia. It might not have been the biggest turnout based on the circumstances, but it was still worth the short trip north of Nashville. I know I’ve been getting a little stir-crazy for a local car show.