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.

This ’68 Plymouth GTX was a real standout. It looked about as fresh and perfect as a car can be. It was Electric Blue with white seats and redline tires. Not only is that combo very striking, but it’s also patriotic. It says “Super Commando” on the air cleaner, but that does not have anything to do with the owner’s underwear or lack thereof. It just refers to the 383-c.i. V8 under the hood. It even had a four-speed. I’m a die-hard GM guy, and even I was turned-on by this thing.

Another pretty outstanding MOPAR was this ’71 Dodge Charger R/T SE. It has a 440-c.i. “Magnum” under the vented, striped, and badged hood, but the paint color is Hemi Orange. This was a time when a muscle car included a pillowy bench seat, padded steering wheel, and half-vinyl top. The 1971 Charger was a big change from the Dukes of Hazzard-style cars it replaced, but in-line with the trends of the early ‘70s. You could tell that this car was pampered and loved by its owner.

The Fancy-Schmantsy Award had to go to this 1934 Chrysler 6 convertible. It even had stanchions and chains around it so you couldn’t get too close. Oh-la-la. Of course, you couldn’t hardly blame them for wanting to have a buffer-zone from the more clueless adults and their destructive little brats. This was a beautiful car with mile-deep black paint. This kind of restoration doesn’t come cheap. Even the red leather upholstery oozed quality. These standard Chryslers seem to get overshadowed by the Chrysler Airflow, which was built during the same time period. But I would argue that this one is better looking, and with their independent coil spring suspensions, innovative in their own right.

1970 Chevelle SSs are popular, and examples like this one remind you why. Finished in Black Cherry with Tuxedo Black stripes and interior, this one was more classy than flashy. It didn’t have a lot of options: no air conditioning, no bucket seats, no power windows. It did have an 8-track player to keep you entertained. But most importantly, it had that 454-c.i. big block sucking the flap open and closed on the Cowl Induction hood. There were lots of nice details hidden around on this car, like little factory build tags hanging off of things, and period-perfect Goodyear Polyglas GT tires.

There was a lot of interest in this ’65 Sunbeam Tiger at the show. The backstory on these is a little bit like that of the Cobra. The Sunbeam Alpine was a little British roadster that looked like a mini ’57 T-Bird and needed more power. Carroll Shelby made a prototype with a 260-c.i. Ford V8, and they were off. Shelby didn’t end up building the production cars, however, as that contract went to Jensen in England. Eventually, Chrysler bought Rootes, the parent company of the Sunbeam. The Chrysler V8 didn’t fit in this car, leading to its demise. At least the Sunbeam Tiger still lives on in reruns of the old Get Smart TV show.

Also from the Class of ’65, we have this Oldsmobile 4-4-2 two-door hardtop. Who wouldn’t want this Cutlass-based killer? We’re talking about a 345-hp, 400-c.i. V8 under the hood. We’re talking about a four-speed shifter and tachometer in the console. We’re talking about Nocturne Mist paint, wire wheel covers, and redline tires. In General Motors terms, this fit right in there with the Pontiac GTO and the Chevy Chevelle SS, although the Olds was a nicer car than either of those. Overall, this car looked just about perfect to me.

You want to see some more perfect cars? Check out all the pictures by clicking this link!

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