Thursday, January 25, 2018

Happiness is the 27th-Annual Nashville Auto Fest

I’m always happy when the Nashville Auto Fest comes to town. I’m usually stir-crazy for some car action by mid-January. I usually see something I haven’t seen before. And any chance I get to set foot on the same property as the historic Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway brings joy to my heart. I think this year looked a little lighter on cars than others I’ve been to, but we have been dealing with some weather problems over the past couple of weeks. There was still quite a bit of great stuff there. Believe it or not, I even took some pictures.

This is a pretty rare ’72 Pontiac Grand Prix Hurst SSJ. Hurst Performance Research was known for their Oldsmobile conversions back in the day, but for ’71 and ’72 they dolled-up some Grand Prixs. They only offered a couple of color choices, this one Cameo White with Hurst Fire Frost Gold accents. Hurst added the electric sunroof and half vinyl roof, as well as adding various emblems and gold-painted wheels. This one looks like it was upgraded to maybe a set of U.S. Mags Daisy style wheels. There were less than a couple hundred of these, so you don’t see them very often.

If your tastes run more toward classic, this 1931 Auburn 898A Convertible Sedan should trip your trigger. You wouldn’t think a royal blue car with maroon accents would be too classy, but this car easily pulls it off. The blue paint-and-chrome knock-off wire wheels were very striking as well. I’m not sure about the coarse vinyl material that was used to upholster the seats, but I guess not everything can have buttery soft leather. Lycoming is known for building aircraft engines, and still does to this day. But Auburn was one of the many automobile manufacturers they built engines for back in the day. Money was tight during the Great Depression, but as you can see by this Auburn, some of the finest cars in history were produced at that time.

Here’s a very original looking 1959 Edsel Ranger two-door sedan. The Petal Yellow paint looks largely untouched or at least very old. It may look fancy now, but this was your entry-level Edsel. This one was even powered by the base 223-c.i., 145-hp “Economy Six” with a three-on-the-tree. Someone had recently laid down some pinstripes, which I’m usually a fan of. I could take it or leave it on this particular car, but they did compliment the color scheme nicely. I really liked this old car. It was a real survivor in a cheery color. Who said Edsels were ugly?

1982 was the last year for the third generation Corvette, so they decided to do something special and introduce these Collectors Editions. These things were fancy in their day, with sort of a Champaign-colored leather interior (“Silver-Beige” on the order form) and turbine-style wheels that looked like the Midyear knockoffs. These cars also had the distinction as the first Corvette with an opening rear hatch, and the first Corvette that was priced over $20,000. This one only had about 1,500 miles and was sitting on the original Goodyear Eagle GT tires. It was also for sale. You could have a basically brand-new 1982 Corvette for $24,000.

This ’57 Chevy Two-Ten two-door hardtop was a looker. It looked like it meant business with that Onyx Black paint, black sidewalls, and little hubcaps. The power plant looked like it meant business too. No inline six here. This one had a late-model 5.3-liter L83 with a claimed 355-hp. Just think about that. An original, top-of-the-line ’57 Chevy had 283-hp, and you had to deal with a fussy mechanical fuel injection system. If you could transport this car back to 1957, no one would know what hit them. It would dominate everything—drag races, NASCAR races, street racing, whatever. You wouldn’t have to tune it up or anything. But today, this is just kind of a typical modern hot rod.

If you’d like to see 280 pictures from the 27th-Annual Nashville Auto Fest, all you have to do is click this link.

1 comment:

  1. The photos were GREAT! The show looked like it was a lot of fun to attend.