Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Early birds have all the fun at the BMS Cruise-In

Lately, Cars and Coffee-type gatherings are really picking up steam over the traditional night time car show. It makes sense. You get up early, spend an hour or three on a Saturday morning, and the rest of your day is free. The BMS Cruise-In is taking advantage of that trend. Last Saturday was cool and foggy, and there were still probably 150 cars and trucks out there. A lot of them are late-model Mustangs and stuff that are not usually what we cover here, but there are still plenty of very cool older rides if that’s what you’re into.

A nice example of that was this ’63 Impala SS. This car looked great with its dog dish hubcaps and black tires. The hood was closed, but it had that all-important “409” badge on the front fender, four speed shifter, and teakwood steering wheel. This old car just had “the look.” There’s a reason the Beach Boys wrote a song about these. The color was Riverside Red with a matching interior. It’s hard to believe that this pretty Impala and my crusty old truck were both sold at some Chevy dealership in 1963.

If you visited the same Chevrolet dealership one year earlier, you may have seen this Roman Red-on-black ’62 Corvette. This was a transition year for the Corvette. It was the last year for this generation, but the first year for the 327. The chrome around the coves, and subsequently, the two-tone paint job was gone, along with wide whitewall tires. This car appeared to be mostly stock, with the addition of a Vintage Air unit to keep everyone cool in the summer. I don’t remember seeing this particular car before, but it was one of the first ones I wanted to check out.

Moving up to 1965, we find this clean old Impala two-door hardtop. There’s nothing too crazy going on here. It’s just a nice Aspen White Impala with a 283 V8. It’s not a Super Sport. It’s not a muscle car. In its day, it would have just been an average, everyday car. But now it’s 53 years old, and this once ordinary commuter has aged into a beautiful survivor. The only obvious deviation from original are the Cragar mags, but these came with some pretty homely wheel covers, so you can’t really blame someone for switching them out.

If you’re into old MOPARs, you’d likely be interested in this ’68 Plymouth GTX. Finished in Electric Blue outside and in, this car was a real standout. The GTX was sort of a luxury muscle car, as opposed to more extroverted Road Runner. The regular Belvedere, on which this was based, came with a 383-c.i. V8. Step up to the GTX, and you got a 440-c.i. lump standard. This isn’t a wild looking car, but with the subtle stripes down the lower body and the redline tires, it still looks like it means business.

There were tons of (mostly Chevy) trucks at this event. This ’54 Chevy 3100 caught my eye. There were several styling changes in 1954, including this heavy grille treatment and the bowtie-within-a-bowtie hubcap design. They also got a one-piece windshield. Early ’55 models actually looked just like this, but it wasn’t long into the model run when Chevy trucks took on a radical redesign. I’m not 100% positive that you could get one of these from the factory in black, although I’ve been wrong before. IT definitely looks good, though, and retains its 235-c.i six for lots of torquey power.

Here’s one for the Ford fans. This Dark Moss Green’67 Custom four door sedan isn’t the normal thing you would expect to see, but it had a cool factor that was hard to deny. The dual spotlights and utilitarian nature would indicate that it was some kind of former police or fire chief car. It had 428 emblems on the fenders, and the engine appeared to be built with today’s hot rod technology in mind. I guess you could look at that green paint and little hubcaps and call this a sleeper. But on the other hand, the old car looks so mean, I think you would expect it to be pretty potent.

The other thing that was pretty potent was the turnout. There were enough cars at the March BMS Cars and Coffee that I was able to snap off 250 pictures. Check them all out by clicking this link.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Craig,I see you don't have the hood up on the your truck to show us all that torquey power you have.lol,Larry c.