Thursday, May 17, 2018

13th-Annual Goodguys Nashville Nationals continues to impress

I really enjoy it when the Goodguys car show comes to town. It takes place at the football stadium, but you see cars running around all over Nashville. This is nothing like a weekly car cruise. It’s expensive to show your car there. There are lots of rules and regulations. It’s hard to win anything. It’s a huge production, almost like having a NASCAR race come to town. It’s an exciting event even if you don’t like cars, but it’s even more exciting if you do. It’s one of those shows that I try make every year, even if I don’t have a car in the show. It takes a few hours to get through it all, but it’s worth the time.

Check out this magnificent thing. First of all, Chrysler never even produced Imperial convertibles in 1955, but here it is. It almost looks stock, with its Chrysler wire wheels and whitewalls. But that dazzling smoky green along with the soft, basketball-colored leather hints to its show car intentions. Under the hood, you’ll find a late-model 392-c.i. Hemi that’s decorated to look similar to the original. I can’t even imagine the work that went into making something like this, but it sure did turn out beautifully. I wouldn’t even want to show it out here because I wouldn’t want people getting this close to it.

This ’36 Ford roadster looks like something that could have been built in the 1950s, because it is. This really was a survivor from the golden age of customizing. It was restored in later years to a much higher standard than it was originally built, but that vintage flavor still remains. The distinctive custom grille and headlights, Lincoln wheel covers, and skirted, tail-dragger stance all remind you of those early customs. The jet black paint, perfect bodywork and panel gaps, and luscious red leather showcase some of the more modern building techniques. Tilt up the side-opening hood to see a chromed-out 351-c.i. Ford V8 with three shiny carburetors. There are loads of nice touches on this car everywhere you look.

So you may be asking, out of all those cars, why would I feature a ubiquitous ’57 Chevy. And I would answer that this is not a common ’57 Chevy, but something pretty special. This is a 150 two-door sedan. It’s not the lavish Bel Air that we’re all familiar with, as evidenced by the lack of chrome trim, little hubcaps, and cheap cobble stone seat upholstery. But what this budget-minded Chevy lacks in accouterments, it makes up for in power. The 283 V8 in this one features two carburetors and pumps out 270-h.p., which was pretty big doin’s at the time. Finished in flawless Harbor Blue and Larkspur Blue, this Chevy looks like it means business.

Here’s another very striking car. It’s a ’55 Buick Roadmaster in Cherokee Red and Cameo Beige. Roadmasters were the biggest Buicks you could buy, built on the same platform as a Cadillac. This one is about as nice as I’ve ever seen, and sits on a set of gorgeous Buick wire wheels. It even has a spotlight! The only things I could see that was missing were the clock and the radio, and I would imagine they were out being restored. You don’t need the radio anyway, as it would drown out the soft purr of the 236-h.p. nail head. It’s beyond comprehension that anyone could walk by this car and not be impressed. It just has that kind of appeal.

If there was one thing that dominated the show field this year, I’d say it was Chevy trucks. Everywhere you turned, there was some version of a C-10, K5 Blazer, or Suburban. Goodguys opened up the year range to 1987, and the Chevy truck guys came out in force. There were two of these ’66 Suburbans parked in one of the vendor displays, and they both had the same basic modifications. They basically look like they came from the factory, with stock hubcaps on slightly larger steel wheels. Original-style Custom trim upholstery is set off by later-model gauges, unobtrusive touch screens, and air-conditioning vents. The only difference was that one was Fawn and one was Ivory. Either one of them looked like a nice resto-mod in which to take a comfortable road trip with vintage style.

There are lots more things I could write about, but you’re probably just here for the pictures anyway. I took 1,132 of them, and still didn’t manage to get every car. You can see them all by clicking this link.

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