Sunday, June 3, 2018

Nice start to the KSI Auto Show

The KSI Auto Show took place this weekend at Hendersonville High School. Kevin Stephens Interiors and a handful of sponsors came up with quite a bit of prize money for participants, and a portion of the proceeds were to go to the Hendersonville High School football team. There was great participation from the football team, and relatively decent participation from car owners. This was the first shot at this show, and it has potential. They could maybe offer more different classes, and tighten up the schedule a little bit. But the lot is actually very well suited for this, and the Hendersonville Cruise-In confirms that there are plenty of cars in the area. There were some pretty nice ones at this show to be sure.

I’ve never seen this ’55 Oldsmobile Super 88 before, but I was very happy to see it here. The colors were fantastic—Polar White on the front, black on the back, and red inside. This was a two-door hardtop, but Oldsmobile called this style a Holiday sedan. The Super included a four-barrel carburetor and boosted horsepower to 202. These were the muscle cars of their day, with the same power plant as the larger Olds 98, but in a smaller, Chevy-sized package. They were also finished off beautifully, with rich chromed pot metal bezels in the ornate, padded dashboard, and quality materials throughout. I hope I see this car around some more. I’d be happy to have the opportunity to study it again.

They made this style of Hurst Oldsmobile in 1983 and 1984. The ‘83s had Dale Earnhardt’s “Man in Black” paint scheme five years before Earnhardt had it, and the ‘84s like this one reversed the silver and black. At the time, these were pretty hot stuff, with a high-output version of Olds’ 307 V8, dual exhaust, and front air dam. They came with what Hurst called a Lightning Rod shifter. It was designed for drag racing, and made it so that you could manually shift from low-to-high one gear at-a-time without missing a shift. I don’t know how useful that actually was on these, but it looks cool with three gear shifters. This car is pretty rare, as they only built 3,400 of these in 1984.

If there’s a better color on a 1962 Corvette than Honduras Maroon, I haven’t seen it. 1962 was a big transition year for the popular two-seat sports car. It was the last year for the straight-axle, first-generation Corvette. But it was the first year for the 327-c.i. engine, narrow whitewalls, and less chrome trim. Advertisements said things like, “It’s a car worth driving. It runs like all get-out because it has a mighty 327-c.i. V8 engine. It stops, it changes direction with the speed and ease of a gazelle because of its knife-edged balance and great, huge brakes. It’s a car to make driving enthusiasts of us all …” You gotta’ love that old Campbell-Ewald ad copy.

Here’s a pretty high-end hot rod. This is one of those highly coveted ’65 Shelby GT 350s you always see at Barrett-Jackson. The sign said, “This is the way they came from Shelby American in 1965,” but I suspect this one is actually nicer. These were powered by a 306-hp 289, and Shelby added (and subtracted) all kinds of things to make these into street-legal racecars. It obviously gained cast wheels, stripes, gauges, back seat delete, etc. But more importantly, the suspension was dialed in for serious track duty. Mustangs were not fire-breathing monsters when they came out of the Ford factory in 1965, but Shelby did a good job of making them that way.

Here’s a pretty little ’56 Ford Victoria two-door hardtop. It looked very 1950s with a paint color that appeared to be Meadowmist Green and Colonial White. The wheel covers were your basic aftermarket wires, but someone had gone to a lot of trouble to detail them out with matching green paint. There was a copy of the Fomoco Times in the trunk with this car on the cover. I especially liked this interior, with refreshing misty green vinyl wrapped around Baroque inserts. You don’t see as many nicely restored ’56 Fords at these shows as you do ’56 Chevys, so it’s always nice when one turns up.

I was at the KSI Auto Show in the morning, so it’s possible that a few cars showed up after I left. But I took pictures of everything that was there when I was there. That worked out to 182 pictures total, and you can see them all by clicking this link.

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