Friday, July 27, 2018

2018 Lebanon High School Car Show makes good use of their parking space

Lebanon High School held their annual fundraiser for the marching band last weekend, and lots of great cars showed up to do their part. The sun was as bright as the sun could be, but the temperatures were fairly reasonable for Tennessee in July. A high school is a pretty good place to have a car show, because when the students and teachers go home, there’s a huge parking lot that isn’t being used on the weekend. Every empty parking lot should be filled with cool old cars. I have decreed it.

This ’86 Monte Carlo SS was a super nice car. Of course, the SS version of these was out there to go along with Chevy's NASCAR efforts, so it’s no coincidence that this conjures up images of Dale Earnhardt. I owned one of these, and I liked it. It looks great, and the interior is very roomy and airy with a great steering wheel. You can tell the ‘80s were a different time, because this, the hottest version of the Monte Carlo, had a small 305-c.i. V8 that was only good for 180-hp. These are not fast cars, especially for something wearing the SS badge. But I still like them. They’re still popular. And it’s always nice to see one this nice.

Here’s a stunning ’34 Ford five-window coupe. You see so many of these turned into street rods, you almost forget how great they looked out of the box. An 85-hp Flathead V8 doesn’t seem like much today, but in 1934 this was one of the fastest cars you could buy. Bonnie and Clyde would have definitely stolen this particular example for a fast getaway if they could have. The slick black paint probably would have given them a 5-mph advantage over anything the cops might have had. For something that was mass-produced and sold to a lot of regular people, these were really high-quality automobiles.

One of the slickest cars at the show was this ’70 GTO. It stands out for several reasons. One, the Baja Gold color is a nice change from all the red ones you see. It’s also nice that they didn’t try to make it a fake Judge or something. If a Ram Air GTO can look conservative, this one with its vinyl top is doing its job. It wouldn’t be too conservative behind the wheel, though. That 400-c.i. V8 is good for a tire-melting 350-hp. There are several cool little details here, like the hood-mounted tachometer and an under-dash 8-track player. If you love Pontiac muscle cars, this was your pot-‘o-gold at the end of the rainbow.

There were more Mustangs at this show than anything else. This ’65 Mustang coupe had a neat custom look to it. I don’t normally lose it over gray cars, but this one worked with the white interior. The engine had a more modern look to its presentation, and there were air conditioning vents hanging under the dashboard to keep things cool. But it was the choice of wheels that really made this one stand out. These appeared to be Kelsey Hayes wires with the wide, smooth centers that you might expect to see on an early ‘50s Corvette. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them on a Mustang before. They did look good on there, though.

This ’59 Corvette was interesting. It wasn’t perfect—far from it. I wouldn’t exactly call it original either. It had a well-worn patina as if it hadn’t been touched in 40 years. But somewhere along the way, probably in the 1970s, someone repainted it, maybe did some upgrades to the engine and transmission, and otherwise fixed it up. If you were a high school student in 1975 and you saw this thing all shined up sitting on a used car lot, you’d go crazy for it. It’s a time capsule, maybe not from 1959, but from a time when cars like this were still considered to be common daily drivers. I can definitely appreciate something like that.

If you appreciate pictures, we can do something about that too. There are 253 photos from this car show, and you can see them all by clicking this link.


  1. I'm still around following you, Craig. I'm 82 now, but your photos at the weekend car shows always intrigue me every time. Time passes rather quickly, doesn't it? Roger Grotewold, Grotewold Motor Co., Larchwood, IA......

  2. Good to hear from you, Roger. Thanks for sticking around!