Friday, July 6, 2018

Manheim Nashville employees show off their rides

When I’m not going to car shows, I actually have a paying job where I rep General Motors vehicles at the dealer auctions in Memphis and Nashville. Recently, my car show world and my professional world combined when Manheim Nashville had an employee Spring Fling and car show inside the gates of their massive campus in Mt. Juliet. Rain in the area probably kept several cars away, but a little water never hurt my old truck, so of course, I was there. The auction had set up a really nice event for their employees with lunch, games, and prizes, so I was really happy that they let me attend. What’s more, some of the people that work there have some really nice cars!

I have featured this car before, and I will keep on writing about it as long as it shows up at car shows. This Tuxedo Black-over-silver ’65 Impala Super Sport was as nice as they come. You just don’t get this much black paint this straight on accident. It had a 325-hp 396 big block with a four speed. Even the wire wheel covers looked good on this one. The only thing it was really missing was air conditioning. But hey, this car was still “cool” without it. The owner sat on a lawn chair in the shade within sight of his beautiful Impala, then every twenty minutes or so he’d go give it a full detail. You can’t blame him, though—it was that nice. It also won the “best of show” award, as it should have.

This ’63 Oldsmobile 98 four-door Holiday sedan (four-door hardtop) was another very straight old car. Bias-ply tires may not be the best things in the world to drive on, but you can’t beat the way they look on an old car like this. This car had a big ol’ 394-c.i. V8 that proudly proclaimed that it was an “Ultra-High Compression” “Sky Rocket” on the air cleaner lid. It was finished in a less-aggressive shade of Cirrus Blue, and the air-conditioned cabin had some comfortable-looking modern fabric seat inserts. This was a big, pillowy cruiser from an era when luxury was synonymous with serenity, as opposed to now where luxury means connectivity.

You don’t see too many of these anymore. This is a Bright Red ’87 or ’88 Fiero GT, and it’s an awfully nice one. I don’t remember seeing these in this good of condition when they were two years old, not much less 25 years later. I know Fieros had their faults, but I have always liked these, especially with the 2.8-liter V6 behind the seats. They look good, they’re sporty, and they have some really cool little details. Even the carpet is sweet. I haven’t been behind the wheel of a Fiero in 20 years, and I don’t know if it would be as good as it looks or just a big disappointment. But why ruin the dream? I’m sure it would be awesome!

Here’s the blown-altered drag car known as “Gold Rush.” It’s owned by Fred Bumpus, and makes the rounds on the Mid-South drag racing circuit. This was one of the stars of the show, because at one point the ferocious Hemi was fired up to the delight of the crowd. I’ve never seen so many people clap and cheer after a car was shut off before, but the employees at Manheim Nashville just ate this thing up. It makes you wonder why more people don’t go to the races anymore. If they liked hearing this thing run in a parking lot, imagine how much they’d enjoy watching two of them actually racing side-by-side.

There weren’t a ton of cars at this show, but I wanted to make the slideshow worth your while. To that end, I went back out on the lot on a sale day during a “High-Line” event. This is where some sellers bring out high-end and exotic cars, and offer them for sale to dealers in the auction lanes. It’s not open to the public, but there are some pretty interesting vehicles out there. I can’t afford any of them, but I do enjoy looking at them. So if you like Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Corvette ZR-1s, and Ford GTs, you’ll get a little of that in the pictures this time.

Between the car show and the sale cars, I managed to crank out 129 pictures from Manheim Nashville. You can see them all by clicking this link.

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