Thursday, August 30, 2018

Somernites Super Cruise takes over Somerset, Kentucky

When you approach Somerset, Ky., the sign on the highway declares that you are entering the “Official Car Cruise Capital of Kentucky.” When it comes to the monthly Somernites Cruise, these people aren’t messing around. It kind of reminds me of a NASCAR event. There are Somernites souvenir trailers, printed color programs, and many displays, activities, and vendors to keep everyone entertained. Oh, and there were lots of cars—1,500 of them according to the P.A. announcer. Somerset’s entire downtown is blocked off for this, and they manage to fill every parking lot and street corner.

This ’66 Pontiac convertible was a real stunner. It’s a 2+2, which is a high-content, big-engine version of the full-sized Catalina. Starlight Black paint contrasted perfectly with the Montero Red Morrokide upholstery. 2+2s came with 421-c.i. engines in 1966, but this one has the optional three carburetor option, giving it a very healthy 356-hp. I guess you can’t call this a muscle car, because it is a big car with a big engine, not a small car with a big engine. But it certainly doesn’t lack muscle, and it also pours on the luxury. Really, since these are so unusual, I enjoyed looking at it more than a G.T.O. There are a lot of great details on this car.

It’s always hard for me to resist a nice General Lee, and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a nicer one than this. Also, Hazzard County was supposed to be in Kentucky, so this one was right at home here. I have read that they destroyed 250-300 ’69 Chargers to make The Dukes of Hazzard TV show. The show producers also used to fly around in planes and look for Chargers sitting in driveways that they could try and buy. I loved the show, so I’m glad they did all that. But I’m also glad they didn’t find them all, otherwise this one wouldn’t be here today.

This is a 1975 Cosworth Vega. They made these for two years, 1975 and 1976. They’re fairly rare, as only 3,508 of them were actually produced, and they were really expensive for a compact car. The magic was in the British-designed, all-aluminum, 122-c.i., fuel-injected, twin-cam four, which was rated at 110-hp. That might not seem like a lot now, but for a four-cylinder car in 1975, that was pretty impressive. They were quite sophisticated in their day, and have become quite the collectors’ items today. This one was even for sale, so if you were looking for one of these, you should have been here.

Mustang was the featured marque for this month’s cruise, and 850 of the 1,500 cars in attendance were Mustangs. Most were late-model versions, and I didn’t go around and take pictures of all of them. But I did focus on some of the more outstanding mustangs, like this 1968 High Country Special. Similar to the more well-known California Special, this version was made for the Colorado market. It has special stripes and stickers, Shelby-like Thunderbird taillights, and Lucas fog lights in the grille. You’re not going to see one of these every day, because Ford only made 251 of them in 1968. Out of all the Mustangs at the cruise, this was one of my favorites.

Check out this ’63 Plymouth Sport Fury convertible. This was the top-o-the-line Plymouth, and it has all the chrome trim, bucket seats, and push button transmission you could ever want. “Golden Commando Power” has nothing to do with leaving the house sans underwear. It does, however, refer to the potent, 330-hp, 383-c.i. V8 under the hood. This was another unbelievably nice car. It was sitting on period-correct tires, and there was not a wrinkle in that white convertible top. I don’t know how it could be any more perfect. I’ll be honest with you; I like ’63 Impalas better than this. But you see them all the time. I actually had more fun looking at this Plymouth, because again, you hardly ever see them.

Here’s something that’s easy to see—589 pictures from the Somernites Super Cruise. Check them all out by clicking this link.

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