Thursday, September 20, 2018

Big turnout for the 13th-Annual Fall Redneck Rumble

If you like your car shows a little more gritty, if you’re not really into shiny paint, and if you like dodging fast-moving bicycles, motor scooters, and rat-rodded golf carts, the Redneck Rumble is the place for you. The 13th-annual Fall edition was recently held at its usual location, the Wilson County Fairgrounds in Lebanon, Tenn. And as usual, the place was packed with all manner of crusty and creative rides. There’s a lot to this show, including a cruise, swap meet, and even a demolition derby. I brought my own non-glossy truck to the party, so I had premium parking to go straight to the picture taking.

This ’52 Chevy DeLuxe Sport Coupe looks just like you want a period custom to be. It’s not completely stock, but they didn’t go too crazy either. The Spring Green paint is highlighted by some subtle pinstriping. There are Lakes Pipes with three, count ‘em, three caps on each side. And a little matching rolled-and-pleated Naugahyde sets the right inner-environment. The straight-six is gone in this one, replaced by a small-block Chevy with Vintage Air for comfort. The words “Happy Days” are airbrushed on the glove box door, but I think the “Sweet Pea” personalized license plate captures the essence of this ride even better.

My relatives were from Colorado Springs, and you used to see things like this ’77 Jeep Wagoneer all the time there. I picked this one out because it’s a nice, original rig, even sporting what appears to be the factory-applied Tawny Orange paint. This just looks like something you would have expected to see at a National Park, calling on its Quadra-Trac four-wheel-drive system to pull it out of a dry creek bed. Big side mirrors are perfect for seeing all the cars you’re holding up on a narrow mountain road while you drag your big ol’ camper behind you. But whatever kind of severe duty this one was called upon to do, it still managed to survive in good condition.

Here’s a ’32 Ford hot rod that the owner claims was built in 1973, which is also the same year I was built. Like me, it’s a little dated and out-of-style. But unlike me, it’s still in very good shape. Sure, it’s a little more Burn Sienna Metallic than one might prefer, and there’s a little more deep graining in the Ochre-colored vinyl than most people these days want to stick their sweaty behinds to, but it is a great time capsule if you like ‘70s hot rods. Or it would be an easy one to make into a more traditional ‘50s-style Deuce Coupe if you’d prefer. Any way you look at it, there was a lot to like about this car. It was for sale for $38,500, which seems pretty steep. But have you priced an original ’32 Ford lately? It’s probably worth that to the right guy.

The proliferation of rat rods did not scare away the owner of this high-end ’56 Continental Mark II. These cars managed to pull off a pretty good trick, because they had a big tire hump on the back that was decorated with a 40-lb chrome- and gold-plated emblem, and they still managed to look classy and understated. They only sold 1,325 of these in 1956, and 444 of them in 1957, so seeing one really is a rare treat. Our Medium Beige example looked largely original, with maybe some freshening up along the way. This was a great car—not too nice that you couldn’t use it, but nice enough that it outclassed most everything around it.

Staying with the 1956 theme, I thought this was an interesting Chevy. It is a Bel Air, which is relatively common, but it’s a four-door hardtop, which is not. The colors are what drew me in; Crocus Yellow on the front and Onyx Black on the back. The interior was very happy and ‘50s in these, especially with the Mylar cord separating the fabric colors. It looked like the original 265-c.i. V8 was still getting it done up front, and a GM Accessory Continental Kit was following along out back. The bright and airy Bel Air seemed like a cool, breezy way to enjoy a weekend drive.

If you liked this little feature sample, here’s a whole bunch more. I took 685 pictures on Saturday at the 2018 Fall (late Summer?) Redneck Rumble, and you can see all of them by clicking this link.

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