Thursday, October 25, 2018

31st-Annual Oktoberfest Antique Car Show brings the best to Lebanon

Some of the best car shows of the year happen just as the car show season is winding down. Such was the case with the 31st-annual Lebanon Oktoberfest Antique Car Show, which was held last weekend around the Main Street Wilson Bank location in Lebanon, Tenn. It was a beautiful, cool day; just perfect for checking out all the beautiful, cool rides. 382 vehicles showed up for this event, making it one of the largest single-day car shows around. Also, since it is hosted by the Middle Tennessee AACA, there is always a nice assortment of factory-correct classics.

Here’s a great example of that. This ’60 Buick LeSabre convertible was everything you want an old car to be. You’re looking at 40 gallons of Arctic White paint on the outside and 100 yards of Tampico Red vinyl on the inside—and this wasn’t even the biggest Buick in 1960! You don’t see many of these, but this one had a very impressive restoration inside and out. There were a lot of cool details on a ’60 Buick. The “Mirror Magic” speedometer was actually hidden inside the dash and read backwards, then the driver saw the image projected on an adjustable mirror. And check out that spectacular carpet with the Mylar sparkles! This really was a satisfying old car to look at.

And then there was this ’55 Ford Crown Victoria. The front is Tropical Rose, and the back is Snowshoe White. Those colors may be named after two different climates, but they sure look great together. They didn’t just throw the name “Crown” Victoria around all willy-nilly either. This car is actually wearing a tiara on its roof. And, like the Buick above, these had a gimmicky speedometer. In this case, a Plexi-glass window allowed sunlight to shine through the back of the gauge pod and “light up” the speedometer. The pink-‘n-white theme continues to the interior. This car is so ‘50s, so pretty, so kitschy, ya’ just can’t hardly stand it.

Here’s what Chevrolet was building one year later. This ’56 Bel Air was one nice car, not question about it. And you can’t go wrong with Matador Red and India Ivory. Most people think Chevy V8s were all painted orange in the ‘50s, and you see your fair share of ‘56s with orange engines. The 265 in this one is painted red, not orange, and for 1956, that detail is actually correct. It also has a Power Glide for an easy ride. 1956 Bel Airs aren’t rare by any means, but you do seem to see less of them than the ’55 or ’57 models. I like them all, but ‘56s are sort of growing into becoming my favorites. An example like this one sure helps solidify that opinion.

I’ve always been a fan of late-‘60s full-sized fastback coupes, and these ’68 Chrysler Three-Hundreds were among the best looking. The sweeping roofline, hidden headlights, fender hash trim, and five-spoke rally wheels do a good job of making this Olive Green Chrysler look sporty, even if it does have fender skirts. The white interior is also very impressive. It’s sort of like a Barracuda in there, but much fancier. This one even has a 440-c.i. engine in it. The only drawback to this car would be that your garage would need to be extra-long. Flowing style like this takes up some space.

Here’s a striking ’77 Pontiac Astre in Goldenrod Yellow. Back in the day, many Chevrolets were re-badged as Pontiacs when they were sold in Canada. In 1973 and ’74, the Astre was the Canadian Pontiac version of the Chevy Vega. In ’75, they started selling them in the U.S., and in 1977, the final year, the Astre dropped the aluminum Chevy engine for a Pontiac-sourced, iron-block 2.5-liter four. This one was pretty cool, with wheels and trim that looked like they belonged on a Trans-Am. It’s also the nicest one I think I’ve ever seen, and that includes when they were new. The matching yellow luggage was also a nice touch.

Now check this out. This Firebird Formula is a Pontiac, just like the Astre, it’s a ’77 model, just like the Astre, it’s Goldenrod Yellow, just like the Astre, and it’s in pristine condition, just like the Astre. In 1977, this was one of the most powerful, best handling cars you could buy. The Formula had, well, the Formula. It wasn’t as powerful or extroverted as the Trans Am, but that 400-c.i. V8 was pretty stout for its day. This one had the W50 appearance package to let everyone know it wasn’t just a base Firebird. It looked absolutely right to me inside and out. It even had an 8-track player if you wanted to clank your way through some Rod Stewart or Andy Gibb.

The color on the 1932 Chevrolet Series BA Confederate coupe was simply known as “black”. The tires are black. The wheels are black. This thing was murdered out before anyone knew the term. In spite of the Great Depression, Chevrolet sold more than 300,000 cars in 1932, but you could probably count on one hand how many of them are still in the same family. The owner’s grandfather bought this one in 1933. Now that’s some family history right there. The presentation on this one is perfect. There are no accessories or extra doodads, and it’s all the better for it. It still has it’s 60-hp Stovebolt six under the hoods, so no one tried to make it into a hot rod. After 86 years, the current state of this car couldn’t be better.

When there are a lot of nice cars, it’s easy to take a lot of pictures. That explains why I managed to load 678 of them into this photo album, which you can see by clicking this link.

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