Thursday, May 30, 2019

Boogie down at the Hot Rod Boogie Car Show

The Nashville Palace was the place to be for the 5th-Annual Hot Rod Boogie Car Show, which was part of the big Nashville Boogie Weekender event. While musical acts like the B-52’s rocked inside, the cars kept people outside. Sure, it was over 90-degrees this weekend, but these cars stayed cool in spite of the temperature. They also had some vendors out there selling vintage clothing, stickers, and whatnot. You see a lot of promotional material for this show throughout the year, so it’s no surprise that they draw a nice selection of cars and trucks.

This 1960 Plymouth Fury convertible was off the charts. The early ‘60s was big on that optimistic, space-aged styling, and Plymouth did not disappoint. I mean this thing had it all—Mylar trim, gold emblems, stars, fins, fake tire on the trunk, space pod gauges, push-button transmission, Huge emblems on the quarter panels that are no-less than six colors. If there was a trick or gimmick to be had, this car had it. Even the color was named Jet Black, so you know this baby is ready for flight. This was in the Hagerty Insurance Ride and Drive display, which I think means you could get a ride in it. I know it has been driven at some point, because it was missing a wheel cover. Otherwise, the restoration on this car was very impressive.

Here’s one from a year earlier in almost the same color. Ford made a pretty good looking car in 1959, as you can see by this Galaxie four-door sedan. ’59 was kind of a weird year with Ford’s nomenclature. The Fairlane 500 had been the top trim level. Then sometime during the year they decided the Galaxie nameplate would trump it. So cars like these came from the factory with the Fairlane script on the trunk, and Galaxie badges on the quarter panels. This car stands tall with its Raven Black paint and THREE tone (!) red, black, and white interior. Wheel covers appear to be from a ’57 model. You don’t see many four-door sedans with sticks preserved to this level, so it was nice to see it for a change of pace.

So I did one from 1960, I wrote about one from ’59, now let’s jump back one more year to 1958. The thing that really stood out to me about this ’58 Buick Special four-door sedan is that the owner and his friend drove it to Nashville all the way from Florida for this show. Now remember, it has been stinking hot out for a week. That’s a lot of confidence to put in the cooling system of a 61-year-old car, not to mention a real test of endurance for a modern human body that has been acclimated to air conditioning. This car looked great in its two-tone combination of Colonial Blue and Warwick Blue. Wheel covers here looked like they were off a ’76 Electra. The fact that this car was sitting here means it’s as good as it looks.

This setup might be the coolest thing at the show. What used to be the rotted-out shell of a ’47 Ford COE farm truck has been made into period-appearing race car hauler, complete with matching Ford Jalopy riding on the ramps. The truck actually sits on a late-model Ford ambulance chassis, so everything is more modern and reliable than it looks. But it looks fantastic. I can almost picture this rolling into a dirt track in 1956, but it’s probably nicer than most of the rigs would have been back then. All the hand-painted lettering on truck and car really adds to the theme. Sometimes you go to a show and something just stops you in your tracks. This is that kind of setup.

You might recognize the Munster Coach from the 1960s Munsters TV show. Guiding the George Barris-designed Model T into position is none other than Eddie Munster himself, actor Butch Patrick. Patrick was there with this replica Munster Coach, as well as a copy of the coffin-based “Dragula” drag car, which was another Barris-derived ride from the show. Patrick was charging people for autographs and pictures at the show, but he really had to work for it. He drives the Dragula around himself. He sets up his own banners and tables. For a classic TV star, he really earns his keep.

Speaking of earning things, you’ve earned some photos after reading all my rambling. That’s why I took 234 of them. You can see the entire album by clicking this link.

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