Friday, May 3, 2019

The cars are the best at the Gallatin Square Fest

The Gallatin Square Fest Car Show is always a fun time, so we threw the folding chairs into the back of my ’93 Corvette and staked-out a parking spot. Unlike most car shows where you’re basically on an island and have nothing else to see, do, or eat, this one is part of a festival that includes vendors and food trucks. That means there’s something for everybody at this show. They give out a lot of trophies (they gave a first-place class award to me for the Corvette), which seems to draw in a lot of very nice cars. I love car shows that provide both quality and quantity, so this was a good one to be a part of.

This ’58 Plymouth Fury seemed very original and unrestored. The worst part about it was that fuel leaked out of the fuel door and boogered up the Buckskin Beige paint on the quarter panel. That’s pretty minor, especially considering how complete the rest of the car is. With their gold anodized trim and flecks of shiny Mylar throughout the interior, these Furys sparkled with 1950s goodness. You don’t see many of these at all, and even fewer are as intact as this one. If you do see one, it’s usually either over-restored, or someone tried to make it into a Christine clone. This one presents the stylish and sporty coupe exactly the way Plymouth intended.

Exceptionally nice Studebakers are typically hard to come by at car shows, but there were a couple worth mentioning here. This one is a ’63 Gran Turismo Hawk, one of only 4,009 built that year. It's Parchment White, complimented by a Blue Mist roof and interior. To match the car’s sporty looks, Studebaker provided a 210-hp, 283-c.i. V8 as standard equipment. These had a lot of cool little details, like the stamped metal applique on the deck lid, and the sporty Stewart-Warner gauges in the wood-paneled dashboard. Studebaker was kind of wheezing toward its demise by 1963, but you wouldn’t know it was a troubled company by the looks of one of these Gran Turismo Hawks.

The other very impressive Studebaker was this 1960 Silver Hawk. This one was not actually in the car show, but part of a vendor display. It was so nice that I really thought it was worth a mention, though. They only made 4,280 of these in 1960, so you aren’t going to run into many of them at the Wal-Mart. Like the ’63, this is Parchment White with Colonial Red accents. Power comes from the 225-hp version of the 289-c.i. V8. This one as a cool “TT” emblem on the back, which stands for “Twin Traction.” It was a Packard-designed overdrive kick-down system that was supposed to give you better traction in wintery conditions. Not that anyone would want to drive this stunning Studebaker in the snow. This is strictly a fair weather car now.

This ’71 Dodge Charger R/T SE is one of those cars that you can’t help but notice. It has a 440-c.i. “Magnum” V8 under the vented, striped, and badged hood, but the paint color is Hemi Orange. This was a time when a muscle car included a pillowy bench seat, padded steering wheel, and half-vinyl top. The 1971 Charger was a big change from the Dukes of Hazzard-style cars it replaced, but in-line with the trends of the early ‘70s. You could tell that this car was pampered and loved by its owner. Being orange with a black stripe, there was a Tigger theme with the decorations. And just like Tigger, this is the only one.

This 1953 Ford F-100 pickup was as nice as they come. Powered by a 239-c.i. flathead V8, the ‘ol Ford had plenty of torque to go along with its 100-hp. And that’s not just red paint. It’s Vermillion. This truck obviously doesn’t have accessories or whitewalls or any other fancy stuff to set it apart. But what it did have was an exceptional restoration. From the biased-ply tires on the ground to the perfect yellow pine in the bed, every detail was thoroughly attended to on this rig. This truck won one of the “Best of Show” awards, as it should have. Sometimes simple and pristine wins the race.

That’s not to say a fancy truck can’t be appealing too. Take this ’51 Chevy, for example. Most of these are dark green and industrial. This one was light green, two-toned, and accessorized. It had fender lights, sun visor, grille guard, trim rings, running board step plates, headlight visors, radio, add-on turn signals, and an accessory hood ornament. The dash, grille, and window moldings were all lavishly chrome-plated. There was even a fancy Wayne finned accessory valve cover topping the Stovebolt. Few trucks were this glamorous in 1951. This would have been like the Silverado LTZ High Country of its day.

Since I had a car entered in this show, I had a lot of time to take pictures. That’s why there are 324 of them in the album. You can check them all out by clicking this link.

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