Friday, September 6, 2019

38th-Annual Bowen Campbell Auto Expo returns to Moss-Wright Park in Goodlettsville

When a car show has been happening in the same place for 38 years, someone must be doing something right. In this case, that someone is the AACA Sumner County Vintage Vehicle Club, and that something is the Bowen Campbell Auto Expo, which happened last Saturday in its traditional location, Moss-Wright Park in Goodlettsville, Tenn. They always have a big turnout at this show, and it seems to draw some of the nicer cars from around the Nashville area. I hung out there all day with my ’63 Chevy truck, which would not be considered one of those nicer vehicles, but I was surrounded by good stuff. It was a hot day out there for sure, but that didn’t seem to keep people from enjoying this Labor Day weekend tradition.

This 1970 Oldsmobile 442 was about as perfect as anything can be. It looked just like it came out of a hermetically sealed bubble. The Rally Red paint was flawless. The Firestone Wide Oval tires looked new. The 370-hp, 455-c.i. V8 was surgically clean. It even had its window stickers in place. Little hubcaps on steel wheels aren’t something you often see on these, but they made the car look like it meant business. I did hear it start up after the show as it was shuttled off to its trailer, and it had that sort of sour sound of a car that isn’t quite sorted out. Such is the life of a mighty 442 that lives for show and not for go. It sure is a beauty, though.

I thought this ’38 Pontiac DeLuxe four-door had a strong stage presence. Phantom Grey isn’t a super flashy color, but it stood out here. I was really diggin’ some of the accessories, like the chrome wheel spats, driving lights, and four—count ‘em—four front bumper guards. The owners had a gangster bank robber theme going on in the back seat, complete with a Tommy gun and a big bag-o-money. They also had some period advertisements for ’38 Pontiacs and other relevant materials. You don’t usually see these cars restored to this high level. I’m happy someone went to the trouble of doing it, though. Restored ’69 Camaros are great, but sometimes you want to look at something different.

From one year earlier, I present this ’37 Plymouth coupe. If you visit this page often, you should recognize this car, because it’s just like the second car from the left in the Hover Motor Company header. This one looked like a moonshine runner, with big old oversized tires to handle the load. These originally only had 82-hp pumping out of their 201-c.i. sixes, so it might have required a little tweaking to get away with the hooch. This car actually looked like something a high school kid might have been driving in the 1950s. It has a really old bright blue repaint, and the seat was recovered in pleated black vinyl. You know this car has seen a lot of history in the last 82 years. If only it could talk …

There are lots of reasons why this big ’66 Imperial Crown Coupe shouldn’t even be here. For one thing, they were built so tough that many of them lost their lives in demolition derbies back in the day. For another, this was the same kind of car that was used in the Green Hornet TV series, and this one managed to avoid getting turned into a Black Beauty for the show, or in the 2011 movie, or as a fan replica. It’s good for us that it survived, because there’s a lot to like here. Finished in Spanish Red with white leather and black carpets, this was a very pretty, high-end ride when it was new. It’s not perfect. It has an old repaint, and wears its fair share of nicks and dings. But it’s a really good driver, loaded with luxury and impossible to miss.

This one rolled in fashionably late and turned every head in the park when it did. It’s a stunning ’56 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible in the striking color combination of Sierra Gold and Adobe Beige. The interior was as immaculate as the exterior. Overall, it was treated to a high-end restoration, and they got the little details right, including painting the 265-c.i. engine red instead of orange, which is correct on this car. It had a tastefully installed aftermarket air conditioning system for days like this when it’s too hot to drive around with the top down. When you look at something like this, it’s hard to imagine that this was the common Chevrolet that you could just go buy at the local dealership. It sure doesn’t look common now.

If you were one of the few people that decided not to go to the 2019 Bowen Campbell Auto Expo because you thought it was too hot out, you’re in luck. I took 473 pictures while I was there, and you can see them all by clicking this link.

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