Thursday, September 19, 2019

Nashville Corvette Club hosts the Touch of Gold Car Show

Last Saturday I thought it would be fun to go on down to Brentwood, Tenn., for the Touch of Gold Car Show, which was held at the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home. I figured if I went to the other side of town, I might see some cars that normally don’t hang out in my neighborhood. Also, since this show is hosted by the Nashville Corvette Club, it seemed like a good place to take my old ’93 Corvette. As you might expect, there were a lot of Corvettes there. That’s not all there was, though. Probably half the entries were other kinds of cars, so there was a little something for everyone. I actually attended the Tough of Gold Show a few years ago at a different location, and then as now I was impressed with the quality of entries that make it to this event.

Since it was the “Touch of Gold” show, how about this Gold Mist 1957 Oldsmobile 98 Holiday Coupe? These cars had a clean design that was fancy at the same time—bold, but not too much. This would have been considered a high-performance car back in its day, thanks to that big ol’ 371-c.i. Rocket V8 with the triple carburetor J-2 option. The interior was a rich combination of chrome, leather, and Baroque cloth, combining the space-aged ‘50s with timeless opulence. This is a very understated color for one of these, with only the red wheels and side spear to set it off. It was definitely a nice car, and something you really don’t see very often.

Here’s something else you don’t see very often—especially ‘round these parts. It looks like an old Ford pickup, but actually it’s a ’48 Mercury M-47. These are fairly uncommon in the U.S. because Mercury trucks were built for the Canadian market. It was essentially a rebadged Ford F-1, sporting the same available flathead V8 and Vermilion paint job. It’s sort of the older version of what Fred Sanford would have driven north of the border. This was too nice for junkyard duty, though. Really, it was too nice for any sort of heavy-duty truck activity. Clearly, this rig is getting the best of care during its well-deserved retirement years.

The same owner classed-up the festivities with not one, but two Desdemona Blue Auburns, a phaeton and this ’33 boat tail Speedster. This car had some concourse show provenance, but it wasn’t so perfect that you couldn’t drive it if you wanted to. Even after 86 years, this car still looks cool and sporty, especially with its Burnt Rust accents and Woodlite headlights. You can just picture Clark Gable dashing off to the golf club in this for a day with the boys. It’s a high-end, sensible-yet-classy ride, kind of like James Bond’s Aston Martin. And for as old as it is, you can still keep up with modern traffic in one of these, thanks to a powerful Lycoming straight-8 engine.

Of course, since this was hosted by the Nashville Corvette Club, there were several nice Corvettes to look at. I was particularly drawn to this Goodwood Green ’67 roadster, with contrasting Saddle leather interior. This one had several options associated with the high-horsepower big-block cars, such as a four-speed transmission, side pipes, and aluminum wheels with redline tires. But the un-scooped hood clued you in on the small-block 327-c.i. V8. In this case, you’re looking at the upgraded L79 option, which was good for 350-hp. That might not seem like a big deal, especially considering that some 427s belched out as much as 460-hp in 1967. But don’t be fooled. That small block in these little Corvettes had enough power and torque to scare the hell out of you and your unborn children.

The majority of the cars at this show looked like this one. That is to say, super-clean C7 Corvettes in one trim level or another dominated the show field. This Arctic White 2016 was one of the more outstanding examples. Like most Corvette owners, this one could not resist the temptation to make additions and upgrades. Some of these were the usual—splitters and side skirts, seat belt pads, little red beads around the edges of the wheels. But then somewhere along the way, it was decided that 455-hp wasn’t going to cut it anymore. That’s when the car was sent to Lingenfelter Performance in Decatur, Ill., to boost that horsepower rating to a more tolerable 720. I did pass these guys on the highway on the way to the show as they tooled along at what appeared to be just under the speed limit, so I think they’re mature enough to handle all this extra firepower.

There were maybe 250 cars at this show, and I took 385 pictures. That should give you a pretty good idea about what was there. You can even see my car there at the end, and the nice trophy it won in the C4 class. Check out all the pictures by clicking this link.

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