Monday, September 9, 2019

Red Boiling Springs Fall Meet celebrates 63rd-Anniversary

Last weekend, the Middle Tennessee Region AACA recognized the 63rd-Anniversary of their Fall Meet, which was held on the picturesque grounds Thomas House Hotel in Red Boiling Springs, Tenn. According to my calculator, that means the first one was in 1956. That’s even older than this Chevy Viking 60 Howe-bodied fire truck, which was bought new by Red Boiling Springs Volunteer Fire Department in 1959. Tradition runs deep here. Many of the club members have been attending this event for decades. Even the hotel has been here since 1927. All of this history is great news for show-goers. Organizers have been doing this long enough now that there aren’t too many hitches in the operation. This year, 328 vehicles showed up. That’s a successful effort in anybody’s book.

I never really considered myself a Mercury station wagon kind of guy, but I think this ’65 Colony Park was my favorite car at the show. I know; I’m just as shocked as you are. But look at this thing. The restoration on it is out-of-this world, with deep Onyx paint, Carnival Red guts, and just the right amount of fake wood. Even the 390-c.i. V8 looked cool with its orange valve covers and air cleaner. There’s just something about this unusual car in these colors in this condition that really pops. You can almost picture it taking the family to Yellowstone National Park for vacation. On the other hand, it’s too nice for that. No grubby little kids need to be in here messing things up!

This one had to belong to the proverbial little old lady that only drove to church on Sundays and only in nice weather. It is probably the nicest ’61 Buick Special I’ve ever seen. This largely unrestored little sedan only has 19,000 miles, and looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor on a sunny day. The Dublin Green paint is still shiny. The interior is virtually spotless. The spare is still intact, and the wheels are still tiny. So is the aluminum V8, spec’d out to only 215-c.i. Buick built 18,339 of these Special sedans in 1961, and I wouldn’t be surprised if 18,000 of them weren’t used up and thrown away. But then one like this surfaces. What many at one time considered disposable emerges as a surprise gemstone in a box of costume jewelry.

I was parked across from this ’70 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme convertible, and although it didn’t seem to get a lot of attention, the more I stared at it, the more fascinated I got. I’m sure part of the reason it got passed by was because Viking Blue with black vinyl doesn’t exactly reach out and grab you. It’s also not a 442 or beefed-up by Hurst or anything of that nature. But it sure did look original. I mean, those weather-checked, double-striped G78-14 tires were actually offered by General Motors in 1970. The 310-hp, 350-c.i. Olds Rocket V8 was just grubby enough to appear completely unmolested. The only thing that didn’t appear to be original was an aftermarket radio, and in this car, it really stood out. The odometer only showed 3,900 miles. Makes you wonder.

This had to win an award for “best sleeper.” This ’66 Plymouth Belvedere two-door sedan was finished in Light Blue, just like a baby bonnet. It had black tires, and full wheel covers with spinners, and it looks like it would be parked out in front of the same beauty parlor as that ’61 Buick Special I wrote about earlier. But hang on, Grandma. Someone crammed a 440-c.i. V8 in there, and paired it up with a four-speed transmission. Now I’m definitely not a Plymouth expert, but I’m not positive you could even get a 440 in one of these. Maybe a MOPAR person can chime-in in the comments. At any rate, the install looked pretty legit, and the entire car looked clean, neat, and purposeful.

This is sort of the opposite of the last car, because it looks fast, but secretly houses a little engine. The fact that this Mayfair Maize ’65 Pontiac Lemans was restored to this high level and not turned into a GTO is pretty amazing. But the fact that it still retains its 215-c.i. inline-six is a flat-out miracle. This car was a real eye-catcher, especially with those beautiful Parchment Morrokide bucket seats. The owner dolled-it-up a bit with a set of rally wheels and redline tires, leaving the steelies and dog dishes at home. This car probably received more attention with that six under the hood than if would have if it were a full-fledged GTO. I don’t recall ever seeing another one quite like it.

I really enjoyed hanging out at this event. There was a pretty solid swap meet, and my ’93 Corvette bagged a first-in-class trophy. But mostly, I just liked looking at all the other nice cars. I liked it so much, I took 702 pictures. You can see the entire album by clicking this link.

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