Friday, October 18, 2019

Park Place Cruise-In

When I was at the Hendersonville Cruise the other night, someone handed me a flyer for a Thursday afternoon cruise-in at the Park Place Retirement Home in Hendersonville. This event was mostly for the residents of Park Place, and they had a nice set-up with root beer floats and popcorn. Truth be told, it was too hot out for most of the residents to come out from under the awning to look at the cars, but a few of them did venture out of the shade. Late-model Corvettes dominated the show field thanks to a strong club participation, but there were a few other interesting things out there as well. This wasn’t a very action-packed car show, but it was a nice little thing to do for the people that live there.

’60 Cadillac Coupe DeVilles manage to be over-the-top and elegant at the same time. Yeah, it’s a mile-and-a-half long. Yeah, it has humongous fins. Sure, it’s a boat. But look a little closer. There’s not one line out of place. Those fins don’t look tacked on; they flow with the design. The roof is low and sloped. The ’60 Cadillac is not the outrageous hulk that we saw in 1959. This car is refined and dignified in a way that no car this big should be. This Olympic White example was as nice as they come, which says a lot on a large, complicated vehicle like this one. In case you hadn’t noticed, I was a big fan of this one.

In 1964, this Plymouth Valiant was probably about as exciting as a Hyundai Accent is today. But somehow, this disposable car was able to last 55 years, be treated to a nice restoration, and stands out at a car show among more popular cars that also happen to be more common. This was a pretty basic four-door sedan. It’s Medium Blue, with a slant-six and an AM radio. The seat inserts were updated with some modern comfy cloth. Nothing stands out here, and yet, you can’t help but like it. It’s really nice. The owner takes enough pride in it that he carefully crosses the seat belts for display. It didn’t used to be cool, but now it is cool because it isn’t trying to be cool. Will someone’s beloved Hyundai Accent manage to be this charming in the year 2074? I kinda doubt it, but I guess anything’s possible.

The owner of this ’57 Chevy Two-Ten wagon is one of the most loyal car show attendees in the Nashville area. You see it everywhere. And why wouldn’t they want to show it off? The solid Sierra Gold paint looks great with the little hubcaps and whitewall tires. The interior condition is absolutely wonderful. But don’t look for too many fancy add-ons and doo-dads here. The lack of a “V” under the Chevrolet script on the hood indicates six-cylinder power. You row your own gears with a three-on-the-tree. And if you want tunes, forget it, because there’s no radio. This car is so nice and so right. It’s just how you want an old car to be.

This ’66 Corvair convertible was a neat little ride. The color is Regal Red, which seems like an appropriate name for this car. Corvairs were some of the most innovative cars in their day, with an unconventional rear-engine layout that was quite a departure from other American cars. By 1966, most of the bugs were worked out of the Corvair’s design, and they became a good-looking, reliable, fun-to-drive little car. But the writing was on the wall. With the popularity of cars like the Ford Mustang, the Ford Falcon, Chevrolet’s own Nova, and the Camaro in 1967, the Corvair did its best to hang on until it was phased out in 1969.

Here were some new friends I made at the show. Phyllis and Frank Hutchinson are residents of Park Place, and they were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary on the day of the car cruise. They were big fans of the ’56 Thunderbird they were standing next to, but they also liked the popcorn and root beer floats. You could tell they were into the cars, because they stopped and looked at all of them. It was pretty cool that they were able to schedule this event on their big day.

I took 83 pictures at the Park Place Retirement Cruise-In, and you can see them all at this link. You’ll know you’re at the end when you see my truck!

No comments:

Post a Comment