Friday, January 17, 2020

9th-Annual Tennessee Motorama brings cars out for the first time in 2020

The Tennessee Motorama is usually the first real car show of the year around Nashville, and it’s always nice to get off the couch and check out what’s happening in the real world. There was a threat of bad weather that didn’t really materialize, but that doesn’t matter because the show takes place inside the building at the Wilson County Fairgrounds. The show consisted of several Volkswagen Beetles, a few hot rods, some rat rods, a handful of motorcycles, and a few outliers. There were also swap meet vendors doing business around the perimeter of the show. All told, it wasn’t a bad way to spend a Saturday morning.

Here’s one of those outliers I mentioned. I don’t know a lot about Dodge vans, but the license plate was from 1971, so we’ll go with that. This is exactly the type of vehicle that scares the fathers of teenage daughters. The purple paint was complimented by an entire interior full of long, purple Grimace fur. Everything from the rear doors to the dashboard was completely covered. The only thing that broke up the décor was a velvet naked lady painting. The front fender declared that there was a 440-c.i. V8 hiding up under the cowl somewhere. Cragar mags, side pipes, and a bubble window complete the effect. If this vans a rockin’ … well, you know.

I kind of gravitated toward this ’63 Chevrolet C-10 step side. The seat upholstery, aluminum grille, and sail trim tells us this had the Custom Cab option. There was lots of patina here, but it wasn’t 100% original. It’s more like an old truck that was used like it was meant to be used for, then upgraded, repaired, and maintained as needed. The color is Cardinal Red two-toned with a Pure White top, and it features the little hubcaps off of a ’66 Chevy car. This one has lots of restoration potential, or you could just keep driving it like this and not have to worry about it.

If you like your trucks much, much fancier, this ’58 Chevrolet Fleetside might be the one for you. Overall, this show was sort of like a bunch of old car guys getting together to hang out. But this truck transcended the casual vibe by bringing in a full display, including its own lighting to highlight the glass-smooth custom Candy Red paintjob. The bedsides and tailgate were heavily reworked on this to give it a slick, custom look. Interior: lavish. Engine: dazzling. This is the kind of high-end, high-dollar build that you would expect to see at a World of Wheels show. Wasn’t wearing my sunglasses, and I had to force myself to look away before I fried my retinas.

You don’t see many Chevy LUV pickups anymore. In most places around the world, these were known as Isuzu Faster pickups, but in North America they were branded as Chevrolets. I never could get too excited about these, but they did win the Motor Trend Truck of the Year award twice along the way. LUVs were available from 1972 all the way to 1981, as Chevrolet began production of the S-10 pickup in 1982. This one has held up amazingly well over the years. It really wasn’t a bad looking little truck, and the Chevrolet rally wheels with ’67 center caps, along with what appeared to be a slightly lower stance, only complimented it.

If you like first-generation Camaros, this ’69 Z/28 should stop you in your tracks. Even among ’69 Camaros, of which there are many, this one stands out. Z/28s didn’t have the giant motors in them, but their 302 small blocks were plenty potent. These were designed more for corner carving, as they were developed for the Trans Am racing series. This one looked pretty solid with its Cortez Silver paint and Rally wheels. Sit behind the teakwood steering wheel, and you would be treated to a four-speed transmission to further enhance the racing vibe. If someone gave me the choice of one car that I could keep from this show, this Camaro would be pretty high on

I took 224 pictures at this year’s Tennessee Motorama. You can check them all out by clicking this link.

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