Friday, January 24, 2020

New digs for the 29th-Annual Nashville Auto Fest in 2020

The Nashville Auto Fest celebrated its 29th anniversary in the brand-new exhibit buildings at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. The all-in-one layout ensured that I was able to go through the whole thing and not wonder if I missed a building somewhere. As usual, a nice selection of show cars turned out, as well as a modest swap meet. We aren’t quite in the heart of car show season yet, but at least this show gives us a taste of what’s to come this summer. It’s nice to see some old favorites come out of moth balls, and fun to see some of the new cars on the local scene for 2020.

When you look at today’s sleek, conservative designs, it’s hard to imagine that something like this 1958 Buick Super Riviera (hardtop) Sedan was ever sold to the public. There are entire Buicks built now that don’t contain as much material as the chrome trim on this car. Finished in Reef Coral with a Polar Mist roof, this car wears its 1950s excess with pride. With as many features as these Buick Supers came with, you’d think this was one of the most opulent things you could buy. But not only was this not the top Buick model in 1958, it wasn’t even close to the top GM offering. This was an awesome time in automotive history.

Speaking of awesome, here we have a stellar 1967 Corvette coupe. This sucker has a 390-hp, 427-c.i. big block with factory air conditioning, a four-speed transmission, side pipes, headrests, teakwood telescoping steering wheel, and rally wheels. This Lynndale Blue beauty had just about everything you’d ever want in your Midyear Corvette. Well, it had everything except my butt in the driver’s seat. If someone let me take any one car out of this show and put it in my garage, this would have been it.

Here’s a good-looking ’71 Buick Skylark Custom convertible. There was actually a nice selection of Skylarks from this era at the show, so it was hard to pick one to write about. Normally when you see these on display they’re a GS, or a GSX, or a clone of one of those. I picked this one because it’s unusual to see a nice car like this that isn’t a hot rod. It’s just a sharp-looking car that represents they type of Buick most people bought back in the day. This one has a 350 with a four-barrel, column shift, air conditioning, and Road Wheels. Cortez Gold is the perfect color to finish things off.

In the mid-‘60s, full-sized Chevrolets were the most popular cars on the market. In 1966, Chevrolet decided to add a luxury version to the lineup with the Caprice. The Caprice was considerably fancier than the Impala, giving buyers an almost Cadillac-like experience with Chevrolet value and appearance. If you’ve never seen the interior in one of these, you should definitely check one out. This Ermine White Custom Coupe featured 396 callouts on the front fenders. The wheels and tires are obviously a more modern addition. Overall it was an extremely nice, clean example of a Freshman-year Caprice.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this ’67 Opel Kadett Sport Coupe is the nicest one I’ve ever seen. The restoration on it is unbelievable. Opels were made in Germany by General Motors and sold at Buick dealerships here in the U.S.A. It has a little 1.9-liter overhead cam four-cylinder that was originally good for a whopping 59-hp. I really can’t get over how nice this car was, though. Everything shiny was either chrome or polished. The redline tires were a dramatic contract to the Crystal Blue paint. It was over-the-top perfect in every way. If you like things that are unique and interesting, this was the car for you.

If you think some other car is for you, you’ll probably be able to find it in the photo album. I took 274 pictures at the 2020 Nashville Auto Fest, and you can see them all by clicking this link.

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