Thursday, July 8, 2021

Light Up the Pike and Hendersonville Cruise-In offered choices last Friday night

Hendersonville was a busy place last Friday night if you were an old car geek. Did you want to go to the Light Up the Pike (LITP) Car Show at Long Hollow Church, or did you want to go to the always popular Friday night Hendersonville Cruise-In? Either choice was a good one. I popped-in at both of them to see what was what. The Long Hollow Church show probably got the most attention. In addition to the car show, they had all kinds of family games set up, and they set off a huge fireworks show at the end of the night. The weekly Cruise-In was a little light on attendance, but there were still plenty of good cars there to check out.

This ’63 Corvette roadster was a real standout at LITP. It was Ermine White on the outside and Riverside Red on the inside—a classic Corvette color combination. The 327-c.i. V8 in this example was mated to a Powerglide automatic transmission; not something you see all that often. Other than the transmission and the knock-off wheels, this car didn’t have a ton of options. But the condition is what made it really shine. Everything was no nice and fresh and clean. It was just a neat, tidy little car that sort of transcended the usual car cruise-type car. I know I went back to look at it a couple of times before I called it quits.

I also really liked this ’56 Ford Victoria. It wasn’t a Crown Victoria, because it didn’t have the fancy chrome B-pillar trim that encircled the top, and it wasn’t a Skyliner because it didn’t have a clear plastic roof. But it added some upmarket flair to the mix by featuring a full-rear bumper Continental kit. The Diamond Blue and Colonial White paint scheme looked very ‘50s, and went great with the Baroque seat inserts. The Thunderbird emblem on the front fender indicates that there is a 292-c.i. Ford Y-block under the hood, good for 200-hp. It was a nice car, and very representative of its time. I was glad to see it at LITP.

You might think this is a MG, but you’d be wrong. It is a very rare 1952 Singer 4AD roadster. There are only 42 of these known to exist in North America, and the owner was understandably eager to talk about his unusual British sports car to everyone who went by at LITP. The little 46-h.p. engine was buried under a squirrel’s nest, and the car was in quite a state of disrepair when he found it in a barn in 2002. It went to the right owner, though. After rebuilding the wood frame, the rest of the car was treated to a very loving restoration. This was not only the only one at this show, but probably the only one I’ve ever seen.

Down the road at the Hendersonville Cruise-In, you could have seen this ’57 Oldsmobile Fiesta wagon. When was the last time you even saw one of these? The four-door hardtop wagon was finished in Granada Grey and Charcoal, with a beautiful Accent Vermilion interior. It also had he coveted J-2 engine option, with not one, not two, but three thirsty carburetors. This was one of the best looking station wagons ever made, and one of the strongest performing cars you could buy in 1957. Awesome.

The Hendersonville Cruise-In also offered this stunning 1959 Thunderbird convertible. Red on the outside with whitewalls over Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels. Red on the inside with white inserts in the bucket seats. Everything about it was just over-the-top beautiful. I’m surprised they even drove it to the car cruise. It seems like it would spend all it’s time in a climate controlled bunker. This was the first time I’ve seen this car, and I hope I have a chance to take a look at it again.

If you didn’t make it to either one of these events on a warm, July night, don’t worry. I have more than 400 photos, encompassing both shows, and you can see them all by clicking this link.

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