The first cruise-in of the season is always a special one. Everyone is “itching” to get out and brush the dust off the rides… and just hang! Well, today was that day for me. I made my way south of Nashville for the Gateway Classic Cars of Nashville customer appreciation day. The weather was perfect and turnout was fantastic… and included the local Corvette, Chevelle and Mopar clubs… as well as solo car geeks like me. Here are some of my favorites. Happy cruise-in season everyone!
I love car and bike shows… probably a little too much since they seem to take up way more of my time than any normal person should allow. They are my obsession I suppose, but I just can’t help it. I love to see classic vehicles and all the things that their owners have done to preserve them. It’s educational, giving me a lot of ideas for my own projects. It’s nostalgic, reminding me of simpler times and the historical significance of the US auto and bike industries over the years. It’s therapeutic, captivating my thoughts for a few hours and allowing me to forget real-world issues and pressures that we all face in adult life. And it brings up fond memories of my youth that includes vehicles I’ve owned in years past and great times I’ve had working on them with my dad. IT’S FUN!!!
Yes… I’ve been known to wander a car or bike show from open to close many times, looking at the same vehicles over and over… but eventually the doors have to close and they kick me out for the night. Sometimes that’s when the fun starts though. I’ve noticed over the years that a lot of the best cars and bikes you will see at a show are not on the show floor but rather in the parking lot. All of the photos in this post were taken in the parking lot of shows I’ve been to. I hope you enjoy them and I also hope that the next time you’re leaving a show, you’ll keep your eyes open on the way back to the car. You might just see some of the best rides all day on the outside looking in.
I’ve been messing around with motion photography. Here is my first real attempt… it will get better!
Let’s be honest… the “Dark Months” (that time between November 1st and March 1st when most days are dark, dreary, cold and filled with precipitation) are not fun. Classic cars and motorcycles spend a lot of time under wraps while owners look for ways to maintain their gear-head sanity. One way of doing so is to check out the local car shows… which is exactly what I did this weekend. The indoor event was just what I needed to give me a little boost while I wait for the Spring weather to break. I saw everything from Rats to Resto-Mod Corvettes and just about everything in between. Here are a few pictures. After you take a look, get out there and support your own local shows. It will do your motorized heart a world of good!
When you say the words American sports car, most immediately think of the Chevrolet Corvette. And why wouldn’t you? The fiberglass bodied wonder has been captivating men and women alike since it’s debut in 1953 and continues to make the hearts of the young and old in 2016 race a little bit faster at the sight of it’s seventh generation curves.
Did I say seventh generation? Yes, the Corvette has gone through seven major designs and re-designs since it’s inception and along the way has brought about technological advances that have kept it ahead of its competition and added new generations of fans and enthusiasts that have fallen in love with the Corvette model. But before I get too caught up in the beauty of the new C7 Corvette, let me step back in time and focus on my personal favorite generation of Corvette… the C3 or third generation and in particular… the 1968 model which ushered in a 15 year run of beautiful “Coke Bottle” shaped Corvettes.
Following the highly successful 2nd generation of Corvettes (1963 to 1967) was no easy task. The “new” design was a stretch for it’s time, drawing inspiration from a now legendary and then quite futuristic 1965 Mako Shark II concept car. With it’s radical new body lines and completely re-designed interior, the 1968 Corvette was first met with skepticism but soon won over the public and the industry “experts” with its performance, eye-popping beauty, removable roof panels (T-Tops), flush door handles, front fender cooling vents, aviation inspired instrument cluster and a new optional Turbo Hydramatic 3-speed automatic transmission. Within months, the third generation Corvette was a major hit and kicked off the longest generation of Corvettes, lasting all the way up until 1982… and even surviving an assembly plant relocation from St. Louis, Missouri to Bowling Green, Kentucky during the 1981 production year.
And speaking of the Bowling Green, Kentucky plant (the current home of Corvette production and the National Corvette Museum), I recently had the privilege of attending the Bowling Green Assembly Corvette Club annual cruise-in held on the plant grounds, and spotted these two fine examples of ’68 models. The Rally Red car is a restored car and the Lemans Blue model is slightly modified. Both cars are perfect examples of the C3 Corvette and either would be welcome in my garage!
I’ve been told that the original 8-track player in my ‘vette is worth a lot of money. I have no interest in upgrading (I will be keeping the original) so it was only logical for me to try and find some 8-track tapes to play in it. Well, last weekend I scored these. All I can say is… the ‘vette will be rockin’ now!
It’s definitely winter time here in Middle Tennessee! A far cry from what some other parts of the country are facing, but we are looking at lows in the 20s for the next week and the possibility of snow on Monday. That’s pretty drastic for mid November around here.
I’ve always kept my motorcycles and classic vehicles on battery tenders throughout the year but since I haven’t had the Vette all that long, so far it’s been “tenderless”… if that’s a word! And since it is juiced by an Optima REDTOP battery, it’s always been in the back of my mind that I’d love to have an Optima Digital 400 to maintain it. Well, today I dropped by Tennessee Speed Sport and gave myself an early birthday present.
This thing is way cool. It first analyzes your battery to see where it’s at and checks for proper connection. Then, if necessary, it will do a soft-ramp charge if the battery is deeply discharged. If not it automatically goes into bulk mode or conditioning mode as needed, followed by a float mode. It even has a recondition mode that kicks in every 30 days… though I do not plan to keep my car parked anywhere near that long.
To top it off (no pun intended), it has an easy to use push button menu and a cool “fuel gauge” that let’s you know the charging status at a glance. All this adds up to a pretty high-tech and intelligent tender. Happy birthday to me!