I made my way to Gateway Classic Cars of Nashville last weekend to take part in their Cars & Coffee cruise-in. If you are not familiar with the Gateway folks, you are missing out. With 14 showrooms across the country (with more on the way) and over 1,400 classic vehicles in their inventory… they are fast becoming the “goto” source for classic car buyers. Here’s a few pics (inside and outside) from my visit… and if you want to learn more about Gateway Classic Cars, check out the video at the bottom of this post!
I made my way to Gateway Classic Cars of Nashville this morning for their monthly cruise-in and wandered around for an hour or so. There were a lot of classic beauties to drool over in the parking lot… as well as inside via the huge inventory in Gateway’s massive climate-controlled showroom. One of the cars that showed up outside (via trailer) was this “racecar-looking” Ford Fairlane. I’d seen the car before but today I took the time to talk to the owner.
I didn’t know it but this car is a rare classic and is one of only 110 produced… by Ford! No joke… Ford built this car. It’s not like a Yenko Camaro or such where a dealer was authorized to hotrod factory cars, this is a 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt and came straight from the factory pretty much as you see it here, race ready. Crazy!!! Ford included a fiberglass front clip, rear racing slicks, a H.I. Riser 427 and more. It was so scary fast that potential purchasers had to document that they were legit racers before Ford would even sell them one. (Many had to bring newspaper clips of their victories to the dealership in order to verify they could handle this beast!)
The current owner showed me tons of documentation he has that verifies this car is the real deal. According to him, the first 10 were produced in this maroon color and the rest in white. This is actually number 25, so it was originally white, but a PO converted it to the maroon color when he repainted it. It’s in immaculate condition.
I certainly enjoyed seeing this car and grabbing a few cellphone pix of it but I also learned a good lesson today. When you’re at a cruise-in… don’t just wander and look. Talk to the owners and get the story on these vehicles. You just might get an education… like I did today on the Ford Thunderbolt!
I’ve been to a lot of car shows in my day… it’s kind of what I do. You know, I grab a camera bag and head out to capture something cool and unique. It’s not just a job, it’s a passion… and in the end I always seem to find something that stirs my inner car buff.
But as you can imagine, just like with any job, sometimes you get to a point where you’ve kind of seen it all before and it’s easy to find yourself in a rut. It happens to me, for sure, but there are other times when a show is just off the hook and I find a whole show full of vehicles that remind me why I fell in love with cars in the first place.
Last weekend I got the chance to hit up Goodguys in Nashville, Tennessee and I sure am glad I did. The show was fantastic in general but there were three or four customs/classics that were beyond words. Cars that just made my jaw drop. I plan to share them all here… and to start, I want you to see this absolutely pristine 1927 Ford Hotrod. A perfect throwback to 1970’s Southern California… I spent literally 30 minutes just studying this beauty and trying to capture it as best I could with a digital SLR. Hopefully, I did it justice.
I didn’t get a chance to meet the owner and/or builder but I would love to have gotten the full story… and set up a legit photo shoot. Maybe next time! (BTW… I did not get in this car, I just have long arms… haha!) Enjoy!
Please allow me to brag on my hometown for just a minute. Widely known for county music, Nashville is much more than most people think and among other things, has a rich history in the hotrod and motorcycle culture. Those traditions continue today and there are a host of talented builders (of both the 4-wheeled and two-wheeled kind) that currently call The Music City home.
One of those talented individuals is J Ryan of Gusher Cycles. I first met J Ryan about 8 years ago at a local bike show and since then have seen him out and about once or twice a year. It’s to the point now that I look for him at any show I think he might be at… just because I know he will have something stellar on display.
Last weekend I attended a show at the Nashville Fairgrounds and sure enough, J Ryan was there with another one of his smokin’ hot creations. You’re going to have to believe me when I tell you that these photos don’t come close to accurately reproducing the gorgeous paint job on this bike (show lighting is always so awesome!) but even so, you can see that J Ryan has perfected his painting and fabrication skills to a level that most will never reach.
Take a look and then jump on over to gushercycles.com to see more of J Ryans creations. I’m jonesin’ hard to have him paint my Sporty project bike for me and if you’re looking for custom work yourself (paint, fabrication, bars, etc.) you should definitely check out what Gusher Cycles has to offer.
The Spring Thaw! That’s what they call the motorcycle and car show that my friends over at Both Barrels Promotions do every March to kick off the “official” ridding and cruise-in season here in Nashville. It’s the show we look forward to all winter long… knowing that it signifies that the “Dark Months” are officially behind us and we can move on to more cooperative weather for our motorcycle and hot rod habits. It’s an awesome feeling… and today was the day. I never miss this show and this year brought out some real gems. These are a few of my favorites. Look for more in depth features on some of them in the near future… but for now, enjoy the re-cap.
So… here i sit in the middle of January with next weeks forecasted temperatures below the freezing mark. It’s not a good recipe for people like me who enjoy wandering through classic vehicles in the heat of the summer. Fortunately, I just came across a few pictures from a show I attended in Nashville back in September. It’s not exactly the same but at least I can re-live warmer times and some cool rods with these photos! Care to join me?
By the way… Alexander King & Hatfield Bloodline were the featured band at this particular show. If you’ve not seen them, I highly recommend you do when they hit your town. They are great and Alexander’s guitar player is the one and only Kenny Olson of “Kid Rock” fame.
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!