Photography

TOUCH OF GOLD 2016

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I love Corvettes. It’s a passion that started when I was in high school and continues to this day. This is evidenced by all the useless Corvette facts rolling around in my head… the several trips I make each year to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky (CLICK HERE to read about my recent visit.)… the countless hours I spend on-line, looking at Corvettes for sale across the country… a wall full of Corvette “junk” hanging in the man cave… and the fact that about 80% of all the T-shirts I own have something to do with Corvettes or a Corvette event. My wife claims I have Corvette-Radar… able to spot a Corvette miles in the distance on most every drive we take. Probably true.

So of course, one of the area shows I look forward to each year is the “Touch Of Gold” show which is organized by The Nashville Corvette Club and features America’s sports car. This years event was held on the campus of O’more College of Design in Franklin, Tennessee on September 10th… and the weather was perfect. There were a lot of great vehicles on hand but three in particular stood out to me… a 1972 LT-1 in Sunflower Yellow (1 of 1,336 produced), a 1963 fuel-injected split-window couple in Riverside Red with gorgeous side pies and rally wheels, and a 1978 Silver Anniversary (2-tone without the Pace Car graphics) that was originally purchased by none other than country music legend Waylon Jennings. You can pick them out below.

Thanks to the Nashville Corvette Club for a great event.

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“Touch Of Gold” is not just about Corvettes. Other makes and models are also welcome. Here’s a few pics for the non Corvette fans.

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DUBFEST 2016!

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When I was a little kid, my father had a 1969 VW Bug as his daily driver. I remember a few things about that car specifically… like the fact that the heater did not work very well…haha. Dad would carry an ice scraper and use it on the inside of the windshield as he drove down the road in order to see. (What’s a defroster???) I also remember that when many other cars would fall victim to the Chicago snows, that little bug would plow right through… never getting stuck. But what I remember most is how much I loved that car… and though I have never personally owned one, they always catch my eye at local car shows. They’re just cool!

These days there are a lot of VW enthusiasts and clubs to support the “Bug” addiction. One such club is the Wolfsburg Alliance in Middle Tennessee. Each year they hold what is Middle Tennessee’s only all-Volkswagen car show and swap meet, affectionately known as “Dubfest,” and today was the day for this years event. The weather was great and Daniel Edwards and the entire Wolfsburg Alliance crew did a great job of hosting a lot of cars and fans.

Here’s a few pics from Dubfest and if you want to know more about Wolfsburg Alliance and what they are up to… check out facebook.com/wolfsburgalliance

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GATEWAY CLASSIC CARS OF NASHVILLE

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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!

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1941 CHEVROLET RAT

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OK… I admit it… I’m a RAT fan! There’s something way-cool about a vehicle that was produced through blood, sweat & tears in someone’s back yard with available parts. I recently attended the Southeastern Truck Nationals and spotted this beauty. It’s a 1941 Chevrolet truck with a 4″ chop, a custom bed, a 1935 grill and Caddy tail lights. Pretty sweet!

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SOUTHEASTERN TRUCK NATIONALS

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I’m a huge GM truck fan so I feel fortunate that the Southeastern Truck Nationals are held each year right here in Nashville, Tennessee. This year’s event took place on July 16 and was held again at the White House, Tennessee city park. It was the sixth annual celebration and the folks at the C/10 Club of Tennessee did a great job planning and organizing another great show. There were lots of vendors and swap meet booths… and of course, some great looking GM trucks. Here are just a few of my favorites. Check out www.gmtruckshow.com for more info. I’m already looking forward to the 2017 show!

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FORD THUNDERBOLT!!!

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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!

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1960 EL CAMINO – FIRST GENERATION

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I’ve always been an El Camino fan of sorts but my affections were primarily based on the fact that the El Camino was essentially a “truckster” version of the iconic Chevrolet Chevelle muscle cars that I grew up loving. But what I didn’t know in my younger days was that the El Camino actually had a previous life… pre-Chevelle if you will.

The El Camino was first introduced in 1959 in response to the success Ford was having with their Ranchero model but unfortunately Chevy’s counterpart did not sell all that well and they discontinued production after the 1960 model year… just 2 year into the El Camino’s first life. Four years later Chevy decided to give the El Camino another go and then successfully sold the Chevelle-based model through 1987… but perhaps the rarest El Caminos are the 1959 and 1960 first-generation models.

I spotted this fine 1960 El Camino at a recent show in Nashville and when I saw it I couldn’t help but wonder why Chevy couldn’t sell these beauties. Great body lines, a sporty vibe and a futuristic dash all add up to a “way-cool” vehicle in my book. What do you think?

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FANTASTIC SUBURBAN!

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Those that frequent this blog know that I am a big fan of 1960 to 1966 Chevrolet/GMC pickup trucks. My passion for these trucks started in the mid 60s when I was a just a little kid… when my uncle purchased a brand new ’64 model in gorgeous Light Red. i loved that truck and the passion continues today with my own 66 Stepside in the same color.

Chevrolet’s lineup also included the Suburban model during these years (the first SUV???) that essentially offered a fully enclosed version of their their hugely successful truck. The meticulously restored example you see here is a ’64 model and is one of the finest 5th Generation Suburbans I have ever seen. I spotted it at Goodguys Nashville and was so taken aback by it that I had to get as many pictures of it as I could to share with you. Enjoy!

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1966 C2 SURVIVOR… IT DOESN’T GET MUCH BETTER!

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When you go to a show like Goodguys, you can easily get lost in the beauty of the perfectly restored vehicles on display. The level of craftsmanship that goes into some of the classics and customs at these larger National shows is astounding for sure… but I also keep an eye out for any true survivors that might be in the crowd. Especially when we are talking about Corvettes… and in particular, 2nd Generation Corvettes. There is something special about a 1963-1967 Corvette that is unrestored, a little flawed, not quite perfect… and yet beautiful in all of it’s original glory. A true survivor of times past. I spotted this 1966 survivor at Goodguys Nashville this spring and of course, even in the midst of some of the most beautiful high-dollar customs in the world, this beauty stole the show for me.

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1927 FORD HOTROD… THE REAL DEAL!

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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!

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GOODGUYS NASHVILLE 2016

I look forward to the Goodguys show in Nashville every year… and 2016 did not disappoint. Here are a few of my favorites on the day!

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A DEDICATED RACER

Those that know me, understand that I am a third generation Corvette fanatic. It goes way back to when I was 17 years old and a ’69 model my father owned… but anyway, I love to photograph C3 Corvettes  every chance I can.

This car took part in an autocross event I photographed recently and of course immediately caught my eye.  But after talking to the owner, the car became even more special. This car was brought brand new in 1978 and was immediately put on a trailer to be used as a track car. The car has literally been a dedicated race car it’s entire life. Pretty cool.

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CORVETTES AND AUTOCROSS!!!

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I recently had the opportunity to photograph the Nashville Corvette Club’s autocross event at Twin Fountains Raceway in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Turn out was great with everything from daily drivers to cars that are dedicated racing machines taking to the track. The event drew participants from all over the mid-west and the action was non-stop for two days.

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I’m a little embarrassed to admit it but… The first time I heard of Autocross was just a few years ago when the Good Guys show rolled into Nashville, Tennessee and challenged my doubting mind. Frankly, it seemed a little out of place to have a racetrack set up in the parking lot of the car show. And seriously, how fun could it be to watch fast cars constrained on a small course of plastic pylons? Well, as it turns out, I found out that autocross is seriously fun and the perfect venue to test man and machine. George Kimble of the Nashville Corvette Club perhaps put it best when he described autocross as not so much racing but more “precision driving.” That’s exactly what it is. It’s driver’s learning their cars and pushing them to the edge to get the very best performance possible.

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Autocross emphasizes safe competition and differs from road racing in that there is only one car on the track at a time racing the clock rather than other cars. Because of this format, drivers of all skill levels can participate. Men and women, young and older participated on this weekend with everybody having the same goal of making their next run faster than their last one. Most were successful in doing so but two things were for sure. First, everybody had a great time and secondly, each participant walked away knowing their cars a little better while having improved their personal driving skills. Win, win!

Visit The Nashville Corevtte Club on-line at www.nashvillecorvetteclub.com.

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FIRST CRUISE-IN OF THE SEASON

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!

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BRAGGIN’ ON NASHVILLE AND GUSHER CYCLES

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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.

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SPRING IS IN THE AIR!

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.

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OUTSIDE LOOKING IN…

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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.

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MOTION PHOTOGRAPHY

I’ve been messing around with motion photography. Here is my first real attempt… it will get better!

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A LITTLE SOMETHING TO WARM UP YOUR JANUARY

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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.

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WILSON COUNTY BANK & TRUST OKTOBERFEST

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I made my way to Lebanon, Tennessee this afternoon to check out the Wilson County Bank & Trust Oktoberfest… which happens to host one of the largest antique vehicle shows in the area. It’s a great family oriented event that includes not only a great car show but live music, art contests, crafts, and a lot more. Here are just a few pics of vehicles that particularly caught my eye.

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AACA – A DIFFERENT KIND OF CLUB

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There are a lot of car clubs around Middle Tennessee. Most are brand/model specific but the Antique Automobile Club of America is different. AACA is a National organization that dates back to 1936. There are chapters all over the USA and they are open to all brands, models and years of vehicles. In fact, you don’t even have to own a vehicle to be a member of AACA. You basically just have to love cars.

Because of these guidelines… AACA car shows typically draw a very wide range of vehicles. I attended one today, just outside of Nashville, and saw a little bit of everything including classic muscle cars, vintage Jaguars, “A” Model Fords and more. Here’s a few pics.

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FIRST GENERATION BEL AIR

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About a year ago, a good friend of mine acquired a 1953 Chevy Bel Air in a trade deal that involved a few vehicles. He flips cars for a living, so it wasn’t around for long, but that car made a major impact on me. Up until that point, I had not paid a whole lot of attention to the early ’50s Chevrolet’s, but something about that car really grabbed my attention. I love the smaller body (compared to the more popular late 50’s models), and the subtle, yet somehow pronounced, fender bubbles add to the appeal for me. Throw in an art deco dashboard and it adds up to one bad little car in my book.

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I’ve done a little research since then and this is what I have discovered. The body style I’m referring to was produced from 1950 to 1954. First year production numbers only reached a dismal 76,662 (despite a low $1700 selling price) as American auto buyers were still cautiously evaluating the new-look Chevy. By 1954, that number had jumped to over 450,000 across the model lineup. 1954 engine options included a 92hp 216.5ci or 105hp 235.5ci with a 4-barrel.

The 2 photos you see in this post were taken this weekend at a local cruise-in. Two beautiful specimens for sure! I’ll continue to be an admirer and  student of the first generation Bel Air… and who knows, one day there may be one parked in my garage!

*sources include www.myclassicgarage.com, www.50classicchevy.com, and others.

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SHOVEL

Here’s a sneak peek at a photo shoot I did last weekend. This bike and images from this shoot will be featured in a regional magazine very soon. I love this bike… something about it just screams attitude.

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SPORTY BOBBER… A FINE EXAMPLE

Not long ago I took these casual photos of what I consider to be one of the finest examples of a minimalist Sporty Bobber. Here’s a look at them with just a hint of desaturation for mood. Love this bike!