THE REDNECK RUMBLE 2017
The 2017 edition of the Redneck Rumble took place on September 16th in Lebanon, Tennessee. Here’s a few pics for those who could not make it.
WILSON BANK & TRUST OCTOBERFEST CRUISE-IN
Cruise-Ins pretty much dominate my summer. There are very few weekends between May and September that I’m not at least doing a quick walk-through at one. And then there’s winter… when car gatherings are few and far between. At least I don’t live “up north” where people are forced to put their vehicles in storage for months but still, I hate winter and it’s impact on the car and motorcycle culture.
Every year, there is one show that kind of represents the end of the cruise-in season to the locals in the Nashville area. It’s put on by Wilson Bank & Trust in Lebanon, Tennessee and typically draws a huge crowd… partly because enthusiasts know it’s one of the last hurrahs of the year. I spent a few hours wandering this year’s event today and took a ton of photos… and it was awesome! Here are 9 of those photos. I’ll post more on my Facebook page. it’s been a good summer!
CLASSIC AUTOMOBILES AND VINTAGE MOTORCYCLES!
Two of my favorite things in the world are classic automobiles and vintage motorcycles. And when you combine them both into one event… well, that’s a pretty good day. Today I made my way to The Factory in Franklin, Tennessee for the 27th Annual Antique & Classic Car Show, sponsored by the Battlefield Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America. But it get’s better… this years show was held in conjunction with the Music City Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America. That’s right… a beautiful day filled with classic automobiles and vintage motorcycles…. all in the same place. I could go on about how heavenly that is, but I’ll just shut up and let you enjoy some of my photos.
STREETSIDE CLASSICS NASHVILLE – GRAND OPENING
Streetside Classics opened their Nashville showroom several weeks ago but today they made it official by hosting their grand opening car show. Nashville is the fifth location for the Charlotte, NC. based business. Other locations include Atlanta, Dallas/Ft. Worth, and Tampa. Specializing in consignment, purchase, and the sale of classic and collectible cars, the Nashville showroom (as well as the other four locations) keeps a literal warehouse full of inventory and will ship worldwide. Enjoy my photos from the show and check out Streetside Classics on-line at www.streetsideclassics.com.
TOUCH OF GOLD 2016
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.
“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.
THE NATIONAL CORVETTE MUSEUM
General Motors had a problem with their St. Louis assembly plant back in 1980. Production of America’s only true sports car, the Chevrolet Corvette, was booming and they needed more room. Unfortunately, there weren’t any expansion possibilities where they were located on Union Blvd. so GM executives began contemplating a move.
Meanwhile, the city of Bowling Green, Kentucky caught wind of the bow tie company’s predicament and were sure they had the solution. Having just inherited a 1 million square feet abandoned air conditioning plant from Chrysler, the city council offered GM a lease deal on the building that they couldn’t refuse and the rest is history. Corvette production began in Bowling Green, Kentucky on June 1, 1981 and continues there to this day.
Further solidifying Bowling Green as the official home of Corvette was the opening of the National Corvette Museum in September of 1994… just 1/4 mile from the assembly plant. Today, the National Corvette Museum serves as a hub for all things Corvette and attracts nearly a quarter of a million enthusiasts each year from all over the wold. Fortunately for me, I live close enough that I get to visit the museum 2 or 3 times a year. And let me tell you, if you have a passion for Corvette’s like I do, you must make the trip no matter how far away you live.
The National Corvette Museum takes you on a tour of the history of America’s only true sports car. You’ll find yourself engulfed in historical information that dates back to the 1954 Worlds Fair, where Corvette was first introduced to the public. You’ll learn about the influential men and women whose perseverance (sometimes even against the will of GM) launched and maintained the model they were so passionate about… the Chevrolet Corvette.
Of course, Corvette’s history could not be told without highlighting men like Harley Earl, Bill Mitchell and “The Father of the Corvette” Zora Duntov who is responsible for taking Corvette from a docile roadster to a serious sports car that would challenge Porsche, Ferrari, and Maserati. You can even take a look at Zora’s personal 1974 Corvette.
Part of the museum is dedicated to the nostalgic era of Corvette, including the 1950s, 60s and 70s models. A reproduction full-service Mobil gas station highlights the simplicity of generations gone by when life was simpler and Corvette was beginning it’s domination of the sports car world.
Another area gives you a peek into the world of Corvette research and development. There are even a few one-of-a-kind concept cars that you won’t see anywhere else… like the 1968 Astro-Vette which was used to study aerodynamics and would eventually see it’s chrome-less front and rear bumpers in production later in the mid 1970s.
The Indy Concept Car below was used in 1986 to develop advanced technology for systems and components that would also find their way into production models in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Another interesting thing about this car is it’s mid-engine design. This car could still be influencing production models we are yet to see!
The National Corvette Museum is also home to the Corvette Hall of Fame which was established in 1998 to confer official recognition upon the most influential individuals in the history of the Corvette and honor their achievements.
Racing is a big part of Corvette’s history and The National Corvette Museum pays homage with a significant display of historical Corvette race cars like the one below. This ZR-1 Corvette with a stock 1990 engine made history on March 1 & 2, 1990 by setting three world records plus seven FIA International Class records during the trials at Fort Stockton, TX.
A line of Corvette Pace cars circles the indoor Sky Dome to demonstrate Corvette’s rich history in pacing some of the biggest races in North America… including the Indianapolis 500 which Corvette has paced a record 13 times over the years.
As you’ve most likely heard, The National Corvette Museum made worldwide news in 2015 when a natural sink hole opened up under the Sky Dome and damaged 8 classic Corvettes. (Google it if you don’t know what I’m talking about. Fortunately the museum was not open at the time and nobody was hurt.) The new “sink-hole” display was just opened this year and documents the entire event for visitors with a reenactment, a display of the 8 cars that were damaged, and the completely restored and rebuilt 1-millionth Corvette that was part of the “great eight” involved in the carnage.
Of course everything I’ve talked about to this point is great, but the real treat of visiting the National Corvette Museum is the cars you get to see! Depending on when you visit, rare and classic Corvette’s await you. Display cars change often but on my last visit, a few week ago, I was able to see a 1957 Corvette SuperSport that was built to participate in international races, Grand Sport and Collector Edition 1996 models, a 1969 Riverside Gold 427 survivor with 36,000 original miles, and the one and ONLY 1983 Corvette.
Grabbing a quick bite to eat is no problem while you visit The National Corvette Museum. Enjoy a salad or burger at the “on-site” Corvette Cafe (at a very fair price I might add) and get back to the good stuff as quick as you can! You’ll also want to stop in the Corvette Museum Library & Archives office to pick up a copy of your cars build sheet (back to 1981) or complete your research on any particular year or Corvette model. They know their stuff!
And finally… you must drop by the Corvette Store (or as I like to call it… the money pit) before you leave. This place is Corvette heaven and offers everything you can imagine Corvette including cool shits, hats, models, puzzles, cleaning products… and more, and more, and more! It’s a Corvette enthusiast shopping spree just waiting to happen.
Can you tell that I love this place yet? I could go on… but let me just stop here and tell you that if you are a Corvette enthusiast like me, you HAVE to visit Bowling Green and The National Corvette Museum. Put it on your bucket list. Make the extra effort to get there and find out why I have re-named it “My Happy Place!”
1941 CHEVROLET RAT
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!
COMBINING MUSIC AND GREAT CARS IN NASHVILLE
Everybody wants to be a Rock Star… right? Well, most of us don’t have the talent required but maybe we can be treated like one when buying a classic, sport or luxury car. That’s the vibe at Nashville’s Rock Star Motorcars. Boasting one of the largest indoor showrooms in Music City, the Rock Star staff includes professional musicians, Nashville songwriters, and other music professionals… and get this, there is a pro-quality recording studio on-site. The music and cars theme is everywhere… and speaking of the latter… the inventory on the day I dropped by was quite impressive and included everything from 1960s muscle cars to BMWs to Corvettes to classic trucks to a Tesla Roadster, and just about everything in between. I’ve never purchased a vehicle from Rock Star Motorcars but if if a classic, sport or luxury car is on your want list, you might want to check them out. They also have a great website that showcases their current inventory. Check out www.rockstarmotorcars.com.
SOUTHEASTERN TRUCK NATIONALS
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!
1960 EL CAMINO – FIRST GENERATION
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?
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!
1966 C2 SURVIVOR… IT DOESN’T GET MUCH BETTER!
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.
1927 FORD HOTROD… THE REAL DEAL!
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!
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!
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.
CORVETTES AND AUTOCROSS!!!
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.
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.
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.
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!
BRAGGIN’ ON NASHVILLE AND GUSHER CYCLES
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.
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN…
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!
A LITTLE SOMETHING TO WARM UP YOUR JANUARY
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.
AN AWESOME 1977 BMW R100/7
I spotted this way-cool 1977 BMW R100/7 at a local show this weekend. The bike was modded into a cafe’ style by a chap named Bob Long in Sevierville, Tennessee. Here’s what he did:
- Completely disassembled the frame and cleared all unnecessary mounting lugs
- Painted frame and components with PPG PR4 Red.
- Painted side covers, tank and rear fairing in PPG WA600R Black and PPG GAN Silver
- Rebuilt forks and stiffened with 8mm bushings.
- Replaced rear shocks with Hagon SA adjustable coil-overs.
- Added Burley Cafe’ rear tail section and custom seat cover.
- Added Cat Eye tail light and BR sport mini turn signals (front and back).
- Added European spec “low bars.”
- Added “Pea-Shooters” slip on mufflers and header wrap.
- Deleted rear fender and shortened front fender.
I think the results are fantastic… I love this bike!
2015 TENNESSEE MOTORAMA
I made my way to the Tennessee Motorama today in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It was a great show to kick off the new year. Here are a few of my favorites.
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!