For some reason, the state of Tennessee has been a hot bed for car and truck shows for the 2005 show season. There have been shows from one end of the state to the other-and Tennessee is a long state. Interstate 40 runs all the way across the state and it takes almost eight hours to drive it from end to end.
This year, one of the new shows is Tennessee Cruzin', which is held at the Nashville Super Speedway. This event was the dream of the owners of Classic Cars Southeast, Dale Nunnery, the president, and his partners, Ken Howell, Donald Turner, and Danny Hodges. These guys are real car nuts, with each of them owning at least three classic cars a piece, and they have participated in or have put on car and truck events all across the country.
The speedway is located about 30 miles east of Nashville on Interstate 840, which runs off Interstate 40, just outside Lebanon. This is a great place for an event of this type with lots of room in the infield for plenty of cars and trucks. The event was open to cars and trucks from 1900 to 1980. The vendor turnout was really great for this first-time event, taking up space all through the garage and on the pit road. They were selling all kinds of neat aftermarket goodies to dress up your ride, plus all kinds of tools to fill up those empty drawers in your toolbox. Hooters had a tent with four really great-looking gals dressed out in their Hooters outfits giving away all kinds of neat stuff with the Hooters logo on it. There was another guy that had a booth selling all kinds of old Winston Cup souvenirs, as well as displaying original Neil Bonnett and Dale Earnhardt fastback Monte Carlos. It really attracted a crowd.
There were many food vendors, and they had lines of hungry folks all day. Also, there were three radio stations broadcasting from various places around the show all weekend. They were playing all kinds of rock and country music.
More than 400 early and late-model cars and trucks covered the show-'n'-shine area of the event. Some of the really outstanding rides were parked in the covered garage area and were roped off. Even though this was an open car and truck show, the truck turnout was really great with about 40 percent of the registered vehicles being trucks. The most outstanding truck of the show belonged to Avery Hittson with his red '72 Chevy truck, powered by a small-block GM crate motor. One of the vendors had a neat truck kit called Lil' Big Rig. It was a down-sized fiberglass big rig that could be fitted on a '73-'87 Chevy C10 or C20 frame, and you could use a Chevy engine to power it down the road. Over in the swapmeet area were lots of trucks for sale. One of the outstanding completely stock trucks on hand for the event was the '59 Dodge Sweptside pickup, belonging to Gary Bergman of Kennesaw, Georgia. It was a really great-looking ride.
Things began to wind down on Saturday afternoon, and everyone started gathering around the stage on the Turn 4 end of the 1-mile speedway for the trophy presentation. After all the trophies were given out, the participants headed to the Turn 1 area, where there was an even bigger stage for the concert that was going to be put on by the band Lonestar. Lonestar is one of the major upcoming country groups and has a big following. They are also real car nuts.
This is a great show and has the potential to be one of the major automotive events in the country. The Nashville area is centrally located in the eastern part of the USA, and there's lots to see and do especially if you are into country music. Plans are already in the works for the 2006 edition of Tennessee Cruzin'. We are not sure about next year's date, but it will be held at the speedway. For information on the 2006 event, check out the website at www.tennesseecruzin.com. We will see you there.