August 15, 2012
American Iron Car Show
It may be blazing hot outside in some regions during summer, but it never seems to stop car enthusiasts from braving the heat to put on a good classic car show. With the temperature spiking to nearly 100 over the weekend, I ventured out to the American Iron Car Show in Pleasant Hill, CA.
Although this particular event is relatively small, it's a great place to find some very unique pre-1980 classics and hot rods. Sometimes quality is better than quantity, and this show was definitely all about quality.
You truly never know what might show up to these gatherings. This is a Half-Track, a personnel carrier used by the Allies in World War II. Armored and weighing in at 18,000lbs, it was the favored form of transportation throughout the war and served on the front lines. I heard the owner actually drives this thing around on surface streets. Image seeing this roll up in your rear-view mirror, YIKES.
Cars are my forté, but sometimes I like trucks too. While it's not overly showy or brightly colored, I was drawn to this GMC pickup. The gray is pretty commonplace but the chrome bits are polished to perfection and the single red stripe makes for a nice pop of color.
I'm usually repulsed by the color yellow (and orage is an even worse offense), but it kind of works on a classic 'vette. It was incredibly bright in person, which wasn't so great given the unreasonable amount of sun out there, but a 'vette is a vette.
I rarely do videos, but I was lucky enough to be present during the yellow vette's turn in the Rev It Up contest. There's nothing like the sound of American Muscle firing on all cylinders. Might I suggest turning the volume up for this?
Think about old school luxury and you probably envision a Cadillac, but Buick also made some classy rides back in the day. Have a look at the 1950 Buick Super. I'd say it's aptly named, for being a super luxurious car. This particular example sports a maroon paint job with a plush tan leather interior. The dash was also finished with a lovely wood trim. Now that's money, honey.
Next to the Buick, a tough looking Challenger with a bad attitude. It just screams trouble maker. The gold was a different look than what I normally see on these, but it's killer.
There was nothing else at the show quite like this 1969 Chevy Camaro 427. The dark blue paint absolutely dazzled in the sunlight. I don't think I've ever seen such an immaculate specimen. But it's not just the outside that looks good.
A big block 427 sits snugly in the engine bay. I won't pretend to know mechanics (I am learning though), but I can tell just from the sight of its innards it must sound wicked. There was also a fire extinguisher stashed behind the driver's seat and the back ones had been gutted, so I'm betting the owner visits the track (or drag strip) quite a bit.
Wagons, old and new, are really starting to grow on me. I used to think they were super lame and only driven by grandmas, but I've seen the light. They're versatile, low profile, and have lots of character. Even though this Nova Wagon wasn't particularly unique, I was very fond of it. Surf's up dudes.
Ah, wood panelling. Talk about vintage. It's a very unique design that was popular in the 40's and some what in the 50's on the Ford Wagon and other similar vehicles. They tried to bring this look back with the PT Cruiser, but it just wasn't the same.
This is my favorite shot from sunday. The Corvette Stingray is one of the most beautiful muscle cars ever created. It is the perfect marriage of power, performance, elegance and beauty when it comes to classic American cars. It's timeless, and there will never be anything else like it.
This is only the second Ford Fairlane I've ever seen in person, and the color is very striking. I'm more accustomed to seeing this retro shade of green/blue on Bel Airs, but this works too.
It's common to see classic cars and hot rods sitting low on air ride suspension, but none get low like the Impala.
The first picture doesn't quite show how slammed this car really is, so here's one from the back. Low & slow baby!
I wasn't planning on photographing any Bel Airs because I get bored with how many I've seen, but this one was so gorgeous I couldn't resist. There's not much to say about it, it speaks for itself.
And this wacky looking Cadillac does the same. That's right, this is a Cadillac. It was identified only as a "Cad Open," it's very odd. Apparently it was a serious restoration project. The owner had left a photo book on the hood for viewers to flip through; it documented everything done to car with before and after images.
The last car I'd like to share is really something. A custom 1937 Chevy hot rod. As you can see, it's positively green with...green. The color alone is enough to amaze, but the flames and massive chrome wheels tucked under the body just add to the madness. My favorite part about its design has to be the cutouts on either side of the hood where the engine breathes. A hot rod just isn't hot if you don't go nuts with the styling, and this is definitely mental.
To sum up the afternoon, it was a hot day filled with even hotter cars. Perhaps I'm crazy to even think about stepping foot outside in such miserable temperatures to see some four-wheeled old timers, but that's how exciting these shows are to me. I may have suffered a bit of sunburn, but it was totally worth it.