To the joy of oil companies, and the chagrin of environmentalists, the car culture is undeniably alive and well in the United States. If all the words written on the importance (or destructiveness) of automobiles in America were laid end-to-end, they would reach to the Middle East and back.
Serious stuff, no doubt, but this post is about a slightly more cheerful facet of the car culture – how the automobile in our country has been converted to “Americana” … in the form of the Classic Car Show.
All over America, on any given weekend, there are hundreds of car shows. (In the South, the only events held more frequently are Civil War Re-enactments.) And on a recent weekend, Terri and I attended an antique car show in Brunswick, Georgia. And while there were two recognizable levels of enthusiasm, we both enjoyed the show.
Car shows are an acquired taste I suspect, but they’re always a colorful, and nostalgic sight to see. Most classic car shows include three basic categories.
First, there are the truly “classic” cars which are restored to their original form.
Next up are the older cars which are used as a base for construction of expensive, fast, and noisy hot rods.
Finally, come the radically customized cars. Frequently the end product only bears a slight resemblance to the original, but they qualify as automotive works of art nonetheless.
Normally, classic cars are money pits. But they’re also a fun indulgence in nostalgia, and most of the aficionados I’ve talked to are hopelessly addicted to their hobby.
As a footnote, this wasn’t just a car show, it was also the celebration of the 70th Anniversary of The Twin Oaks Drive-In, which in the days of crusin’, was one of three popular hangouts on the weekend circuit in Brunswick. The other two being The Varsity, and The Pig ‘n Whistle.
Strangely, in my hometown of Glasgow, Kentucky there were also three points on the being-cool compass, which were Jerry’s Drive-In, The Tastee Freeze, and The Dairy O. On my infrequent weekend nights off from my burger-flippin’ job, I always made the rounds in my distinctly uncool, but infinitely practical 64 Chevy.
For all those out there old enough to remember cruisin’, tell me about your wheels, and the pilgrimage sites in your hometown.