A car show at the American Legion

The day after my birthday last month Margaret and I learned of a car show at the local American Legion. We popped over. I brought two cameras, my Nikon Df with the 28-200mm f/3.5-54.6 AF-G Nikkor attached, and a film camera, images from which I’ll share in an upcoming post.

The show was a real grab bag of cars and trucks, mostly from owners who live in this county. The most unusual of the cars was this 1927 Buick.

1927 Buick

A car this old in this condition had to have been restored at some point. But the restoration is showing its age, with large cracks in the paint. No matter; it was great to see this old girl. As a rumble-seat car, two steps eased ingress for passengers.

1927 Buick

Did you know that 1975 was the first year for the Ford F150? It was a heavier-duty version of the then-standard Ford F100 half-ton truck. Shortly the F150 supplanted the F100.

1975 Ford F150

Here’s a 1982 Camaro Z-28 that looks like a survivor.

1982 Chevy Camaro Z28

The majority of the cars were modified. This 1939 Ford has a much later engine in it.

1939 Ford

I always thought the Plymouth Duster was good looking. This one is from 1971. That maroon isn’t a factory color, but it looks good on the car.

1971 Plymouth Duster

This 1957 Ford Thunderbird was restored to like-original condition.

1957 Ford Thunderbird

Its supercharged Thunderbird engine was still in the bay.

1957 Ford Thunderbird

It’s funny, at most large car shows Camaros are a dime a dozen and I don’t bother to photograph them. But at smaller shows like this one, you might find one or two, and I feel compelled to make their portraits.

1967 Chevrolet Camaro

If you go back through all of my old-car images, you’ll find that I’ve photographed this detail on a number of Camaros. It’s a reliably satisfying subject.

1967 Chevrolet Camaro

That is definitely not a factory color on that 1952 Ford F1.

1952 Ford F1

This 1969 Pontiac Bonneville convertible was my favorite car at the show. It looks terrific in that dark green.

1969 Pontiac Bonneville

I remember when cars like this were everywhere on American roads. Seeing one today, I’m struck by how long it is.

1969 Pontiac Bonneville

Here’s a 1966 GMC truck.

1966 GMC truck

The 1964 Chevy Impala was an incredibly common sight even in the early 1970s when I was a small boy. This was the standard American family car in its time.

1964 Chevy Impala

Here’s another reliable subject. I’ve photographed this view of the ’64 Impala dozens of times, I’m sure.

1964 Chevy Impala

Here’s a 1969 Dodge Super Bee. It’s based on the Coronet, a standard mid-sized Dodge, but packs a very powerful engine.

1969 Dodge Super Bee

Bringing up the rear, here’s a 1967 GMC truck.

1967 GMC truck

It felt good to make a car show this year. I try to go to at least one every year but I don’t always manage it.

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Comments

15 responses to “A car show at the American Legion”

  1. brandib1977 Avatar

    I don’t know much about the mechanics of a car but I do love a car show. There’s going to be one at a festival over in Bainbridge this fall and they actually have a parade of the cars afterward. I’ve never been but it sounds too good to resist.

    It makes you wonder how they ever parked that Bonneville, it’s so long.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      That Bonneville is from 1969. My last house was built in 1969. Its one-car garage would in no way be able to fit that Bonne. It barely fit my Toyota.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        Haha. That’s because it was made to sit out in the driveway for everyone to admire. Something so pretty NEEDS attention!!

  2. J P Avatar

    1920s stuff is getting really rare at shows like these, but I love seeing them too.

    The Duster is one of those cars that comes off really well in every one of its flavors – skinflint special, suburban grocery getter, or muscle can.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      The Duster was like a blank canvas that Mopar fans could paint anything they liked onto. I always thought they were especially attractive, too.

  3. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    How in the heck did the Ford F150, turn from that nice, tight, utile truck, to a behemoth where you can’t reach all of the engine hood to even clean, and you can’t put a 4 X 8 piece of sheet-rock in the bed flat? I remember when you could put a 4 X 8 flat in the back of a 70’s era Buick station wagon! Nice ’66 GMC too!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      The F150 is the replacement for the enormous American sedan of yore now.

  4. matt Avatar
    matt

    Nice pics, Jim. I was on my way down to Texas and came across a long queue of cars on a usually-fairly-empty highway (287 out of Lamar, CO). As I did the pass bounce, I finally got to the source of the problem… a pair of beautiful model T Fords putting along at 35 mph or so.

    My dad had an F100 in not good nick and I learned a lot about finicky manual transmissions with that truck, including hearing the adage “Grind it until you find it” for the first time.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I once read an article about how to drive a T. It’s nothing like a modern car!

      I’ve never driven a manual transmission that didn’t have synchromesh in first. Thank heavens!

      1. matt Avatar
        matt

        No, the T was quite a different beast to drive. At least he had the sense not to make the driver push in that heavy clutch in the upper gear. haha.

  5. tbm3fan Avatar
    tbm3fan

    I’m a Ford guy but the Bonnie and GMC are nice mainly because they are still stock looking. I am not into modifications on such cars today because there are so few of them and so it is nice to see them in their original state. The tires on the Super Bee are too big. The 52 F-1 is ugh! Just too much in the way of mags on almost everything which kills some of them for me. The cracks in the paint of the 27 Buick is because of incorrect body work. There is a reason filler should never ever be thicker than 1/16″. Speaking of a Model T there happens to be a 1930 four door Model A for sale close to me and in pretty good shape as is. I got tempted last night by the all stock tan two tone. Oh, and I had a 74 Duster with slant six like so many were back then yet today everyone tries to turn them into ersatz muscle cars much like the 65-66 Mustang sixes.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I know that it’s a case of to each is own, but I’m with you, I like ’em stock.

      Oh man, a Model A. I’ve always been drawn to them. There’s an active Model A group here in Indiana.

  6. Karen Bryan Avatar
    Karen Bryan

    Why did the sensible, rugged single-cab pickup disappear? Nobody makes a truck that doesn’t have a back seat anymore. I love those old trucks, and if I could find one in decent shape (dings and dents just add character!) and at a fair price, I’d buy it. But everybody who’s got one to sell wants a bloody fortune for it, even if it’s rusted out and needs work even to get started.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Right there with you.

      If I wanted a truck, it’d be a single cab with an 8-foot bed. Automatic transmission and air. I’ve grown very accustomed to power windows and locks, as well as a Bluetooth connection to my phone, and would appreciate having those things. But I could live without them. I wish I could buy one new.

    2. Andy Umbo Avatar
      Andy Umbo

      You’d be surprised how many contractors I know that are nursing along a 30-40 year old pick-up to haul sheet rock and wall board, including engine rebuilds…seems like the car manufacturers would be able to “read the runes” on this and reintroduce a classic pick-up profile…

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