The Chattanooga Motorcar Festival
The start of something excellent!
A few months ago I happened to come across a YouTube video that said a Concourse style event was going to be held in the nearby town of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The event would include a show area, a timed race course and a rally style driving event. I was even more intrigued when I learned that proceeds from the event would be given to a local hospitals neuroscience unit. I will be honest with you, I have never even thought about going to one of these type events in the past, but since this one was for a good cause and was so close to me, I decided to give it a shot. I was not let down!
Wayne Carini, of MotorTrend TV fame, was at the show and he had his custom built track style roadster with him!
I arrived on Friday and was instantly greeted by a large Cars & Coffee style meet happening next to the host hotel, The Westin Chattanooga.
This Datsun / MG combination was beautiful.
An old friends 1932 Ford 3-window coupe. Still fresh from it's win at the 50th Annual NSRA Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky.
The two gentlemen in the center, with the orange lanyards, are (left to right) Wayne Carini (from the TV show Chasing Classic Cars) and Donald Osborne (from the TV show, Jay Leno's Garage)
Once I had my fill of Cars & Coffee I made my way back towards the Westin, to see what a group of people were clamoring over near a patio area.
Yes... That would be a C8 Corvette in all of it's mid engine glory!
In an attempt not to be out done by Chevy, Lamborghini of Atlanta sent up a purple beauty and a gorgeous Audi R8 spyder.
The cars around the hotel included some very interesting examples. This period Ford Coca-Cola delivery truck was loaded down with period correct crates and filled bottles.
This Sunbeam Tiger looks just right with blue stripes on white paint.
The two race Corvettes below, were excellent examples of their period.
This '72 Hurst Oldsmobile acted as a pace car for that years Indy 500.
This Gurney-Weslake Lola was looking beautiful parked in the sunlight.
I left the area around The Westin and began exploring the streets around the hotel that had been blocked off for the event. I didn't have to go far to find some characters!
The Chattanooga Motorcar show was sponsored by Volkswagen and it could not of have a better sponsor.
Passed the VW display I found an area filled with amazing cars. This resto-modded Auburn was an amazingly well done car, complete with a modern Hemi.
I've started to see more and more slammed VWs. It's a trend I can get on board with!
The below '55 Chevy race car looked like it was ready for 200 miles on any nearby track.
The cars just kept rolling in all day on Friday!
A cold front rolled into east Tennessee Friday night and that brought the temperatures down to the upper 60s and lower 70s for all of Saturday. After the dog days of summer the cooler temperatures were more than welcome!
Greeting me on Saturday morning was this perfectly stock '46 Chevy truck.
It's hard to beat a pair of Maseratis!
This '59 'vette is looking good!
If no other cars showed up to the event besides Porsches, then it would have been one epic Porsche event!
Sunbeam has quickly became one of my favorite British car companies.
I have never seen a Jaguar in this particular color before. It works!
Aggressive isn't a good enough word to describe Ford's GT.
This 1959 OSCA prototype was one of the most surprising cars at the Festival.
Yeah... I know... you're probably gonna want to wipe that drool off your chin.
Back in 2013 this '51 Ford was built by Honest Charley's Speed Shop in Chattanooga for Street Rodder Magazine to be driven on the Road Tour. It's still as good looking as it was back then.
This blue '69 Ferrari 365 GTC insured the competition in the Post War European class was tight!
This rare 1954 Siata 200cs is one of the most beautiful cars I think I've ever seen in person.
The below cut-away, looks like a Buick nail-head engine. It is, but it isn't. In the late 1950s, Chevy began putting these engines in large trucks. They were basically the Buick engine, but were slightly modified. This was a promotional display made by Chevy to demonstrate the engine.
GM made some of the best looking cars of the 1950s. This convertible Buick is a prime example!
Speaking of GM... The GM Heritage Center brought down some very interesting cars to display.
I got some information about the below car from a very enthusiastic guy who was absolutely in love with it. According to him this was a prototype car built by GM in '72. He said it was a design Chevrolet was thinking about for the Corvette. It is a very good looking car and I can't help but think about Pontiac's Fiero when I look at it. This car had a rear, traverse mounted, small block Chevrolet engine. The size and proportions of the car just really reminded me of the Fiero.
The C8 Corvette doesn't seem to have that much in common with the 2009 Stingray concept car. At least not from a styling stand point. But will the hybrid electric drive that was incorporated into the '09 Stingray find its way into a more powerful C8 model? Time will tell.
The Manta Ray concept car made a rare appearance at the Festival. As "far out" as this car is, it really has a very good look to it.
Right across the intersection from the GM display, I found this beautiful Lotus race car.
Dan Gurney drove this AAR Eagle in the 1969 Indy 500. He finished 2nd in it. In 1970, at Sears Point, he would win his last Indy race, as a driver, behind it's wheel.
This 1938 Styer 220 Roadster was authentic, right down to the complete luggage set.
The below 1928 Auburn 8-115 boat tail speedster made the trip to Chattanooga from Virginia and the owner collected the overall Best of Show award!
This 1932 Helicron belongs to the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. More cars like this one can be found on display there.
The cars that showed up to run at the time trails were just as diverse as the cars on display at the Concourse.
This BMW, with side car, has made me want to attend the Isle of Man TT, even more.
Both of these vintage Ford GT40s were tuned up and ready to run.
This Camaro might only be sporting a 302 C.I. SBC, but the sound it made was intimidating!
This Ford Capri was one super clean race car.
A rear shot of a 356 and a 2002 Tii, make a great final shot.
If you hadn't known this was the first Chattanooga Motorcar Festival you would swear it had been going on for multiple decades. The event staff were exceptionally professional and it made for a really great event. The combination of a professional staff, wonderful weather, exceptional vehicles, cooperative sponsors, top-notch owners and a truly spectacular location all came together to make one amazing event all for a worthwhile cause. That sounds like a wining situation for everyone involved.
Keep on Cruisin'!
Art by: Chris Breeden
About the Author:
"Chris Breeden is a Social Media content creator for Custom & Hot Rod Life on DRIVETRIBE, YouTube and Facebook. After spending 5 years in Southern California, a.k.a. Hot Rod Heaven, while serving as a jet engine mechanic in the United States Marine Corps, he moved back home to Tennessee with an even greater love for Hot Rodded Vintage Tin. Since then he has worked in retail sales and the transportation and logistics industry. In 2018, seeing a gap in Hot Rod and Custom Car coverage on DRIVETRIBE, Chris began advocating for their inclusion on the platform. During the summer months, he can be found all over the Tennessee region covering car shows, meets, and cruise-ins. During the winter months, he can be found in the garage working on his custom 1949 Ford two-door sedan and 1954 F100 truck."