The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Scooney and Dapper Dan's Big Adventure: Nashville Custom Auto Show, Part I

Last Saturday, ridge runner Scooney and yours truly took a little ride down to the Nashville Fairgrounds to take in the Hunters Custom Auto Show. I enjoy viewing custom cars, but when all is said and done, I prefer classics, especially from the '50s, either original or restored.

We paid our $10 at the door, turned right and walked past a garish orange custom Willys (the color was garish, but the car was a dreamsicle), turned left and saw what was IMHO the star of the show, a wine red (probably not the GM official name of the color) 1955 Buick Century convertible. Not a custom, but a true classic beauty. It even had those classy and sexy Kelsey Hayes wire wheels.

Scooney and I drooled over the car as I took a couple of pics and then we noticed the info card that identified the owner: Bob Bell. I knew two Bob Bells, one was a sportscaster on Nashville TV in the '80s that I didn't really know and the other one was a guy I went to high school with. We walked around back of the car and I recognized him immediately: Bob Bell, who graduated from Isaac Litton High School the same year I did, 1958. He was with his wife Ellen. 

Bob told us that he'd just bought the car a couple of weeks earlier and planned to drive the car but that he suspected it had been trailered and pampered and not driven much. I understand why some people who've worked very hard on restoring a car want to pamper it and not drive it, but I personally like the idea of driving it. That's what they were made for  in the first place. And a gorgeous car like this Century needs to be driven around to remind people today what "real" automobile design was all about. Take a look at that sweepspear of chrome and then look above it, at the subtle little sculpted matching curve right where the beltline dips. That is sweet.  

There's a lot of chrome (it is the '50s remember), but in '55, the Buick stylists were not excessive with the chrome, and they used it very tastefully. 

Here's a rear view of Bob's Buick. You've heard the expression, "baby's got back," right? Well, this baby has back and then some.

We had a long talk with Bob, who's reconnected me to my old high school classmates via the Litton website and the Class of '58 Newsletter. It was great to see him and his wife and to hear about this beautiful Buick. I think I remember Bob saying he has some more classic cars and if I can arrange it, maybe I can get some pics of those to post here at a later time. 

Scooney and I enjoyed our big adventure and I have a lot more pics of the show to post later, including one where Scooney is actually drooling over a red C 2 Corvette. 


  1. Oh Dan, that really is one beautiful car. Sounds like you and Scooney had a wonderful day. So when are you going to put up the pics of the 'Vette? Would love to see them (kind of a softie for Corvettes).

  2. Setting the scene. If'n yur old enuff to have watched "Car 54 where are you?" back in the day, picture "Toody" saying to Francis;

    Oooo Oooo Francis. "Look at that 55 Buick Convertable!! Lets pull it over for a closer look."

  3. That Buick was spotless! In fact everything in the show was top drawer.
    Yep, I'm still drooling over those 'vettes, what a machine!
    A good time was had by all.

  4. You're men after my own heart, the both of ya. I often go on about the things I miss about livin' in Dee-troit, but one of my very FAVORITES is the Woodward Dream Cruise. My buddy Greg, The Second Mrs. Pennington, and I drove the very first Dream Cruise in my '54 Caddy and we had the bestest of times one can possibly have with your clothes on. The WDC is ALL about your sentiment concerning "classics should be driven." It really is a Big F'in Deal, to quote our VEEP.

    Speaking of Dee-troit... I used to go to Meadowbrook every year, too.

    So. Men after my own heart. I, like Deb, am looking forward to the Vette pics!