June Car Show Turnouts Show Light at the End of the Tunnel

 

It seems like a lifetime ago that we posted our article about cancellations and delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Back in March, we aren’t sure that anyone really knew what was ahead or when it all would end. In some ways, we still are not sure. But what we have began to see is a series of car shows, on the smaller scale, get the green light during the month of June. We have finally been able to wipe the dust off the cars and burn a little rubber and octane. Of course we were there (cameras in hand) every chance we got to take in all the action. Check out a few of the events we were able to make it out to! Be sure to look through our huge gallery at the end!

Our first event of the month was "CRUZIN' ON Main" in Seneca, South Carolina. The once-a-month downtown cruise night is hosted on the first Saturday of every month from 4 to 8 p.m. The event regularly draws more than 100 cars, with almost 200 in attendance at the June show. It was definitely clear that everyone was just excited to be out and about enjoying their cars and the people that come along with them!

This gorgeous Legend Lime green 1969 Mach 1 belongs to Sue King, one of the key people responsible for making the Seneca cruise night happen. Long gone is the original 351 and boring automatic transmission. In its place sits a 408 and a 5-speed manual transmission. You can most likely see this '69 with Sue behind the wheel followed by a dozen or so of her closest friends at or on their way to a local show just about every weekend! You have got to love a car that gets driven like it's supposed to!

Our next stop was Pigeon Forge, Tennessee: the site of what was supposed to be a rescheduled "Spring Rod Run." However, Covid-19 issues forced the city and event promoters to cancel the event for good a few weeks before it could happen. This led to a huge movement on Facebook for everyone to keep their plans to attend. A few days later, the Pigeon Forge Police Department released a statement inviting everyone to come and cruise the strip and the rest is Rod Run history! The "Rona Rod Run" was born! While there was no huge show at the Le Conte Center and probably about 60% of the normal crowd, there was still no shortage of cool cars to look at parked up and down the street. And of course, as is Rod Run tradition, cars and trucks cruised the famous Pigeon Forge "Strip" from daylight until well past midnight.

Pigeon Forge's Rod Runs are always good for a few crazy rides. How about this 1994 Ford Aspire with a 347 stroker under the hood? With big tires in the back, a roll cage, and just one race seat, this thing is obviously all business. Would you be brave enough to strap into this little red rocket?

While we were in town for the "Rona Rod Run," we got up early on Saturday to check out a new addition to the monthly show calendar: Pigeon Forge's Horsepower and Caffeine. The event is modeled after the wildly popular Caffeine and Octane event in Atlanta and various Cars & Coffee events across the country. It is sure to take off into something big, considering the area's rich car culture. The new event will be held monthly at the all-new Junction 35 restaurant and distillery.

Our next stop was the "Farewell Corona Mustang Show" hosted by Steve Spangler of "Mustangs, Drives, and Events" to raise money for the local food pantry. The show was down behind Quaker Steak and Lube in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee — a spot that has become super popular for all sorts of different automotive events. Over 100 of the nicest Mustangs and Ford trucks the area had to offer showed up to send Corona off with a swift kick! We can only hope the end is really near!

We finished the month off in Commerce, Georgia, at Atlanta Dragway for the rescheduled NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals. As usual, the car show portion of the event provided a nice turnout of Ford cars and trucks, not to mention some of the best racing action in the country out on the track!

This maroon 1969 Mustang belonging to Rick Hayslip certainly caught our eye at the NMRA car show. While early first generation Mustang convertibles seem to be a dime a dozen, it feels like we see a lot less of the '69-'70 convertibles. But beyond being super clean, check out that added bonus in the console — an original manual transmission car!

If we had to pick a favorite out of all the events, it would be this barn find 1969 Mach 1. The owner tells us the car sat in his grandmother's barn since the '80s, before he finally decided to get it out and get it running. He estimated that at least half of the locals at the event had probably stopped to try and buy the car at least once! One of the unique features of this car was an alarm system installed years ago. A huge siren under the hood is controlled by a key switch hidden in the air duct on the rear quarter panel. Maybe that is how the car survived all those years in Grandma's barn? While he tells us he has thought about painting the car down the road, for right now he is just enjoying it as is! It certainly draws plenty of attention with that old paint job!

While June provided us with a glimpse of hope for the future, things are still hit or miss when it comes to the car show schedule. Ponies in the Smokies just canceled the rescheduled late July date in favor of regrouping for 2021. Other large events like the Carlisle Ford Nationals and Mustang Week are proceeding as planned with proper social distancing in mind. Only time and government mandates will tell what our late summer and fall car show schedule will bring! Our fingers are crossed and we are hoping for the best! In the meantime, be sure to check out our huge gallery from all the June events below!

Photo gallery

VIEW FULL GALLERY >

About the author

Jeff Southard

Growing up with a dad who loved Corvettes, I was destined to be a gearhead from day one. Beyond that, my dad owned an auto parts business for over 25 years. There, I learned the automotive basics as a child, then began my professional career working there after high school. From Corvettes and Superbirds to Hemis and Cobra Jets, my dad has owned a little of everything over the years, so I've had my chance to get some quality seat time behind the wheel of some rare, unique, and sometimes, just odd automobiles. I have owned my share of toys, including over 20 Mustangs. I guess to make a long story short, if you look up "car crazy" you will probably find my photo listed pretty close to it!
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