Jim’s Spotters Guide to the Whiskey City Cruisers’ monthly cruise event

This bright blue five window coupe features a late model V-8 engine. Many hot rods of this era omit one set (or all) of the fenders. All photos courtesy of Jim Boles

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT radio

Friday, April 22, 2022 — For people unfamiliar with the classic car cruises, the sights of row after row of gorgeously painted and chromed cars and trucks can be a little overwhelming.

So here’s a Car Cruise Spotters Guide that might help you know the type of car or truck you’re looking at.

Kent Bischoff’s 1958 Packard is an original condition rarity. Unless Kent is there its highly unlikely you’ll see many another ate 1950s Packards at a car cruise event. Photo by Jim Boles.

ORIGINAL / CLASSIC CAR. These cars have either been restored to their original condition, or have survived the years and are all original.

Nothing spells factory hot rod like the letters “GTO.” This beautiful 1966 wide-track Pontiac appears mostly original, with updated wheels and paint. Photo by Jim Boles.

RESTO / MOD CARS. This popular category features cars that appear to be nearly factory original in condition, but on closer examination, feature personalization and performance upgrades to their engine, wheels, interiors, tires, paint, etc.

By the mid-1970s, muscle cars were a dying breed. This 1974 Plymouth Duster is equipped with a built-up 360 V8 and other hot rod goodies. Photo by Jim Boles.

MUSCLE CARS. The first factory muscle car was the 1964 Pontiac GTO, the brainchild of John DeLorean. Every automaker had their own muscle cars, like the Chevy Camaro, Ford Mustang, Plymouth Road Runner, and many others. Muscle cars are one of the most popular categories you’ll find at a cruise.

Rat rods are some of the most creative and original cars you’ll find at a car cruise. Pay close attention to the cool details and use of non-automotive parts on these types of cars! By the mid-1970s, muscle cars were a dying breed. This 1974 Plymouth Duster is equipped with a built-up 360 V8 and other hot rod goodies. Photo by Jim Boles.

RAT RODS. Cars in this category lack the shiny new paint, chrome and fancy wheels and tires found on the modern hot rod — and that’s by design. These cars recall a simpler time when hot rodders made do with what they had on hand to go fast.

‘ORIGINAL’ PATINA TRUCKS & CARS. One of the categories of cars I enjoy seeing are the cars and trucks that have an original patina; that is, they may have rust, the paint is scratched and faded, and it may look like the vehicle was just rescued from a local tobacco barn. While they may have spent time in a barn, these cars and trucks have had their share of hot rod updates and upgrades along the way. These vehicles are the antithesis of the painted, polished and chromed hot rod style.

This is a special Indy Pace Car edition 2000 Cheverolet Monte Carlo in pristine original condition. Photo by Jim Boles.

1950s STYLE CUSTOM. These cars are modeled after the style of the original car cusfomizers of the 1950s, with recessed headlights, “shaved” door handles and chrome trim, lowered suspensions and trick interior upholstery.

This 1938 Chevy is easy to find in crowded parking lot. The body appears to be mostly original, but its common that these hot rods have been updated with power steering, power brakes and even air-conditioning.

VINTAGE STYLE HOT ROD. This category car can be just about any pre-1949 make and model car, from Ford and Lincoln, to Chevy, Oldsmobile and Cadillac, to Dodge, Desoto and Plymouth. These cars will usually feature beautiful paint, modified engines and trick interiors. They can be as individual as their owners. No two hots rods are alike.

Ed Jett’s 1953 Studebaker is one of the swoopiest designs you’ll find during the decade of the 1950s. Photo by Jim Boles.

There are many sub-categories of cars you are likely to see at a Whiskey City Cruise event, and frequently a car could fit into multiple categories.

What brings out the cars and owners is the opportunity to connect socially with fellow car enthusiasts. Its also a chance to get ideas and share information an experiences. All in all, no matter if you come as a participant or spectator, you’re going to have a great time.

The cruises take place on the fourth Saturday each month at the Kentucky Home Square shopping center parking lot on the end in front of Tractor Supply Co. If it rains, the cruise is moved to the same time and place on Sunday.

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