CC Road Trip: A Really Solid Tennessee Excursion


I usually have a few projects that I don’t enjoy very much in various stages of completion around the house and yard. For example, there’s a miniature forest in a corner of the back yard, and I’ve been cutting it out little by little this year. It’s about half done, and I never got around to shredding the huge pile of trunks and branches before it got cold. I might finish it next spring.

Another project is to take all my old photographs out of albums, write what each one is on the back, and store them in boxes, which are more space efficient for my little house. Among these photos I found negatives from a nearly forgotten road trip I took to the hills of Tennessee in about 2001. What’s remarkable about them is that they represent the first time I pulled over by the side of the road to photograph cars. This ’51 Ford was just one of the cars I photographed on that trip.


My memories are dim, but I think I found this one on US 127 in Tennessee. I remember sending all of these photos to Collectible Automobile magazine for their Car Spotter feature, but I never heard back from them and the photos certainly never appeared in the magazine. And look, now I can share my spotted cars as often as I want right here at Curbside Classic! Take that, Collectible Automobile!


Somewhere in Kentucky, I think I passed a yard with a bunch of moldering classics in it. I stuck my camera’s lens through the chain link fence to capture this bathtub Nash and this 1954 Plymouth.


I managed to get a bit of the fence in this frame with a 1952 or 53 Ford, a 1953 Chrysler, and a 1949-51 Ford.


The oddest find on the trip was behind this Kaiser Manhattan, which I think is from 1951. It’s a combination restaurant and Kaiser-Frazer museum. I found it in Jamestown, KY, on US 127.


Unfortunately, both restaurant and museum were closed that day. But I was thrilled to find this Manhattan, the first one I encountered in person. But I’d forgotten all about this moment until I scanned these negatives to find these images, which I hadn’t seen in well over a decade.