After the CC Metup: A Random Car Show


My girlfriend and I had the day to ourselves after the Curbside Classic meetup in Auburn, Indiana, earlier this month, and we decided to take the scenic route home. I’d always wanted to follow the old Lincoln Highway in northeastern Indiana, so I mapped out a quick course and we started on our way. One of the great things about following the old two-lane highways is that it opens you to fun surprises. Like this ’62 Nova. But more on that in a minute.


The reason I wanted to follow the Lincoln Highway was because I knew of this brief brick section just south of Ligonier, which is about 30 miles west of Auburn. It was built in the 1920s, but bypassed at some point to smooth out what had been a wicked curve. If ever you’d like to follow Indiana’s Lincoln Highway and see sights like this, this link gives complete driving directions.


In this part of the state, the Lincoln Highway is mostly US 33. Some older alignments do lurk about here and there, however. One of them begins in downtown Ligonier, running about a mile to the north of US 33 as you exit town westbound. Glory be, a couple miles down this old alignment we came upon a little car show. How appropriate! Here’s more of that Nova.


This ’67 Cutlass Supreme exactly the kind of car I hope to find at shows like this. Not only is it an unrestored original (except for those blingy wheels), but the owner drove it here from Michigan with his family aboard. There was a big child seat in the back, plus a cooler and a big jug of iced tea sitting on the front floorboard. I’ve never been a big fan of Oldsmobile’s 1960s barbell-shaped headlight/grille clusters, but it was great to be reminded how good a pillarless Cutlass sedan looked from there back.


Ford was well represented with a pair of Fairlanes. The first was this ’66 Fairlane XL convertible.


The second was this ’67 Fairlane GTA. That’s the owner there in the hoodie. He told me that it left the factory as a black 390 car. He got it in the early 70s and stored it for a couple decades before starting a restoration that involved painting it this color and stuffing a 427 (I think he said) inside.


Oh great, another faux GTO. But wait. It says Pontiac on the grille. It might be… it could be…


It is! A genuine LeMans. The vinyl roof should have tipped me off, but I’ve seen those three fabled letters slapped onto all manner of Pontiac A bodies. I’m jaded. But this is no plain-jane LeMans; it’s packing Pontiac 400 heat.


I’m a sucker for this generation of Chevy truck. And such a lovely shade of blue it is, too. The tag in the windshield said that this is a ’70.


And while purple is my favorite color, I think a little goes a long way. This ’71 Valiant owner clearly disagrees.


I love an original car, so I was pretty excited to come upon this ’73 Cougar XR7 with its sooooo-70s gold paint and brown vinyl roof. My girlfriend was more enamored of that old F-100, though. She was showing her good taste.


My favorite car of the day was this ’66 Charger. I think they radiate cool. I’m sure that’s not a factory paint color, but this Charger wears it well.


It got a nice restoration. A collage of photos inside told this Charger’s beater-to-beautiful story. I would have loved to just sit inside for a minute.