We recently went on a road trip to the beautiful Gulf Coast in Mississippi for the famous Cruisin’ the Coast classic car show. This was my first trip out to the show, but it will definitely not be my last. The first thing you see when you get there is an ocean of classic cars. Almost every other car on the road is an older model classic or a custom take on an old favorite. As we rode around on the coast, we found a place to park so we could watch all of the cars ride by. This is the best set up you could ask for. With a set up like this it is like you are at a car show but instead of walking around looking at the cars, you sit in a chair and the cars go by you. I could not begin to tell you how many cars were there but there had to be over six thousand cars in the area for that week. We saw so many cars but a few stand out in my memory that I really enjoyed seeing. One that I believe is worth mentioning is a new trend that is sweeping the country, the Rat Rod. Rat rods are basically old classic cars that have been chopped, dropped, mixed and matched to create a car out of pieces from all kinds of different cars. Some of them are really creative and interesting. One that I saw that was one of the most creative rat rods I have ever seen was one that used crescent wrenches throughout the build. Even the center console with cup holder was an entire large crescent wrench, along with the gas and brake pedals. This car was a great accomplishment, but is this just a fad? The rat rod is gaining popularity throughout the younger generation but what about the original classics? We saw a few 1967 Shelby mustangs and many 1957 Chevys. Those are some classics that will probably outlive me. One of my favorites though is probably not the most popular classic car but to me it is long, sleek and beautiful. The 1960 Chevy Impala was one of my favorite cars that I saw at the show. The 1960 Impala is long, has a v-shaped trunk lid, and big shiny chrome molding the sides. This car, to me, just encompasses the beauty and craftsmanship of the cars in that era. There were so many cars there, some I had seen before and others I had never heard of, that you could never see all of them. The show is immense and occupies over 3 cities. The Gulf Coast, like the cars that occupy it for the show, has a rich history and beautiful scenery. Sure there large casinos and long docks and piers, but the older homes that survived the hurricanes tell some wonderful tales. That area has been ravaged by hurricanes and storms for ages, but many of the old historical buildings have survived. The areas that didn’t make it have been redeveloped and are beautiful as well, but in a modern way. The beaches and shores of the bay in Mississippi are actually very scenic, with beautiful white sands and plenty of things to do. Many people vacation there, but the Cruisin the Coast car show has got to be the most impactful event to visit the area. You can see every type of car from the oldest 1925 car to the newest sports cars available. At night you can hear the revving engines, screeching tires and booming stereos coming from the strip. The main road that runs through the towns along the coast can sometimes become so crowded with cars that it could take you over an hour and a half to travel one mile. If you ever get a chance to visit this area you will not be disappointed, but if you can time it right to make it down to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi during the Cruisin the Coast show, you will be amazed. We will definitely be back to see more cars, hopefully one day in my own 1960 Impala! Of course it can’t be just a stock restoration for me. I will have to have some modified suspension, custom rims, and an engine that makes some noise. I am a mustang guy definitely, but that impala just stuck out in my mind as not only a potentially powerful car, but a beautiful classic. I believe I can restore it in such a way that it pays tribute to the craftsmanship but still takes advantage of the beefy engines of the era as well. You can see all sorts of cars with the largest engines sticking out of their hoods, but I am more impressed by a production engine being modified to put out the high numbers of horsepower that you are able to squeeze out of them. If you plan on visiting do yourself a favor and book a room early. The facilities book up really quickly and you will be out of luck. Maybe we will even see you there!
***Don’t forget – safety is first on the road. In case of an accident, be sure to have a good car accident attorney.