The Grand…and the Corvette

Since I’ve been a baby, I’ve been attending the Grand Run in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. In fact, I attended it before I was born! We always made a family trip out of of the Grand Run, and I’ve started this tradition with my wife and I’m sure we’ll continue it when we have little ones. Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, I honestly don’t remember a lot of it, but we do have pictures and videos to refresh my memory. With a long history with the event, I still have a good time at the Grand because it never fails to bring back great memories. Certain cars that have been around since my early childhood are still in the same condition, and while they might be considered outdated, I still love ’em. One particular car that hadn’t seen the streets of Pigeon Forge since 1988 is my Corvette….for 2012, that needed to change.

Spring 2012 Grand Run

Town was absolutely packed on Friday and Saturday. Out of all my years of going to Pigeon Forge, this is the fullest I've ever seen it.


Spring 2012 Grand Run

Traffic was great on Thursday and Friday, so old vehicles could actually get out and ride around. We definitely took advantage of the open streets, as did this guy in his slammed Suburban.

In previous years, I’d always worried about the Corvette running hot or being too much of a headache to drive, but for this Spring Grand Run event, I let go of those worries and decided to make the trip in the car that my dad used to drive up there. On Thursday morning, we set out for Pigeon Forge and used every cubic inch of interior space in the Corvette to pack our luggage, food and camera gear. And my laptop…and our folding chairs…and my tool box…get the picture?

Spring 2012 Grand Run

One of my favorite cars at the entire event. This Model A has the perfect amount of chop and channel, AND it has a killer set of magnesium wheels on it! Also love the lexan roof and pale blue paint.

Spring 2012 Grand Run

More cruising action early in the day. Loved this car and I love this shot of it rolling down the strip.

Spring 2012 Grand Run

I always stop at "the bank" in Pigeon Forge to see what kind of hot rods show up. These guys have been parking here for several years, and I was excited that the Corvette made the cut, haha. Good group of guys, and a bunch of awesome cars!

The temperature was cool, and the car loved it so we mototred up the road, and drove straight out onto the strip and made the car’s first lap in more than 20 years. Traffic was great on Thursday and early on Friday, but man, did it ever get crazy on Friday night and Saturday! Pigeon Forge was as full as I’ve ever seen it, and we even got out in it with the Corvette. Probably not the greatest idea, but it was fun to get the car out in front of all those people…who knows, maybe some of those people might’ve seen it back in the ’80s!

Spring 2012 Grand Run

This car makes me happy. This is what I grew up with...slick black paint, nose-down stance and Centerline wheels. When I came here as a kid, this was the hot setup, and it's cool to see this car still sporting the look.

Spring 2012 Grand Run

Nighttime is when the streets get crowded, so we made our way around the various parking lots and found some cool stuff. We made it back to the bank, where this two-tone (primer) '56 Chevy was perfectly positioned for a killer shot.

Spring 2012 Grand Run

Cruisin' the strip...

One obvious gripe that most car guys have is the abundance of diesel trucks and other non-car people in attendance. Lots of people my age go to the Grand Run (which they refer to as Rod Run) but most of them could care less about the cars. It’s a big party, with thousands of jacked up 4×4 trucks, which results in a bunch of annoying people. This crazy atmosphere has caused the Pigeon Forge police to crack down on pretty much any violation you can imagine. All of this creates quite a hassle for the real car guys, but I continue to make the trip every chance I get. Overall, the trip was a very nice break for me, but of course, I had my camera on hand at all times, so I took a bunch of pictures. Enjoy!

Spring 2012 Grand Run

They only wanted $12,500 for it!

Spring 2012 Grand Run

The show was not all that great, which I knew well in advance of going in. It's the stuff outside the show that interests me.

Spring 2012 Grand Run

Okay, I lied, some of the stuff inside the show interest me. There were a few swap meet vendors that had some cool stuff, like these valve covers.

Spring 2012 Grand Run

Inside the Convention Center was kinda boring, but I really liked the red Hemi 'Cuda.

Spring 2012 Grand Run

This Crower fuel injection setup was sitting in the middle of a booth filled with new mufflers and exhaust tips...seemed odd to me, but I love old fuel injectors so I grabbed a shot of it.

Spring 2012 Grand Run

I've seen this '57 Ford a number of times, but the owner recently gave it a new look with a pair of Rocket Fuel wheels up front. The mismatched wheel combo looks awesome on this two-door post.

Spring 2012 Grand Run

Ahh yes, hot rods on the strip...this is what it's all about.

Spring 2012 Grand Run

Unfortunately, this type of vehicle is WAY more common than a hot rod. It seems that jacked up diesel trucks are a popular cruising vehicle, judging by the thousands of them in attendance.

Spring 2012 Grand Run

One of my favorite shots of the entire weekend...I have to give all the credit to the camera on this one.

Spring 2012 Grand Run

Love these nighttime cruising shots. This Mustang has the late '70s look nailed!

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9 thoughts on “The Grand…and the Corvette

  1. You would love Lead East in Parsippany, NJ! 4 days of nothing but rock and roll, vintage cars, and cruisin’!
    You take great pics! It sounds and looks like a great time!

  2. Tommy I love the shots after dark and my friend Richeard would love the pic you took of his black 67 camaro. This car has been a favorite of mine since probably about 1988 when it was blue metallic with the same stance and wheel setup then. Only difference is then it was one heck of a weekend street terror!!!! It didn’t matter if you had a Hi 9 second (1/8 mile of course) stock Mustang 5.0 or an all out low 7 second drag car on the street this camaro would beat you by 3/4 car length. He is one heck of a 4 speed driver!!! and you never once saw the hood up on this car back then all everyone knew was it was one bad A_ _ small block!!!!!!!

  3. Nice shots Tommy and you know I love “mismatched” wheels.Didnt make it had a service at church we had to attend.

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