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cars that have been around since my early childhood are still in the same condition, and while they might be considered outdated, I still love ’em.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.
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.
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?
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.
More cruising action early in the day. Loved this car and I love this shot of it rolling down the strip.
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!
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.
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.
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!
They only wanted $12,500 for it!
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.
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.
Inside the Convention Center was kinda boring, but I really liked the red Hemi 'Cuda.
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.
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.
Ahh yes, hot rods on the strip...this is what it's all about.
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.
One of my favorite shots of the entire weekend...I have to give all the credit to the camera on this one.
Love these nighttime cruising shots. This Mustang has the late '70s look nailed!