Well, it’s that time of year again…time for the Strawberry Festival here in my hometown of Dayton, Tennessee. It’s an event that is a pretty big deal to Dayton residents, and the biggest days of the event are generally Friday night because of the Cruise In and Block Party, and Saturday because of the parade. For me, the Cruise In is the attraction, so I always try to support it by bringing at least one vehicle to it. This year, I upped the effort and ended up having a great time.
The crowds are always HUGE at the Strawberry Festival Cruise In, and this picture gives you a little taste of the action.
Jim Howard’s little roadster got a bunch of attention and was one of many cars that arrived early and parked in front of our shop.
Since my dad and I began renting a small garage in downtown Dayton just a couple months ago, we decided it would be cool to have a cookout at our place during the Cruise In. The plan worked out perfectly, as we enjoyed great weather and an awesome turnout of cars! A bunch of our car guy buddies came out to the Cruise In, some driving from as far away as Whitwell, TN. My mom, dad and brother were there, as well as Christina’s mom and dad, so it can definitely be filed away as quality family time! We hope to have another good turnout for this event next year, and we’re going to try to make some changes to the actual Cruise In to make it better for everyone. Either way, enjoy the photos from last Friday night!
Of course, we had to support the Cruise In, because it’s our home town! I drove the Corvette with its newly-installed M&H Slicks, and Christina drove her ’67 Camaro.
Our friends Russell and Katie Darnell came to the Cruise In with this very cool ’67 Chevelle. Christina and Katie went to school together in Lawrenceville, GA, and somehow, both of them ended up living in Dayton, TN.
One of my dad’s most recent projects made an appearance downtown. The car belongs to Bill Sims and started as a very, very rough car. It had fender flares….big ones!
Jim Smith must’ve had some help getting both of his cars downtown. He’s the only guy I know that has a Superbird and a supercharged Viper. I actually did some of the bodywork on the Superbird during the car’s restoration.
The Cruise In was packed with high quality cars, like this one owned by Ronnie Angel from Pikeville, TN. My dad did the body and paint work on this car.
Speaking of my dad, there he is playing guitar on the left. “The Other Guys” played an impromptu show in front of the shop, and had my uncle Charles playing upright bass.
My buddy Dewayne rolled this awesome Model A pickup out of his shop just in time to make it for the Cruise In. It’s a fresh piece from front to back, and it’s way cool!
A big group of cars made the trip up from the Whitwell, TN area, which is a decent hike from Dayton. The Dempsey’s live in Whitwell and spread the word to all the local car guys. This is Justin Dempsey’s big block, 5 speed Nova…so clean!
One of my brother’s longtime friends, Brad Harris, came up to the Cruise In with his killer Biscayne.
Here’s another car that my dad and Wally Smith painted. It’s definitely going to be a long distance street rod, with plans to go on the Hot Rod Power Tour.
Another good friend, Kyle Shadden came to the Cruise In with his turbocharged S-10. I guarantee you won’t find a drag truck that sits any lower than this one!
Yet another car that went through the hands of the Byrd’s. My dad and I did a good bit of the work on this car, so I was glad to see it out in town!
One of the coolest cars at the Cruise In was Andrew Riggs’ Camaro. His dad, Jimmy, runs a muffler shop here in Dayton, and built this car from the ground up. My dad’s helper, Wally Smith did the body and paint on it.
Jason White stole the keys to Corky Coker’s ’32 Ford roadster and came up to Dayton for the evening. Everyone loves this car!