Shown By Owners;
Dozens Are 'Vettes
From Different Eras
BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
Luxury power defines the gleaming machines that caught the eye of passersby on Saturday at the third annual Spring "Meet" Cruise-In and Swap Meet.
The City Garage Car Museum, at 210 South Main St., hosted the event, in cooperation with the Volunteer State Auto Club and the Nathanael Greene Museum.
This year's event celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Chevrolet Corvette.
Museum owner Kent Bewley estimated that between 100-125 vehicles participated, with at least one-third of those being Corvettes.
'REALLY, REALLY NICE'
"We've had a big turnout," he said Saturday afternoon. "We've got some really outstanding cars; we've got some really, really nice Corvettes."
Included in that lineup was Leonard Ingle's 1957 first-generation Corvette that looked anything but aged. Instead it gleamed a vibrant orange -- inside and out -- that gave it vibrancy and energy.
Parked directly beside the oldest 'Vette on the lot was the very newest -- a sleek, black 2013 Corvette being shown by Bachman-Bernard Chevrolet that represents the latest, the Sixth Generation.
It is also the 60th anniversary edition.
Further down the line were 40th anniversary and 50th anniversary editions.
"We've had a lot of passersby that have spotted the Corvettes and will stop and pull in," Bewley said with a grin.
In fact, the event was not scheduled to begin until 10 a.m., but cars were being shown on the lot by 8:30 a.m., he said.
The 'Vettes of the Smokies car club was on hand to help fill out the lot, bringing with them 14 of the Corvettes.
Jim and Pat Napoleon, of Greeneville were heading up the group Saturday, which included several members from the Tri-Cities area.
"This is a nice venue," Jim Napoleon said. "They have been just super-nice all day. We've been to several shows in several places. This is as nice as I've come across."
Napoleon praised the Corvette as the "only American sports car."
The 60th anniversary also made for a good excuse for members of the Volunteer State Auto Club to pull out their 'Vettes this year.
"We started having this event three years ago, just after [Bewley] opened the [Car] Museum," President Brab Gregg said.
Oldsmobiles were featured last year.
"We're using this somewhat as a [public relations] tool advertising our annual show that was previously the Saturday Night Out Downtown Cruise In," Gregg said.
Although the annual event has taken that moniker for 22 years, this year it's being dubbed the Volunteer State Auto Show and will take place at Hardin Park on June 22, he added.
This will be a fundraising event for local charities. All proceeds will benefit Greeneville and Greene County, Gregg said.