Avoiding Snow At The 50th Annual World Of Wheels Car Show

With winter bearing down on the East Coast, and weathermen trying to out do each other in both colorful vernacular and terrifying forecasts, it is hard for car guys to stay entertained.  Thankfully, indoor car shows have begun to give us something fun to do on the weekends here in East Tennessee.  This weekend, the 50th annual World of Wheels has landed at the convention center in frigid Chattanooga, Tennessee.  While not quite the same as a major car show and cruise in, a World of Wheels show keeps your interest by providing a variety of restored, modified, and full custom vehicles, and even a celebrity or two.  In this post and the next are some examples of the interesting vehicles that showed up this year.  This post will concentrate on the more radical customs, and the following post will lean more towards the restored and lightly modified vehicles.  It is amazing to see the creativity and craftsmanship exhibited by people in our hobby, and I hope you enjoy the virtual walk through the show.   If you have any questions, please place them in the comments and I will try to answer them.

Two of the full customs on display were the 1954 Corvette in the first picture, and the 1968 Camaro in the picture directly above.  The Corvette boasted a tubular frame, a removable hard top from a 1956 Corvette, and roll up windows.  To those in the know concerning America’s favorite sports car, 1953-1955 Corvettes had side curtains rather than roll up windows, and a removable hard top was not offered for cars of that era.  According to the builder, it was meant to be a tribute to the Motorama show cars from the fifties in that some of the show cars foretold of improvements that would soon be coming.  The Camaro is also a full custom, and sports a highly detailed engine and undercarriage.  For these show cars, having the underside as polished as the top side and copious amounts of chrome are the order of the day.  While they both look like they would be a hoot to drive, one look in the mirrors tells us that they won’t likely see the road for a long time.  Just cleaning and polishing the cars for these shows must take days.

Many of our readers absolutely adore 1967-1972 Chevrolet pickups, and this custom, based on a 1968 model C10 is one of the nicest ones I have ever seen.  While most fans of these trucks love the front ends on the later trucks, the early front ends look the best to me.  From the dark green paint to the wood in the bed, everything about this truck was well built and flawless.  If Chevrolet went to a throwback design based on these trucks for their next model change, imagine how many trucks they would sell.

This Advance Design series Chevrolet was also a show stopper.  The dark gunmetal grey paint job was incredibly well done, and the depth of the finish seemed limitless.  One of the things that stands out in a show like this is the perfection of the paint jobs.  Anyone who has tried to paint a car knows that the secret is in the preparation, and the more preparation you do the better the final finish looks.  On cars like this, areas like the cowl, inside the fenders, and even under the hood receive the same amount of preparation and finish work as any outside panels.  The patience required to produce a custom car like this is impressive.

With this Corvette, I have to apologize for my inattentiveness.  Under the replica C2 body lies a C4 Corvette.  The card on the windshield listed the manufacturer of the body, but I forgot to write it down.  At any rate, this one actually looked well proportioned and almost like a factory styling exercise.  So many of the “make my new Corvette look like an old one” body kits out there look odd, but this one carried it off well.  It makes you wonder how a retro Corvette line added to the standard Corvette offerings would sell.

While I am sure you have seen Camaro based Pontiac Trans Ams in magazines or maybe in person, this particular one was quite impressive.  Complete with T-tops, honeycomb wheels, and an industrial strength screaming chicken, this Trans Am should still be offered at some GM dealership.  Here in the South, the Bandit is royalty.  Wanting a car like this is in the DNA of all true Southerners, and GM would never be able to make enough of them.  That’s a hint for any GM brass reading this.

I hope you enjoyed this brief look at some of the cars at the World of Wheels show this weekend.  As you can see, there are a lot of builders with amazing talent and some really good, marketable ideas out there.  Please let me know if you liked what you saw, or have any questions.  Keep an eye out for the next installment, which will be filled with muscle cars, restorations, mildly modified cars, and a photo of the celebrity guest for the weekend!



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  1. tom jandre Member

    great job with some great barn finds must take up a lot of your time getting all the pics and write ups together. Keep the barn finds coming thanks. Tom a collsctor

  2. Jeffry Harris

    Why did you only highlight Chevys?

  3. George

    Great story and photos. More please.

  4. David C

    Thanks for sharing.


    Keep the photos coming.

  6. JazzGuitarist54

    A nice change of pace
    More please

  7. Rspcharger Rspcharger

    When do we get to see the aforementioned second post?

  8. Sirpike

    Excellent article !

  9. gto4ever

    Great job Jeff, awesome pics. I especially drooled over the T/A, and funny thing.
    Many years ago when I first saw the new “GTO”, I was so horrified I spent the day searching for a phone number to call and ask, WTF?
    I can’t remember how I found an 800 # for complaints, but I did. I told the young women on the other end how they had dropped the ball with that car, and she actually agreed with me!! lol! Anyway, you are right on the mark, they could never keep up with the orders. Go figure!? Look forward to whats next

  10. Dt1

    Not bad

  11. Bobsmyuncle

    I was trying to decide if this was big enough to warrant flying down. How long would you say it took you to walk through?

    • Jeff Bennett Staff

      It took about 2.5 hours, but Sunday was the last day. I think the show is in Huntsville, Alabama next weekend. Most of the “regular “ cars are locally owned, so you will likely see a lot of different cars in Huntsville.

  12. Johnny the mailman B

    Is the side spear illuminated on the corvette? Or is it just reflection from display lights…wish we could see more pics too… thanks for these.

    • Jeff Bennett Staff

      It was, and was quite bright. Not sure I liked it, but it is a full show car after all…

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