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Knoxville’s Cabin Fever Car Show Part Two: The Customs

If you have read the previous post on the Cabin Fever Car Show in Knoxville, Tennessee, then you will really love this one.  In this installment, we will focus on some of the custom cars in the show.  A good friend of mine tipped me off to this event, and I am glad I made the drive to see it.  The collectible car community in east Tennessee is both close nit and competitive.  All of these folks would give you the shirt off their backs to help you in any way they could.  However, competition both on the track and at car shows is fierce in this neck of the woods.  This competitive nature shows in the amount of work they put into these cars.  If you are in this part of the world next January, I’d highly suggest you see this show.  Well, enough talk.  Take a gander at the cars in this post and, as always, if you have any questions or suggestions to improve my limited photographic skills, please let me know in the comments.

Getting started, the first two pictures are of a 1960 Corvette owned by Dwayne Gross.  Looking this magnificent car over, I couldn’t help to think of some of the solid axle Corvettes I have written about.  While some of these Corvettes could be restored back to factory condition, there were a few that had solid frames and bodies, but would never be numbers matching correct cars.  While I suggested making them into drivers, this car shows another way.  The fit and finish of this modernized Corvette was incredible, and the seamless way the updated small block Chevy engine was installed in this car had to have taken a wheelbarrow full of cash and the patience of Job.  Pictures simply don’t do this car justice.

For something different, this Mustang isn’t original at all.  In fact, it is called a P7 Mustang, and the car is a complete reproduction of the classic 1967-1968 Mustang fastback.  According to the paperwork, you can basically order your own version any way you like it, with choices for the drivetrain, brakes, fit and finish, etc.  As prices on original fastbacks creep ever skyward, this might end up being a sensible option for a build.

Under the hood was one of Ford’s new 32 valve V-8 engines.  This engine, paired with a modern manual transmission and the right rear end, would make one of these cars a rocketship on the highway.  With this weekend’s amazing reveal of one of the original Bullit Mustangs and the unveiling of the new version, it might be time to start planning to build your own version based on these reproductions.  Dealer gouging will certainly drive the price of a Bullit Mustang past $50,000, so you might as well go whole hog on a P7.  In Dark Highland Green, of course.

Another standout at the show was this black 1955 Chevrolet Cameo pickup, owned by Wayne Easterday.  Cameos were a luxury version of a standard Chevrolet pickup truck, and they differed from standard trucks in many ways.  The slab sides of the bed were made of fiberglass, as was most of the tailgate.  Extra chrome and full wheel covers set this truck apart, as did the much higher sticker price.

In the rear, we can see the influence of the 1955 Chevrolet car line in the taillights and the bumper.  As pretty as they were, Cameos never sold well, and production only lasted from 1955 through 1958.  While this one has been blessed with a number of custom touches, the stunningly deep black paint still helps show off the Cameo’s beautiful lines.

The next car is a pretty rare ride as well.  When Mercury as a brand began in 1939, Ford positioned the car between Ford and Lincoln in price.  Sharing many parts with the Ford line, Mercury’s styling in both 1939 and 1940 drew a lot of attention.  Most felt that the Club Coupe body style was the most gorgeous, and hot rodders immediately sought them out for custom work.  This 1940 Mercury Club coupe, owned by Chris Henry, appeared to be an older, but well preserved, mild custom.  The interior was done in fifties style contrasting colors, and the sun visor, fender skirts, and contrasting wheels all look at home on this distinctive car.

Under the hood rests a modified 24 stud Ford Flathead.  Boasting a triple manifold holding the requisite number of Stromberg 97s, a chrome alternator, and Edelbrock finned aluminum heads, chances are this hot rod Mercury really hauls the mail!

To finish, I wanted to show you one of the wildest cars at the show.  This heavily modified 1968 Chevelle boasts not one, but two Weiland superchargers sitting on top of its 502 cubic inch big block Chevrolet engine.  Owned by Eddie Mc Millen, this well built but surprisingly stock looking Chevelle probably isn’t the most subtle way to travel.  However, its over the top Hot Wheels style looks was a hit with kids young and old at the show.

Hopefully you enjoyed this second post on the Cabin Fever Car Show from Knoxville, Tennessee.  As you can see, the folks in Tennessee take their cars seriously.  My only regret is that I was not able to show you all of the cars at the show.  There were many more cars there deserving of your appreciation, but time and space allows for only so much.  I do have a few more photos that could be made into another post if enough people would like, but I don’t want to overwhelm anyone.  Please let me know if you would like another post, if you have any questions, or any suggestions for me to improve my occasional coverage of events.  Thanks for looking!


  1. jw454

    I like the Corvette. It looks very well done. The Chevelle looks a little silly. Kind of like a car that a nine year old would design. However, it’s his car and he can do whatever he wants with it.

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  2. Pete Member

    Love the Mercury coupe. Any other pictures are always of interest.

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    Cool Chevelle! great way to soup up an otherwise boring car.

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  4. Solosolo UK KEN TILLY Member

    Good stuff Jeff, let’s have more pics of the cars of the close “knit” community in Knoxville.

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  5. Peter

    I wonder how the modified 1968 Chevelle performs in the quarter mile?

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    • jdjonesdr

      I bet not as good as we would expect.

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      • Peter

        A little over carbed or too much energy required to run the twin charger set up? ( :

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  6. Alex B

    I like big blocks and I cannot lie. :D

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  7. Steve Park

    Enjoyed the coverage of this show. It’s Weiand supercharger BTW.

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  8. glen

    I like the 40 Mercury, with that fine looking flathead.

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  9. Jeff Brown

    Nice job Jeff. If you wish to head further south the World of Wheels is taking place in Birmingham February 9-11. It is a great indoor show every year with a variety of cars, trucks, bikes and vendors. Something else to consider is checking out one (or more) of the stops on the 2018 Hot Rod Power Tour which takes place June 9th-15th starting in Bowling Green, KY and ending in Concord, NC.

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  10. #69pacecar

    Thanks for the pictures Jeff, it was great to see how much time and effort people put into their rides. Would love to see more pictures.

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  11. Jay E.

    Wouldn’t the second supercharger need to be seriously overdriven to double the airflow of the first one to work? Otherwise it is just blocking the flow and taking HP to drive it. Perhaps there are no guts in it.

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  12. Rspcharger Rspcharger

    I’d love to see more pics of this show, just with a simple description. Heck, just up load the raw pics… Car Porn… Who reads the articles anyways ;)

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