The South rises: Chattanooga gets an automotive concours

We were originally going to publish an image of the downtown cityscape of Chattanooga, Tennessee, which would have made sense, the big city being nestled between the Appalachian Mountains and the Tennessee River. It withstood shelling by Union troops during the Chickamauga Campaign, survived a devastating flood in 1867, and is today a hub of commerce in southeastern Tennessee and neighboring Georgia. Chattanooga is the hometown of the actor Samuel L. Jackson, the speed shop pioneer “Honest Charley” Card and the NFL immortal Reggie White. But Chattanooga is getting a major automotive event, so we decided to select a different photo.

Set for October 11th through 13th, the inaugural Chattanooga MotorCar Festival will unite historic automobiles, motorcycles and boats for a celebration of driving. It’s a conglomeration of three events: the Time Trials Between the Bridges on a 1.5-mile course, the High Jinks Rallye, and a full Concours d’Elegance. Among the concours entries expected on the show field will be a 1931 Henderson KJ and 1927 BMW R42 motorcycles, a 1948 Simca Gordini F2, a 1955 MGTF TF1500, a 1958 Jaguar XK150 OTS and a 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham. But we chose to show this concours entrant: It’s the French-built 1932 Helicron, with its polished wooden bodywork and propeller power, one of the completely unique holdings of the fabulous Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. The grand marshal for the weekend will be one of the great British drivers of the postwar era, Brian Redman. Other personalities on hand will include NASCAR hall of famers Bill Elliott, TV personality Wayne Carini, Le Mans veteran and broadcaster Alain de Cadenet, historian Ken Gross and General Motors design chief Donald Osborne. The sponsor is Chattanooga’s hometown car manufacturer, Volkswagen of America.

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